As the August 10th two-hour premiere date for Season Three of AMC’s Hell on Wheels approaches, some early rumblings are coming down the media “track”. Cast member Anson Mount and new showrunner John Wirth attended the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas the second weekend of June and gave attendees some insight into the upcoming season of the acclaimed Western series.
Those in attendance were able to view a screening of Episode 1 from Season Three and engage in dialogue with Mount – who plays the former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon – and Wirth. As showrunner, Wirth is responsible for the daily operations of the series. Hell on Wheels is filmed in Alberta, Canada.
Mount and Wirth at the 2013 ATX Television Festival
Debuting in 2011, Hell on Wheels is centered around the construction of the Union Pacific transcontinental railroad in the immediate post-Civil War era. Along with Mount, the show boasts a strong ensemble cast and takes a nuanced look at such themes as American westward expansion, pre-existing Indigenous territorial rights, race relations and social class. The character of Bohannon was initially drawn to the western railroad project as he searched for a Union gang that had murdered his wife, son and hired help during the war.
The ten-episode Season Three will be set in the year 1867 and will feature a new female character. Jennifer Ferrin will play a strong-willed journalist named Louise Ellison. Ellison will travel to the “end of track” to cover the building of the Union Pacific railway. Background for such a character can be found in real-life 19th century female writers such as Margaret Fuller and Nellie Bly.
Wirth has been quoted on the AMC official site for Hell on Wheels as describing Season Three as being “….about work – the building of the railroad, the binding of the nation after the Civil War, and the rehabilitation of the men who live and fought their way through those exploits. This season we’re placing Cullen Bohannon at the center of the show….”
AMC has released some photos from the first episode of Season Three, showing an almost mountain man-like Bohannon in a winter scene (see below). At the conclusion of Season Two, both Bohannon’s personal direction and the construction of the railroad itself was left in state of uncertainty.
As the third season of Hell on Wheels approaches, westernsreboot.com will keep its “ear to the track” for more developments as the debut episode nears. An additional “sneak peek” photo from Season Three and further info about the series can be found at this link: Hell on Wheels – Season 3
UPDATE (June 20th): As now indicated at the start of this post, AMC appears to have shifted its original premiere date for Hell on Wheels from August 3rd to August 10th.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)