AMC has become the home of the antihero, having turned unapologetically duplicitous ad men and meth dealers into some of our most beloved TV characters—but can it do the same for Southern slave owners? That’s the question posed by its just-announced drama Hell On Wheels, set during the building of the Transcontinental Railroad: The show stars Anson Mount as a former Confederate soldier and slave owner who’s out to avenge the rape and murder of his wife by Union soldiers. Along the way he ends up working in the Nebraska prairie and spending time in the travelling assembly of saloons and brothels known as Hell On Wheels. Presumably, it’s there that he meets Dominique McElligott’s character, described as “an intelligent woman taking care of her ill husband who is part of the team of surveyors mapping the railroad's course,” as well as rapper Common, who plays a half-black half-white freed slave who “does not completely belong to either world.” So it’s like a combination of Deadwood, Roots, and, uh, Petticoat Junction, we guess. Who wants to ride the complex, racially charged choo-choo?

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