July 29, 2013
AMC's 'Hell on Wheels' and Upcoming Scripted Series 'Low Winter Sun'
By Kaylee Hultgren
Following its “Breaking Bad” panel
, AMC presented two more scripted shows at the Television Critics Association press tour in LA: “Hell on Wheels,” entering its third season August 10, and the new “Low Winter Sun,” premiering August 11. Like actor Bryan Cranston shared in the previous panel, Hell on Wheels lead Anson Mount prefers not to know about his character’s changes too far ahead of time. “I don’t really want to know what’s coming up any more than I want to know what’s coming next week for my own life,” he said. Common felt similarly: “It’s great to just know that you’re working with a great team, and that you have confidence in the writers, and that your future, whatever it brings to you, you have to deal with it as an actor,” he said. Showrunner John Wirth, on the other hand, has to do some planning. “We’ve leaned into the serialized nature of it a lot this season," he said. “You need to have a road map.” Paraphrasing a famous military general he added, “You would be crazy to go into battle without a battle plan, and you’d be crazy to stick to it once the battle starts. And that’s kind of what it’s like writing a season of television.”
“Low Winter Sun” is based on a British miniseries of the same name, and stars Mark Strong as a Detroit-based detective who is assigned to investigate a murder that he himself committed. This is Strong’s second go at the role, having originated it in the British version. Why tackle it once more? “Normally you play a part, you put it to bed, it’s done. The idea that you can resurrect a character seven or eight years later, move him from Edinburgh to Detroit, was too fascinating a creative opportunity, I think, to let go by.” The culture of a cop in Edinburgh is very different than in Detroit, he said, which added an extra element the cast could run with. On whether or not this will be similar to HBO’s “The Wire,” showrunner Chris Mundy welcomed the comparison. “It’s really a benchmark,” he said. If people decide they did for Detroit what The Wire did for Baltimore, “that would be the highest compliment,” he said. “If they feel like we’re stealing their playbook, then we didn’t do a good job.”