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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Hell on Wheels -

AMC's western series, Hell on Wheels finally came to its conclusion this week with the completion of America's transcontinental rail-road, and it ended in grand western style with a fist pounding saloon punch up, and enough tying up of loose ends to hold the five seasons together.

'You're a soldier, lost without a war to fight.' President Grant tells Cullen Bohannon as he offers him a post in the American army, fighting hostile Indians and protecting the rail-road he helped to build. 1,907 miles of track and viewers have been along for each and every blistering mile. And it's been a hell of a ride.

When the show started Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) was a vengeful one time confederate soldier with only one thought - to gun down the men responsible for killing his wife and son. - by the end of the five seasons he is still very much alone and ends his quest by taking a trip across the sea to China to be reunited with the woman he hopes to finally find lasting happiness with. The first episode started off in 1865, shortly after the killing of President Lincoln, and find Bohannon hiding in the shadows while he searches for the men who did him wrong. A series of events culminates in him being hired by the Union Pacific Railroad and working under the shady Thomas Durant - an historical figure given life by the wonderful actor, Colm Meaney.
The real Durant

The fictional Durant

Durant is as important a character to the show as Bohannon and he carries many of the episode -Meaney's wonderful, often OTT, perfomance vividly brings the historical character to life...or at least a version of that character.

He even sums up the show in his monologue to congress in the very final show - 'Truths delivered by lies are no less true.'

Overall I've enjoyed this series, not minding the odd historical inaccuracies, and yes it has been a hell of a ride. A well written, brilliantly acted, stunningly photographed western series. What more could you want!

1 comment:

Oscar Case said...

Haven't watched any of these, but thanks for the review.