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.
I will probably--probably
--skip this series. Perhaps I haven't seen the story of "an ex-Confederate rebel hunting the Union soldiers who killed his wife." But somehow, I think I have. What I have not seen is Willy Parker
at Christiana, Moses along the railroad
, the awesome Ellen Craft
, or the ballad of Robert Charles
These are our stories, our magic. And surely it must said that the ultimate responsibility for preserving that magic falls to us. I don't so much begrudge people for honoring their own particular magic, so much as I recognize it is of their world, and I do not have to live in it. We must seek out our own.