Here's why Hell On Wheels recast Naomi Bohannon for season 4. Hell On Wheels is an acclaimed AMC Western series that debuted in 2011. The show stars Anson Mount (Star Trek: Discovery) as Cullen, a former Confederate soldier seeking revenge for his murdered wife and child. The role was something of a breakthrough for Mount, who previously appeared in various movies and TV shows like Jason Statham's Safe, Non-Stop and Dollhouse.
Anson was perfectly cast in Hell On Wheels, but when the show came to an end after five seasons in 2016, he had the misfortune of signing on for the Inhuman's TV series, which after receiving universally bad reviews was canceled after just one season. He later received great notices for his performance as Captain Christopher Pike during season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery. Pike was the original captain of the Enterprise, with Mount playing a younger version of the character who encounters the crew of the Discovery.
Hell On Wheels season 3 found Mount's Cullen meeting Naomi Hatch, a young Mormon woman, and they later sleep together in a barn. This creates awkwardness when circumstances found Cullen having to hang her brother Jeb, which becomes even awkwardier when she later reveals she's pregnant with his child. He proposes and the pair quickly get married, though it's clear they're far from an ideal match.
Actress Siobhan Williams (Deadly Class) played Naomi Bohannon during Hell On Wheels season 3, but when she became busy working on ABC series Black Box, schedule conflicts meant the show had to recast the role. MacKenzie Porter was brought on to play Naomi in season 4, with the actress having previously appeared on shows like Supernatural and Blackstone. The showrunners also sought to cast somebody who looked a little older and taller, since they felt Sibohan Willaims looked too young compared to Anson Mount.
This dynamic works well for their relationship in Hell On Wheels season 4, where Naomi gives birth to their son William. Naturally, their marriage is far from smooth, and in season 5 Cullen would have to bid farewell to his wife and child to keep them safe. Hell On Wheels was a dark, gritty drama, but the Naomi storyline brought out a more emotional side from the taciturn Cullen. While there were some rumors of a spinoff following season 5, there hasn't been any sign of a new series since the show came to the end of the line in 2016.