It has been a long time since we’ve had much to report on with “Hell on Wheels.” This is what happens during a filming hiatus. During this process, though, the entire team behind the scenes has been at work crafting what will hopefully be a hell of a final season. (This time, we mean hell in a good way.)
One thing that we can now say for sure is that you will be seeing a whole lot more of Tim Guinee. As first reported by Deadline, the actor has been upped to a regular for the final season after appearing in four episodes (including the season 4 finale) as Collis Potter Huntington, one of the chief men responsible for the construction of the Central Pacific and ultimately the transcontinental railroad. Given where we are in the story, and what we could be ultimately building toward in Utah (provided that the show would want to complete the railroad before it concludes), it only makes sense that we would see more of this character.
Part of the intrigue that comes with season 5 is that you see Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) in a very different place than he has been in much of the series. We are now getting to see an entirely different perspective in railroad construction than what we’ve had through four seasons, one that focused on a time moving eastward and through some incredibly difficult terrain. (We did an extensive two-part interview with showrunner John Wirth last year, and it touches on much of what these people were going through.)
While there is no firm premiere date just yet, the plan here is to split the final season a la “Mad Men.” One group of seven episodes will air later this year, with the final seven coming in 2016. We will have some further news as it starts to come out.