HELL ON WHEELS steams to the conclusion of its second season tonight in a two-hour finale beginning at 9 PM on AMC. The series concerns the post-Civil War construction of the first U.S. transcontinental railroad and the work camp called Hell on Wheels, where Confederate veteran Cullen Bohannon, played by Anson Mount, has come seeking vengeance against the men who killed his wife.
Executive producer/show runner John Shiban (whose other credits include THE X-FILES, THE LONE GUNMEN, STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE, SUPERNATURAL, TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY and BREAKING BAD) is due to speak to a whole group of people about HELL ON WHEELS, but he takes a minute to talk to Assignment X first.
ASSIGNMENT X: HELL ON WHEELS was created by Joe Gayton and Tony Gayton. When did you come aboard as show runner?
JOHN SHIBAN: I came on right after the pilot was made to run Season 1.
AX: At the time when you were making Season 1, was there an active plan for Season 2, or did you and the other producers say to each other, “Now that we’ve gotten picked up, what do we do?”
SHIBAN: As you break a season of TV, it’s inevitable you talk about the future, because it’s about character, it’s about character arcs, it’s about where these people are going. But we found some surprises along the way in Season 1, so when we got the pickup, it was like [happy, triumphant laugh]. When we got the pickup, we were surprised where the characters had gone ourselves. That’s what made it exciting.
AX: Now, Season 1 was a lot about Bohannon’s search for revenge. Can you describe briefly what Season 2 is about?
SHIBAN: I think Season 2 is about Bohannon raising hell. It’s about him taking on the railroad as his next battle, as his next war. He becomes, over the course of this season, someone who is committed to it, and having killed an innocent man at the end of last year, I think he’s trying to put vengeance aside, he’s trying to put violence aside, but that’s going to be a struggle.
AX: What are you proudest of in Season 1?
SHIBAN: I’m proudest, honestly – I directed an episode, 109, called “Timshel,” and it was such a wonderful experience. I’m very proud of that.
AX: Has producing Season 2 of HELL ON WHEELS gotten any easier or harder than making Season 1?
SHIBAN: It always gets harder in Season 2, because you set the bar very high and then you have to exceed it, but we keep building. We built a second train this year, we have a bigger Hell on Wheels [the railroad camp], but it’s been great. The stuff looks fabulous. It’s been a great experience.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with HELL ON WHEELS producer John Shiban