It's been almost a year since it last aired, but come Saturday (June 11), AMC's hit western "Hell On Wheels" will begin its final ride on the network. There are a lot of loose ends the series needs to tie up. Will Cullen Bohannon and Durant end up finding common ground, burying their conflicts behind them? Possibly. The same, we hope, won't be the same with The Swede.
There's many details up in the air but one bit of information we know to be true is the Central Pacific Railroad succeeds at finishing this stretch of the transcontinental railroad. In the above Zap2it exclusive clip, co-executive producer Jami O'Brien and series star Anson Mount discuss the historical importance of the project's completion, shedding light on the meaning behind the golden spike.
"They built that railroad in four years. It's pretty amazing," O'Brien says. Mount's comments further highlight how impactful this feat was: "Finishing this project was the 19th-century equivalent of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon." Further driving the point home, O'Brien says, "It changed the world. It changed our conception of time. It changed everything."
In a time before telephones and the Internet, the Central Pacific came up with a unique way to get the news out upon completion of the track. A 24-karat gold spike was to be the final spike drilled into the rail. Hooked up to a circuit, the spike sent out a signal when it was hit. All the news outlets in the country awaited the noise of the circuit being cut to signify the moment of the projects end.
Ending the segment, O'Brien smiles at the historic moment: "They just sent out a single word that everyone across America got at the same time, which was: 'Done'."