Hell On Wheels New Season 4 is Gripping

hell on wheelsOnce upon a time, Hell on Wheels was the most popular show on television…well at least in the 1950s and 1960s when Westerns were prized and there was little competition. Fans of the Western genre would have just about died over this show.

Unfortunately, in 2014, zombies and vampires are the flavor of the week. But regardless the show still has excellent acting, great scenery, and a good production team. It also is very realistic with its subject matter, building the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s post-Civil War period.

Hell on Wheels is returning to AMC for its fourth season on August 2nd. And from the very first scene, it will draw you in, even if you haven’t watched the show before. The show opens in the winter and the railroad construction has hit a problem, the Crow River. Thomas Durant, played by Colm Meaney, is the guy with a plan. They have laid track across the frozen river and have to test it. Durant asks his engineer “Have you thought of everything?”

The engineer replies that he hasn’t because he didn’t think to engineer his destruction. The workers also have a side bet going over when the driver of the train will jump out to save himself.

Anson Mount is returning as Cullen Bohannon, and starts the season being held against his will in a Mormon fort. Cullen went through a lot in season three, including finding out that his new acquaintance “Bishop Joseph Dutson” was his old enemy called “The Swede”.

This is one area that Hell on Wheels is consistent in, great villains. Meany always adds a compelling element to the roles he plays. And Christopher Heyerdahl, The Swede, has seen an ever expanding role in the last few seasons. And the villains challenge Cullen in different ways. Durant attacks him from a business and intellectual side, The Swede attacks him in a primal and violent way.

Coming in to mess up that dynamic for the new season is John Campbell, being played by Jake Weber. Campbell has been sent to Sheyenne by General Ulysses S. Grant to act as the provisional governor of Wyoming territory. This puts him in conflict with Durant immediately, who runs a one man show.

While the Western genre is a niche now, a good show is a good show. And Hell on Wheels is a good show.

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