Having freed up some space with the cancellation of Rubicon, AMC has officially given a 10-episode series order to Hell On Wheels, the post-Civil War drama (which we previously told you about) set during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and those uncertain years immediately following emancipation. But aside from providing a big, steam-powered metaphor for America building its own railway to the future out of blood, sweat, and racially-charged tears, Hell On Wheels is at its heart a vengeance story about an ex-Confederate rebel hunting the Union soldiers who killed his wife, as well as a gritty Western that takes place in the lawless, eponymous traveling camp of the title. Comparisons to Deadwood seem both inevitable and encouraged by the network, which describes the show in its press release as exploring “the railroad’s institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience, and the plight of the newly emancipated African-Americans during reconstruction.” No premiere date has been announced, but the show is expected to begin airing sometime next year.
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