Hell On Wheels

How much do I love SuperChannel?

A friend mentioned that I would probably like a new series called Hell On Wheels. I checked it out (On Demand) and the husband and I watched the first episode and LOVED it.



It all starts with a Union Soldier in a confessional, seeking absolution for things he did during the war. In particular, what happened to a woman. When the confessional is over, both man and priest emerge, but it’s not a priest at all. It’s Cullen Bohannon – the woman’s husband. And he’s out to get every man that brutalized and then murdered his wife.

It takes a cold dude to kill a man in a church and then walk out with his greatcoat flapping.

His search takes him to Hell on Wheels – the travelling camp of the men building the Union Pacific railroad. As you can imagine, it’s rough. A good portion of the workforce is freed slaves, and as we all know the term free was a formality more than anything else. He’s hired as a supervisor to the crews, and strikes up an unlikely friendship with Elam Ferguson (played by Common).

The whole thing is ruled by Thomas Durant, who’s a bit greasy and not above manipulating senators and stocks to see that the railroad gets built. Durant’s chief surveyor, Bell, is killed in an Indian attack but his wife, Lily, survives – and it’s Bohannon who brings her back to camp. And all the while Bohannon is trying to find the last of the men responsible for the death of his wife.

It’s a great story, a fantastic setting, wonderful, complex characters (The Swede as Durant’s “muscle” is deliciously creepy). Of course the cast isn’t hard to look at either. My husband is rather partial to Lily Bell.  I, of course, adore Bohannon (played by Anson Mount). In fact, there may be a reclusive rancher in a story soon that bears a striking resemblance.

And I’ll admit it – best of all was the night Bohannon and Elam had to fight each OTHER. I looked at my husband and said, “I hope they fight with their shirts off.” Yes, I’m just that shallow.

The result?

A bit of history, a bit of romance, a lot of action. Can anyone say “All aboard!”

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27 thoughts on “Hell On Wheels”

  1. I LOVE Hell on Wheels, Donna! I was wondering when P &P have a post about it. It has filled the void Deadwood left behind.

    The story line is so great and I love the characters, especially Bohannon. He’s just the perfect tortured hero.

    And I must admit to my own shallow side, I, too, appreciated a shirt free fight. :o)

  2. Thanks Donna for writing about this show…I am a big fan of Hell on Wheels!! I am glad to see that I am not the only one who was ‘shallow’ enough to hope the fight scene was done shirtless! I look forward to this show every week. I hope they pick ‘H.O.W.’ up for another season…I am hooked! 🙂

  3. I love Hell on Wheels and was so happy to see a new western historical on TV. I also watch re-runs of Big Valley, Dr. Quinn, and Little House.

  4. We’re getting caught up on Deadwood, too – nearly done season 3. The thing with Hell on Wheels is while it’s “rough” it’s definitely not as graphic as Deadwood and the language isn’t as bad either. For the people who found Deadwood too much, they might like Hell on Wheels just fine.

  5. Wow, I would love this, Donna. Alas, my basic TV package doesn’t include this channel. Will have to wait ages for the dvd. Fabulous premise and setting. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. I love this series! Like you said the characters are so complex, and while the pace is sometimes a bit uneven, the plot is riveting. I know you just recently started watching it but I’ve been watching the whole season and can’t believe we are already coming up on the finale – which looks like it’s going to be full of action.

  7. My husband watches this program all the time an yes he got me hooked too,an yes those boys look mighty good without their shirts,,we dont sit up that late to watch it but we get in OnDemand really easy

  8. This is a really good show. Bohannon is certainly easy on the eyes. He’s as tough as they come and he has definite ideas of what is fair and just. I just hope they don’t decide to cancel it.

  9. Been watching since this series started and love it! To answer the question, yes, they’ve been picked up for a second season. Wish the finale wasn’t next week. Seems like it was just getting going.

  10. I have not had the chance to watch this series yet.. I must, now that I have a PVR, program it to tape each week…
    Certainly some great cowboys on this show…

  11. Donna,
    It took some convincing to get my husband to watch it with me, but he was hooked after the first ep. We always record them now and watch them later–it seems Sunday nights usually has something on–The Good Wife, maybe, that we also watch, and really, I would rather watch it later so we can ff through the commercials. Love these characters, and yes I was as shallow as everyone else. Though I didn’t say a word, just sat there and enjoyed it privately.LOL EWWW, yes, the Swede just creeps me out, but I LOVED that Bohannon gave him his comeuppance in that last ep–of course, I’m sure there will be more of him to reckon with later on. Deliciously exciting–the whole series!

  12. Oooh, a second season! Yay!

    Cheryl…I thought so too. And then I wondered if the Sweded didn’t know exactly what was going to happen by sending those boys out – they were a pain in the patoot and it would be an easy way to be rid of them…

    It would be like him to be that conniving.

  13. It took me about twenty minutes to get into the pilot, but I haven’t missed a minute since. And as delectable as Cullen and Elam are, I really love the portrayal of the women–talk about tough broads! Lily, Eva, and now even mousy little Ruth standing up for herself. Great show.

  14. I am SOOO hooked on this show! Just stumbled onto it several weeks ago and got caught up on it on New Years day when they ran all the repeats. I am so enamored with Bohannon!

  15. Hi Donna, I agree there are heroes yet to come who bear a STRONG resemblance to Bohannon. Yum. I have watched a few episodes but mostly stored them up on the dvr. Hope to get some rain one of these days so hubby and I can get the fireplace going, hunker down, and have a HOW marathon. Great post and pix.

  16. I love this show! I’ve always loved a good western-Little House, Bonanza, Lonesome Dove, Broken Trail, CrossFire Trail, Monte Walsh, Open Range and I prefer Tombstone over Wyatt Earp. Western heroes and villains are good or evil, there’s hardly any gray area at all and that’s why I like to watch them. The world these days involves so many gray areas, but the morality in a western is black and white.


  17. I’ll have to check to see if we get the Super Channel. I am still looking for the listing for JUSTIFIED ( I may have found it today. We’ll see if we get it.) Anyway, HELL ON WHEELS does sound like it has possibilities. It takes convincing the rest of the family to watch it. We all liked the Westerns of years past and miss them. If I can find it, it shouldn’t be a hard sell.

  18. Rosheen – isn’t that a pain in the butt?

    Cheryl – we watched epi 8 last night. I was so wrong on my assessment of the Swede. Something tells me things are going to get pretty tense between him and Bohannon.

    Patricia – we found Justified, but I think it’s series 3 we’re watching. We definitely missed some episodes. I have it set up to tape every week, and last night we caught up on 2 episodes that were FANTASTIC. I wish program listings would give you a season and epi number like 3.4 or whatever. I think we missed most of season 2 as we didn’t have the right channel then and it didn’t get put on Netflix before we cancelled it.

    Justified and Hell on Wheels are 2 MUST watches this year for sure!

  19. I went to demand and they only had three of the shows up, does anyone know if there is a way to see all 10 eposides. Or if AMC has plans to show all 10 on demand at some point?

  20. I saw every episode but the finale,forgot to record it, and now can’t find a re-run. Anyone know when or where?

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