View Full Version : Hell on Wheels Season One

11-07-2011, 01:52 AM
Iím a better writer. I damned well will sound conceited saying so, but I aim to prove it. For a series pilot, the first episode of Hell on Wheels (HoW) accomplished the introduction of the main characters and established their motivations to set the course of the story.

I got that. Cullen wants revenge for the rape and murder of his wife, and he gunned down a man in confession at church, with some contemptuous looks at the mounted Jesus on the cross, and doubts Christís forgiveness of the wicked. Iíve laid out a hypocritical preacher whoís cheating on his wife while raping and fathering a child with his slave, whom in turn is gang-raped by supposed white abolitionist men when sheís only 12. Beyond sex and murder in and for the church, I didnít begin my novel with one shooting, but an ambush and darn bloody exchange of gunfire in a nearly one-sided slaughter of two dozen men against an equal or greater number. A betrayal helped orchestrate the tragedy and Christopher Pratt is set on his course to take revenge.

However, almost immediately, Christopher is involved with Abigail and the just-blossoming romance provides conflicting priorities for him. Plus, having a live love interest provides Christopher with someone to protect Ė a motive that can thrust passion into the story. I want my readers to really feel the fear and desperation of my characters.
Obviously, the wife of the surveyor with tuberculosis who just got killed by the Indians will shortly become a love-interest for Cullen in HoW. I hope the episodic series really moves, however, and this doesnít take up the whole first season with the romance evolving, nor tease you with sexual tension for the course of the series. I realize her husband just died on HoW, however, life out there is cheap, short, and ends violently. So you donít waste any time. On the Walking Dead episode that aired just prior to HoW, two characters just ****ed in a pharmacy. Iíve actually already written a similar scene for Davina in The Library (my Civil War westernís sequel), however, true to making it more edgy, she is ****ing her uncle, the pharmacist, just before she murders him.

HoW is still very predictable. I am working at being quite the opposite with my novels. Of course in HoW, there was ďthe sergeant,Ē who was also responsible for what happened to Cullenís wife. So now he has to find and kill that guy, too. In the best case scenario, the writers ďconvictĒ an innocent man whom the railroad foreman wanted to set Cullenís wrath against for his own motivations and Cullen has taken the bait. Shooting the wrong man would provide controversy now. Just offing another bad guy would keep in staying with the predictable. You have to write the unexpected, and often sick, twisted, and taboo to not keep with doing the same thing over and over again. But now HoW can have a second episode, as Cullen hunts down this Union sergeant that was alluded to. One great moment was when the audience and Cullen are robbed of the satisfaction of seeing him kill that last man, and the ex-slaveís character cuts his throat instead. It left the viewers hungry to see Cullenís need for vengeance satiated. I tried to do that when I presumably kill two of my three main characters multiple chapters before the end of my story, and Daniel Winthrop appears poised to get away with at least some of his crimes.

Anyway, Iím left demanding more from the writing for HoW after this first outing and hope I see it else this series might not last, or I might not continue watching. The acting is fantastic however! The cast shows true potential.

01-20-2012, 11:06 AM
A friend recommended HOW to me. I recorded the New Year's marathon and finally got to watch it. I have to admit, it's as about addictive as Walking Dead. A lot better than some of the other dramas AMC has produced (can you say Rubicon?).

Haven't watched the final ep yet. Recording it in the next night or two.

01-20-2012, 05:12 PM
Breaking Bad

Walking Dead

Hell on Wheels

coupled with FX's

Sons of Anarchy



and TNT's

Falling Skies

those are basically my shows. Cable's where it's at.

Though I think Terra Nova is a network program I watch. Isn't it on Fox?

10-15-2012, 02:21 PM
I can't believe they killed HER!

I'm mindful of spoiling this one for people. I never saw it coming.

But there were a lot of deaths of regular characters this 2nd season.

There might not but probably WILL BE a 3rd season, so that was a very risky move the writers took. Lots of Kudos to the HoW team!

10-15-2012, 03:39 PM
I read that AMC has until January to make a decision on season 3, because of the actors' contracts, etc...

Even if it comes back, I don't know if I can watch without Lilly.

10-16-2012, 05:31 PM
Lilly was the most beautiful girl on televsion. Seriously.

And I don't mean sexy. Kristin Kruek (Smallville) borders on that, but really holds the cuteness / girl-next-door title.

But Lilly was just plain beautiful.

If that show is continuing, I am blown away by the writers' choice.

For one, the set-up was formulaic:

the love triangles:

Eva, Elam Fergusen, and Toole - (now dead!) - and Eva by another name, was a real historical figure with the tattoos

Durant, Cullen, and Lilly (now dead) - absolutely crazy! she was the predictable female love interest / triangle figure. Durant is a real historical figure, likewise

Joseph (the Indian), the preacher's daughter, and the McGuiness brother (in his 20's, when he reaches his 80's (possibly him or his son), in the 1920's - he will be a major Chicago gangster figure during Prohibition - with the Irish ultimately being defeated by the Italians and Al Capone - so watch for the Irish to grow powerful on HoW if it's continuing.

Now the preacher's daughter is interesting (and the preacher is dead - and possibly the Swede too!) and she might be one of the continuing sex interests for the show.

Eva (or her historical counterpart) lives like Durant will.

I'm sure Cullen will have a new love interest but Lilly's death - just like his wife's - will drive him to be a hard shell of a man like Wyatt Earp would be 15 years later. (Earp would be about 10 years old and living in Missouri right now if he were shown - which he and all the rest of the "Tombstone gang" including the Clanton "Cowboys" would not be - too young during HoW).

Let's see:

Buffalo Bill - fair game I think
Jesse James - very possible!!! (and the Youngers and Frank James)
Billy The Kid - barely born. He's 5 years old or younger (Henry McCarty) - same with all the Regulators - they're all like 5 years old.
Wyatt and Doc Holliday - they're about 10 right now
Hatfields and McCoys - sure but they're far east of HoW - in West Virginia and Kentucky respectively

The President is Andrew Johnson who succeeds Lincoln after the assasination. Then Grant and then Hayes

Ulysses Grant could appear
General Custer
Sitting Bull
Geronimo (but he's much farther south from there)
General Crook (likewise)

and many more historical figures are possible.

10-16-2012, 07:17 PM
There are great opportunities to tie the fictional storyline in with real historical events. The Indian raid in the finale was just the tip of the iceberg.

Bohannon is too complex and interesting of a character just to toss him away.

10-30-2012, 01:54 PM
It's been picked up for a third season.


10-31-2012, 06:07 AM

I will really miss Lilly, the Preacher (somewhat), Mr. Toole, and the Swede (but I think Mr. Grundersen is still alive and will come back even more whacky than before).

I will REALLY miss Lilly!

Did you watch "Into the West" by Steven Spielberg yet?

10-31-2012, 07:42 AM
I haven't yet. I'm sure it will re-air.

The Swede isn't dead. He's like Keith Richards: he's made a pact with the devil to live forever!

09-16-2013, 01:16 PM
Anyone still watching? It's still holding my attention.

I did a little research. Charles Durant and Credit Mobilier actually existed and were involved in building the railroad but, of course, there is a little creative leeway in their protrayal on the show and that in real life.

09-16-2013, 08:49 PM
I'm still watching and up-to-date. Durant was a regular prick about the baby and the water. I hate him!

10-10-2013, 12:39 PM
Lot of story threads blowing in the breeze with the finale. I hope it comes back for another season. Just want to see the Swede get his.

11-15-2013, 10:13 AM
Surprisingly, it's coming back for a fourth season.


11-15-2013, 03:14 PM
I'm not surprised. It's an excellent show!

Too bad about Copper (BBC-America) in the similar era. But they would tread on each other's history, if you will.

Copper ended with Lincoln's assassination.

11-15-2013, 03:24 PM
I was hoping it would get renewed, but you know how fickle TV channels -- network and basic cable -- are.

Can't wait to see what happens with Cullen, and still want to see the Swede get his.