Hell on Wheels (season 1)
|Hell on Wheels Season 1|
Region 1 Blu-ray cover art
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||November 6, 2011– January 15, 2012|
The first season of the AMC western-drama television series Hell on Wheels premiered on November 6, 2011 and concluded on January 15, 2012, consisting of ten episodes. The series was created and produced by Joe and Tony Gayton who wrote four episodes. They also serve as the show's showrunners. In addition to the Gaytons, Jeremy Gold, John Shiban, and David Von Ancken also serve as series executive producers.
The season follows Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier who works as a foreman on the railroad as he tries to track down the Union soldiers who murdered his wife. His quest leads him to the settlement that accompanied the construction of First Transcontinental Railroad, referred to as "Hell on Wheels" by the Union Pacific company men, surveyors, support workers, laborers, prostitutes, mercenaries, and others who make the mobile encampment their home.
The first season was met with favorable reviews from critics with the premiere watched by 4.4 million viewers – AMC’s second-highest series premiere in history, following The Walking Dead. In January 2012, following the season one finale, AMC put out a press release confirming Hell on Wheels as the network's second-highest rated original series behind The Walking Dead, averaging three million viewers per episode.
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (November 2014)|
In 1865, Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier, seeks to avenge his wife's rape and murder by Union soldiers. His quest leads him to Hell on Wheels, the roving tent city that accompanies the transcontinental railroad's western expansion. Back East, Thomas Durant, the Union Pacific Railroad's boss, lines up investors and enriches himself by siphoning off government subsidies. Reverend Nathaniel Cole converts a Cheyenne Indian named Joseph Black Moon to Christianity, and the two pitch Cole's church tent in Hell on Wheels. Farther west, Cheyenne braves murder Robert Bell, the railroad's chief surveyor. Lily, his wife, kills their attacker and escapes with Robert's maps. Daniel Johnson, the railroad's foreman, hires Cullen to supervise an all-black "cut crew" preparing the terrain for track laying. Johnson subsequently admits to participating in the attack on Cullen's wife with another railroad employee, later revealed as Sergeant Frank Harper. Elam Ferguson, the black crew's leader, slits Johnson's throat before he can kill Cullen.
The Swede, the Union Pacific's security chief, accuses Cullen of Johnson's murder and schedules a hanging. The Swede polices lawless Hell on Wheels but also shakes down its residents, among them Sean and Mickey McGinnes, two brothers who make money showing slides of Ireland to their homesick compatriots. Cheyenne braves, including Joseph's brother, Pawnee Killer, stalk the wounded Lily. Durant offers a bounty for her rescue, though he's more concerned about Robert's maps. Cullen eludes The Swede and visits Durant in his plush Pullman car to request Johnson's job. Cullen's audacity impresses Durant and he hires him. Joseph rescues Lily in the wilderness. Cullen, still pursuing Sergeant Harper, comes across them and escorts Lily to town. Elam attempts to patronize a white prostitute named Eva, invoking the outrage of Mr. Toole, the Irish walking boss. At a funeral for the massacre victims, Cole pleads for peace, but Durant urges the attendees not to let "Stone Age primitives" prevent the railroad's progress. Cullen tracks down Harper, who shoots Cullen's horse and escapes. The Swede overhears Durant speculating on R&R Railroad stock using Union Pacific funds. Though staying in Durant's Pullman, Lily doesn't reveal that she has the maps. Eva and Elam meet in secret and bond over their outcast status, he for being black and she for being enslaved and tattooed by Indians as a young girl. The Swede bribes Cullen to ignore the theft of powder explosives. After the theft occurs, some of the explosive accidentally ignites, causing mass carnage.
Cullen saves a man's life, ignoring The Swede's warning to evacuate. Seeking a vision, Pawnee Killer begins a full-day ritual alone in the woods. With payroll late, Durant instructs Cullen to bribe the walking bosses to keep everyone working. A U.S. Army advance party rides into town. Cole prepares to warn Chief Many Horses of the Cheyenne. Before Cole leaves, his long-lost daughter Ruth arrives unexpectedly. Sean and Mickey fail to pay The Swede, so he chops down their tent. Out at the cut, Cullen and Elam scuffle over the late payroll. As a distraction, Durant proposes that they box for real. Sean bets heavily on Elam and fixes the fight so Elam wins, unaware of his own cheating. Outside, Lily informs Durant that she has Robert's maps but doesn't disclose where. Pawnee Killer completes his ritual and describes a vision in which he kills the "great steel beast." Senator Crane arrives to negotiate with Chief Many Horses. The Swede informs Crane of Durant's stock speculation and in return asks for information about Frank Harper. Chief Many Horses refuses Crane's offer of life on a reservation. After hearing the chief describe his son's vision of defeating the train, Durant proposes that Pawnee Killer race on horseback against a locomotive, which wins. That night, Lily overhears Crane threaten to ruin Durant over the stock speculation and relinquishes the maps so that Durant can complete Robert's vision of the transcontinental railroad. Toole and his men catch Elam with Eva together and string him up for a hanging. Cullen rescues Elam, and the two flee town on horseback. While on the run, they share stories about their lives in the South. Cullen teaches Elam how to shoot a gun and count his opponent's bullets. En route to Chicago with Lily, Durant despairs that Crane will ruin him. Lily chides Durant for self-pity, after which he develops a plan to mollify Crane with a stock tip. In Chicago, Durant tells Crane he'll make a fortune if he buys R&R stock. Lily visits Robert's family and receives a cold greeting from his sister, who blames Lily for Robert's death. Lily recounts her ordeal to the room in gory detail as Durant watches.
A posse led by two of The Swede's henchmen begins a shootout with Cullen and Elam. Toole maneuvers himself in front of Elam, who has counted bullets and realizes that Toole's gun is empty. Elam shoots Toole in the mouth. Durant makes millions by purchasing the M&M Railroad instead of the R&R and visits Crane to gloat over his financial ruin. On the return trip to Hell on Wheels, Durant stuns Lily by courting her. Indians sabotage the tracks and derail the train ahead of Durant's, killing and wounding many passengers. Cullen, Elam, and Joseph join a response party led by Lieutenant Griggs of the U.S. Army. When a Union soldier is discovered hanging mutilated from a tree, Griggs blames the incident on Chief Many Horses, but Joseph insists that it's the work of Pawnee Killer. In despair over the train attack, Reverend Cole begins drinking again. Ruth accuses him of getting drunk and beating her mother. Ruth smacks her father and tells him that she isn't afraid of him. To assert her independence, Lily moves out of Durant's Pullman and into a tent near the cathouse. Lily and Eva describe their experiences with Indians to each other.
The Swede tells Durant he can prove that Cullen is a killer, but Durant doesn't care, calling Cullen "an agent of progress." Cheyenne braves attack Griggs' search party with arrows, guns and tomahawks and are met with gunfire. Joseph rescues Griggs, then chases and kills Pawnee Killer. With the Indians defeated, Elam slices a few scalps and claims the bounty from Durant. Impressed, Durant hints of future "tasks" for Elam. Now flush with cash, Elam asks Eva "to be mine, none other." Toole arrives at camp, miraculously still alive, and begs forgiveness from Eva and Elam. Joseph performs a burial ritual for Pawnee Killer. Chief Many Horses acknowledges that Pawnee Killer needed to be stopped. "I killed my own brother," Joseph later weeps to Ruth, who comforts him with a kiss that he returns. The railroad crew meets the government deadline for laying 40 miles of track. Durant expresses his gratitude by alerting Cullen to The Swede's summoning of Federal Marshals to arrest Cullen for murder. Griggs tells Cole he intends to kill Joseph. Cole grabs Griggs' saber and slices off Griggs' head. Durant asks Lily to assume her "fair-haired maiden of the West" persona to impress investors attending a dance to celebrate the track-laying milestone.
After Durant promises a continuing role for Lily with the railroad, she plays her part convincingly. Elam tells Eva he's not ready for marriage but at the dance becomes outraged to find Toole dancing with her. Eva says that she and Toole have decided to stay behind and settle down together. Meanwhile, Sean and Mickey incite the townsfolk to tar and feather The Swede. Cullen hunts down Harper and strangles him, only to realize that he was innocent. After briefly watching Lily with Durant at the dance, Cullen flees town on horseback. The next day The Swede comes across a poster offering a $250 bounty for Cullen's capture.
The first season has eight series regulars.
- Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier who is determined to avenge the deaths of his son and his wife, Mary. (10 episodes)
- Colm Meaney as Thomas "Doc" Durant, a businessman and investor in the First Transcontinental Railroad, where he hopes to make his fortune. (10 episodes)
- Common as Elam Ferguson, a recently freed slave who is trying to find his place in the world. He works as security and general assistant to Bohannon. (10 episodes)
- Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell, a recent widow; her husband was a surveyor working on the transcontinental rail project. (10 episodes)
- Tom Noonan as Reverend Nathaniel Cole, a minister who formerly participated in Bleeding Kansas prior to the Civil War; he is sick of the slaughter and wants to help the whites and Indians avoid another war. (10 episodes)
- Eddie Spears as Joseph Black Moon, a Cheyenne who must choose between the new world and the traditions of his ancestors. (10 episodes)
- Ben Esler as Seán McGinnes, an ambitious young Irishman looking to make his fortune in the West. (10 episodes)
- Phil Burke as Mickey McGinnes, Seán's brother, who has travelled with Seán to America. (10 episodes)
- Christopher Heyerdahl as Thor Gundersen, also known as "the Swede" (9 episodes)
- Robin McLeavy as Eva (8 episodes)
- Duncan Ollerenshaw as Mr. Gregory Toole (7 episodes)
- Diego Diablo Del Mar as Dix (7 episodes)
- Dohn Norwood as Psalms (6 episodes)
- James D. Hopkins as Senator Jordan Crane (6 episodes)
- Gerald Auger as Pawnee Killer (6 episodes)
- Kasha Kropinski as Ruth (5 episodes)
- April Telek as Nell (5 episodes)
- Ian Tracey as Bolan (5 episodes)
- James Dugan as Carl (3 episodes)
- Wes Studi as Chief Many Horses (3 episodes)
- Randy Birch as Deuce (3 episodes)
- Andrew Moodie as Henri (3 episodes)
- Robert Moloney as Robert Bell (2 episodes)
- Ian Kilburn as Frank Harper (2 episodes)
- Ty Olsson as Griggs (2 episodes)
- Tom Carey as Buckton Prescott (2 episodes)
- Jesse Lipscombe as William (1 episode)
- Ted Levine as Daniel Johnson (1 episode)
On November 8, 2011, co-creator Joe Gayton spoke of the series' origins. "We [Tony and I] started talking and remembered this story, American Experience, which was this really great documentary, and I thought, 'God, that’s great. I just learned a bunch of stuff I had never learned before.' You just have this cursory information that the Chinese and the Irish built the railroad, but it got in underneath all the dirt and stuff that went on, with the financing of it, and the greed and corruption. And then, I heard about this Hell on Wheels place and I went, 'What a great setting for a western.' So, we pitched that to Jeremy Gold [at Endemol] and ended up taking it to AMC, and they loved it," he said.
Hell on Wheels was created by Joe and Tony Gayton in late 2008, and Endemol USA's scripted television division, headed by senior vice president of original programming Jeremy Gold, came on board to develop the series for AMC. On May 18, 2010, AMC placed a pilot order for Hell on Wheels with Endemol USA. Joe and Tony Gayton wrote the pilot, David Von Ancken was attached to the project as director, with Jeremy Gold, Joe Gayton and Tony Gayton serving as executive producers. On July 6, 2010, Endemol USA announced that they had entered into a partnership with Entertainment One, who would serve as the production studio on the project. Part of the deal between the two companies included provisions of international distribution, with Endemol retaining rights to the series across Europe, while Entertainment One acquired rights to Hell on Wheels in all remaining territories. As a result of the deal, Entertainment One also holds global rights for DVD and Blu-ray sales, as well as video-on-demand and other digital distribution services. The Canadian production company Nomadic Pictures was brought onto the project to serve as co-producers alongside Entertainment One. The pilot was delivered to AMC executives in November 2010. On November 12, 2010 it was reported by Deadline that the executives at AMC were impressed with the pilot, and, coupled with the fact that the network had just cancelled their drama series, Rubicon, were likely to order Hell on Wheels to series.
On December 15, 2010, AMC green-lighted the series with an order of 10 episodes. Along with the series pickup, AMC announced that Nomadic Pictures would again co-produce the series, as they had done for the pilot, with Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes joining the series as producers while John Shiban and David Von Ancken joined the series as executive producers; Von Ancken had previously served as director on the pilot. The network also announced that John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg would oversee production for Entertainment One, while Joel Stillerman and Susie Fitzgerald would oversee production for AMC.
Filming of the first season took place in Calgary, as well as areas in central and southern Alberta, Canada. The T'suu T'ina Native Indian Reservation, an Indian reserve in southern Alberta, was the location for most of the exteriors.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|1||1||"Pilot"||David Von Ancken||Tony Gayton & Joe Gayton||November 6, 2011||101||4.36|
|In 1865, former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) journeys to the Union Pacific Railroad's westward construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad to seek work and vengeance on the Union soldiers who killed his wife. Thomas "Doc" Durant (Colm Meaney) begins his "mad, noble quest" to expand his railroad westward. Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott), accompanies her ailing husband Robert (Robert Moloney) as he surveys the landscape for the Union Pacific. Their camp is attacked by Cheyenne braves and all are killed except Lily, who flees into the wilderness with maps that are essential to Durant's success. Reverend Nathaniel Cole (Tom Noonan) baptizes Joseph Black Moon (Eddie Spears), a Cheyenne, in the Missouri River. The two later arrive at Hell on Wheels, the name for the mobile camp that follows the railroad westward.|
|2||2||"Immoral Mathematics"||David Von Ancken||Tony Gayton & Joe Gayton||November 13, 2011||102||3.84|
|Cullen fights for his life as he answers to the Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) for his deadly actions. Lily struggles to survive in the wilderness, as Durant attempts to spin tragedy for political gain. Joseph tracks down the Cheyenne braves responsible for a massacre - one of whom is his own brother (Gerald Auger). Cullen escapes the captivity of the Swede and goes to Durant's office, where he asks for Johnson's job as the foreman. Durant gradually accepts, despite Cullen's having fought for the South during the Civil War.|
|3||3||"A New Birth of Freedom"||Phil Abraham||John Shiban||November 20, 2011||103||3.52|
|Cullen resumes his quest for vengeance by learning the name of one of the men responsible for his wife's death. His plans change when he crosses paths with Lily and Joseph. She has been wounded from a Cheyenne attack on her camp that also killed her husband. Joseph has been seeking answers from his former tribe, including his own brother, about the savage attack. Elam (Common) is approached by his fellow freeman about not doing his share of the work. Durant telegraphs Senator Crane (James D. Hopkin), appealing for federal troops to help with the natives. Crane wires back his dissent about the troop request, the pacing of the construction, and Robert Bell's murder.|
|4||4||"Jamais Je Ne T'oublierai"||Alex Zakrzewski||Jami O'Brien||November 27, 2011||104||3.28|
|Cullen searches for the man known only as "Harper", one of the men who murdered his wife. Lily arrives at Hell On Wheels to learn more about Durant, her deceased husband's employer, and his railroad. Elam finds solace in the arms of another social outcast, Eva (Robin McLeavy), a prostitute.|
|5||5||"Bread and Circuses"||Adam Davidson||Mark Richard||December 4, 2011||105||2.70|
|Reverend Cole and Joseph travel into Cheyenne territory in hopes of a peace talk, while Joseph's brother endures a native ritual. Rev. Cole's daughter Ruth (Kasha Kropinski) arrives in camp. Lily and Durant continue to discuss the future of the railroad construction as Durant deals with financial problems, such as, no payroll. Cullen and crewman Elam settle their differences in a public fight. Lily reveals to Durant that she has the maps.|
|6||6||"Pride, Pomp, and Circumstance"||Michael Slovis||Bruce Marshall Romans||December 11, 2011||106||2.15|
|Senator Crane arrives in town for an arranged peace talk with the Cheyenne, and to discuss the Union Pacific Railroad's future with Durant. The Swede informs on Durant's financial doings to Senator Crane. Cullen is put in charge of security while the natives are in town. He prevents Lily from causing a scene, after she spots a female native wearing Lily's dead husband's hat. Cullen and the Swede prevents Mr. Toole (Duncan Ollerenshaw) and his gang from following the natives out of town and killing them. As a way of encouraging peace, Durant allows Pawnee Killer (Gerald Auger) the chance to race a locomotive on horseback. The Cheyenne visitors leave without agreeing to peace. Lily gives the maps to Durant after seeing the Native Indian with her dead husband's hat knowing that the railroad will destroy the Native Indians.|
|7||7||"Revelations"||Michelle MacLaren||Tony Gayton & Joe Gayton||December 18, 2011||107||2.27|
|Durant and Lily travel by train to Chicago, for different reasons — he, to further discuss the railroad with Senator Crane; she, to meet with her deceased husband's family. The Swede plants the idea that Lily fancies Durant. Since Mr. Toole and his the Irish gang can't attack the departing Cheyenne, they look for the "Indian" whore Eva and find her in Elam's tent. Elam defends Eva so they grab him instead and intend to kill him for sport. Cullen interferes and helps him escape. The Swede persuades the men to pursue Bohannon.|
|8||8||"Derailed"||David Von Ancken||Mark Richard||January 1, 2012||108||2.51|
|A train is derailed by the Cheyenne and Durant orders Cullen to lead a team to track them. Lily moves out of Durant's coach and into her own tent beside the brothel, which allows her to become fast friends with Eva. Tension mounts for Cullen's team in the pursuit of the renegade Indian tribe.|
|9||9||"Timshel"||John Shiban||John Shiban||January 8, 2012||109||2.29|
|Cullen and the search party find the Cheyenne who attacked the surveyor's camp and later derailed a train. Elam and Eva discuss their future, before getting a strange visit from a dead man. The railroad crew reaches the important 40-mile mark.|
|10||10||"God of Chaos"||David Von Ancken||Tony Gayton & Joe Gayton||January 15, 2012||110||2.84|
|Durant and Lily conspire to gain arriving investors' interests, after she pleads for Cullen to not let his vengeful path ruin him. Sean (Ben Esler) and Mickey McGinnes (Phil Burke) exact their own revenge on the Swede. Elam and Eva each begin to see the future differently. Cullen tracks down the elusive Sergeant Harper (Ian Kilburn).|
Hell On Wheels ' first season received "generally favorable" reviews from critics. Metacritic gave it a score of 63 out of 100 based on 27 reviews. The Washington Post 's Hank Stuever rated the show highly, commenting, "Hands down, the most intriguing show on the fall slate. Though imbued with epic sweep, 'Hell on Wheels' is a western at heart, even if that heart is cold. Plenty of guns, knives, arrows, scalpings – mixed with the incendiary socio-psychological wounds left in the Civil War’s wake." Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times says the show "takes its cues more from the movies than from life ... Still, for all the unlikely things [the creators] make happen in order to get their characters into place, and the dogged refusal of a couple of those characters to become interesting at all, the show gathers steam as it goes on." The Wall Street Journal 's Nancy Dewolf Smith considers the series "like a bag of unpolished stones ... Despite striking performances even in many of the smaller roles, the actors sometimes are made to symbolize very modern obsessions, e.g., with race and gender." Brian Lowry of Variety thinks "while the diverse mix of characters could work to the program's advantage over the long haul, jumping to and fro among them creates a diluted, herky-jerky ride in the early going."
The pilot premiered on November 6. 2011. It was watched by 4.4 million viewers – AMC’s second-highest series premiere in history, following The Walking Dead. Among key demographics, the pilot episode delivered 2.4 million viewers in adults 18–49. Among adults 25–54, it delivered 2.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The total viewership bested network slot rivals CSI: Miami or Pan Am. The sixth episode was watched by 2.15 million viewers, the lowest viewership of the first season and had a 0.6 rating with the 18-49 age range. The viewership numbers eventually rebounded with the season one finale being watched by 2.84 million viewers and maintained its steady 0.7 rating with the 18-49 age range. In January 2012, following the season one finale, AMC put out a press release confirming Hell on Wheels as the network's second-highest rated original series behind The Walking Dead, averaging three million viewers per episode.
Home media release
DVD and Blu-ray sets
In May 2012, AMC released the first season of Hell on Wheels in DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats. Entitled "Hell on Wheels - The Complete 1st Season", the package includes three discs that contain all 10 episodes; extras such as "Recreating the Past: The Making of Hell on Wheels", "Crashing a Train: From Concept to Camera"; and episode, character, and making-of featurettes; as well as behind-the-scenes footage.
In August 2012, the network released the soundtrack from the first season, featuring the Emmy-nominated theme song by Gustavo Santaolalla and music by Kevin Kiner. It is only available on iTunes for now.
- Hell on Wheels Theme
- Weak of Heart
- Cullen the Hero
- Survey Lily
- Going to Church
- Ruth and Joseph Kiss
- Black Powder is Here
- Searching Johnson's Tent
- Elam Victorious
- Drink to Feed Fire
- Powder Go Boom
- Raiding the Camp
- Going Hunting
- Railroad Gave Us Freedom
- Don't Know the Bible
- Explosion Aftermath
- Building a Town
- Cullen Escapes
- The Sacrifice is Over
- Grow Old and Die Together
- It's All Over Now
- Durant Suggests a Race
- Townspeople Return
- Well Done Elam
- Ruth Goes to the Fight
- Bridge of Bodies
- Stay Home With Elam
- Looking for Frank Harper
- Pepper Juice
- And They're Off
- Lily Does Some Sewing
- Men Like Us
- Authors of Their Destruction
- Hell on Wheels Theme (extended version)
- Gorman, Bill (January 18, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Kourtney & Kim' Take The Crown + 'Cajun Pawn Stars, Atlanta 'Housewives,' 'Mob Wives 2,' 'Hell On Wheels' 'Leverage,' 'Shameless' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Radish, Christina (November 8, 2011). "Creators/Executive Producers Joe and Tony Gayton Talk HELL ON WHEELS". Collider.com. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- Schneider, Michael (December 16, 2008). "USA unveils major TV plans". Variety. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 18, 2010). "Endemol AMC Orders Western Pilot From Endemol USA". Deadline. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 6, 2010). "E1 To Produce & David Von Ancken To Direct AMC Pilot 'Hell On Wheels'". Deadline. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (November 12, 2010). "The Cancellation Of AMC's 'Rubicon' Opens The Door For 'Hell On Wheels'". Deadline. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (December 15, 2010). "It's Official: AMC Picks Up Period Drama Pilot 'Hell On Wheels' To Series". Deadline. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Mittovich, Matt (December 15, 2010). "Hell, Yeah: AMC Orders Post-Civil War Drama". TVLine. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "AMC Greenlights "Hell on Wheels" To Full Series Order". AMC. December 15, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- "AMC Announces Production On New Series 'Hell on Wheels'". AMC. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Wilton, Lisa (July 6, 2010). "New TV series to be filmed in Calgary". Calgary Sun. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- Miller, Gerri (November 2, 2011). "The greening of 'Hell on Wheels'". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- Seidman, Robert (November 8, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead,' 'Hell On Wheels' Lead AMC + 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (November 15, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Stays On Top + 'Housewives Atl,' 'Hell On Wheels,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (November 22, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Stays On Top + NASCAR Championship, 'Housewives ATL,' 'Hell On Wheels,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (November 29, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Goes Out on Top + Kardashians, 'Housewives' 'Soul Train Awards,' 'Hell On Wheels,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (December 6, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: Kourtney & Kim Top The Night + 'Housewives Atlanta,' 'Hell On Wheels,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (December 13, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: Kourtney & Kim Top 'Housewives Atlanta' + ' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Bag of Bones,' 'Homeland,' 'Dexter' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (December 20, 2011). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Housewives Atlanta' Top 'Kourtney & Kim' + 'Dexter,' 'Homeland,' 'Iron Chef,' 'Real Deal' Finales & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (January 4, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Kourtney & Kim' Take New Year's + 'Mob Wives 2,' 'Rachael vs. Guy,' 'Leverage' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Seidman, Robert (January 10, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: Kardashians Rule, Oprah Drools? + Atlanta 'Housewives,' 'Cajun Pawn Stars,' 'Mob Wives 2,' 'Rachael vs. Guy,' 'Leverage,' 'Shameless' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
- Hell on Wheels: Season 1,Metacritic
- Stuever, Hank.2011 TV season: Few smooth takeoffs, many bumpy arrivals, Washington Post, September 20, 2011.
- Lloyd, Robert. 'Hell on Wheels' review: It takes a while to get chugging along, Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2011.
- Smith, Nancy Dewolf. "Tales of the Old West", Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2011.
- Lowry, Brian. Hell on Wheels, Variety, November 3, 2011.
- Adalian, Josef.Hell on Wheels’ Ratings, NY Mag, November 7, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (January 18, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Kourtney & Kim' Take The Crown + 'Cajun Pawn Stars, Atlanta 'Housewives,' 'Mob Wives 2,' 'Hell On Wheels' 'Leverage,' 'Shameless' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Lacey, Gord (May 11, 2012). "Hell on Wheels - The Complete 1st Season Review". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- "Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music 2012". emmys.com. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- Shaw, Ashley (August 10, 2012). "Hell on Wheels Season 1 Soundtrack Now Available Online". AMCTV.com. Retrieved August 10, 2012.