AMC’s new western drama Hell on Wheels rolled into town last night following The Walking Dead and offered another helping of violence, gore and intriguing drama for viewers. In the process, the network nabbed the title of second-most-watched series premiere, fittingly following The Walking Dead.

Hell on Wheels takes place just after the Civil War and follows a Confederate soldier on a mission for revenge of the Union soldiers who killed his wife. This leads him to the railroad, which is in the process of being built. The season premiere introduced us to some of the characters and some of the mayhem going on in the aftermath of the war. Necks were slashed, scalps were taken and a lot of guns were pointed at people. A railroad was also getting built in the process. According to Deadline, 4.4 million viewers tuned in to see it.
“I congratulate the entire cast and crew of Hell On Wheels for pulling off a project of this scope,” AMC president Charlie Collier said. “Bringing the grandeur of the Old West and the building of the railroad to life is no small feat and the Gaytons, with their team, have delivered a beautiful world of which we are all so proud.”

The series premiere definitely gave us a lot to chew on. Between the interesting timeframe, where the country must begin to adjust to a post-Civil-War era, the move out west, the resistance by the Native Americans and the politics of building the railroad, there’s (literally) a lot of ground to cover in a series like this and based on the series premiere, it seems like they’re going about it by introducing a number of characters whose stories tie into the setting and time in an interesting, more personal way. It'll be interesting to see how many people tune in next Sunday for the second episode.

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