Tuesday, November 01, 2011

"Hell on Wheels" TV show

The new fictional "Hell on Wheels" TV series about building the Union Pacific Railroad premieres Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 10/9c on AMC.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The AMC blog post "Real History of Hell on Wheels - A Transcontinental Railroad" does not make clear that the railroad bonds had to be sold to investors and repaid by the railroads with interest, or that the land grants were mostly worthless arid land (half of which was retained by the U.S. government) that might become valuable only if the transcontinental railroad was successfully completed.

So calling the railroad financing a "subsidy" is a bit dubious. Also, unlike stock investing today, the railroad entrepreneurs had unlimited liability so they were investing their entire personal fortunes in the success of the enterprise. (This helps explain why the first transcontinental railroad was completed on budget, and seven years ahead of schedule, at no ultimate cost to federal taxpayers.) The U.S. government eventually received both increased value of its western land holdings and more than a billion dollar windfall in the form of discounted freight rates for transcontinental mail and military transport, etc.

11/01/2011 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hell on Wheels" review: Good acting, poor writing by David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, November 3, 2011.

11/03/2011 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hell on Wheels," premiering Sunday on AMC by Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, November 3, 2011.

11/03/2011 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Hell on Wheels ... title refers to the tent city that moved with the workers who built the transcontinental railroad." Since that refers to the Union Pacific Railroad built mostly by Irish workers, the criticism of the production for not hiring Chinese actors makes no sense as the subject of the TV series does not include the Central Pacific Railroad that was built mostly by Chinese workers.

Reviewed as having "atrocious dialogue" the script, however, should be condemned for apparently including at least one gratuitous anti-Chinese ethnic slur.

11/04/2011 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For example, the criticism "Chinese labourers - the backbone of the rival Central Pacific railroad - are given short shrift, even though, in history, Asian labourers represented some nine out of 10 workers responsible for laying the rail from California through the Sierra Nevada mountains." makes no sense, as the story takes place more than a thousand miles east of where the Chinese workers toiled.

11/04/2011 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to take very seriously critics who confuse California with Nebraska.

11/04/2011 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writers admit "we’re not trying to be 100 percent accurate."

11/06/2011 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the writers, "there’s really not ... a lot of historical information about ... this incredible place called Hell on Wheels, this tent city that moves along with the railroad ... "

11/06/2011 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the writers, people did not use contractions like "can't" and "don't," saying instead "can not" and "do not" in the 1860's.

11/06/2011 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be a second season.

5/07/2012 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/18/2014 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"filming begins this week for its fifth and final season ... Seven new episodes will air this summer and seven will air in the summer of 2016 ... the Central Pacific side of the story."

4/22/2015 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hell on Wheels will begin its fifth and final season this summer ... This season will see former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) working on the Central Pacific Railroad in Truckee, California."

Courtesy of Google Alerts.

5/29/2015 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See related discussion.

7/23/2015 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cullen Bohannon is a fictional character (made up person who never lived) in this TV series, not a real person.

[Incorrectly spelled as WRONG: Colin Buchanan or WRONG: Bohannan.]

3/06/2017 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "FRED SV" fredsv3@gmail.com

The television show 'Hell on Wheels' films about a man named Collon Bohanon [sic], the man whom laid 10 miles of track in a single day. A successful railroad man, became one of the men who got the ring from the railroad. Was this man a real person?

5/16/2018 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Cullen Bohannon (correct spelling) is a fictional character.

See ten mile day.

For information about the gold finder rings made from the sprue broken off of the golden last spike, search for "ring" on the this web page.

5/16/2018 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished watching the Hell on wheels series today . I liked the characters portrayed . They were tough as nails. I realise it is a fictional work based on true facts . The lrish railway workers and black Americans were tough guys. The Chinese were portrayed as working for Central Pacific . Overall it is a blood thirsty Wild West show . I detested the sneaky Swede . Five stars

6/16/2022 12:27 AM  

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