From Hand of God to Monsters of God … coincidence or infatuation? Honestly, as long as we get to see Garret Dillahunt on our screens, do we really care?
Of course not. While we’ve fiddled around, waiting for his triumphant return as broken, redemption-seeking peacemaker, KD in Amazon’s Hand of God (returning for its second and final season in 2017), Dillahunt’s signed on for the next in his line of darker roles. He’ll play a violent, bloodthirsty leader in Rod Lurie’s (Straw Dogs , The Contender) pilot about a post-Civil War military man on an unsanctioned mission. Though Colonel “Terrible” Bill Lancaster (Dillahunt) has just been stationed at a military base in Texas, tasked with making peace with the local Comanche tribe, he has his own nasty motives in mind. Driven by religious beliefs, Lancaster intends to wipe out every member of the tribe (hmm … still got a little John Henry in ya there, I see, Colonel). His wife, Cynthia (as yet uncast) has her own agenda to bring feminist ideals to their new hometown, even if it means aligning with the Comanche women (these people are going to need a good marriage counselor).
Adding to the mix will be American Crime‘s Caitlin Gerard as Ayasha, a Comanche woman taken by Terrible Bill (presumably previously captured by the Comanche, since she’s actually white). Ayasha wisely refuses to speak to or cooperate with Lancaster and, from the sound of things, I’d expect her to end up working with Cynthia Lancaster against Bill.
Interestingly, a search to discover if there was a historical Bill Lancaster turned up two strange stories. One is of actor Burt Lancaster’s son, Bill, who did a little bit of acting, but is best known for writing John Carpenter’s The Thing screenplay. Unfortunately, he died (on his wife’s birthday) of cardiac arrest at only 49. The second Bill Lancaster was a British aviator who, after in making one of the longest flights of the time (1927) in a small aircraft — from England to Australia — moved to the U.S. with his wife; he’d been promised a movie about him would be made. That never happened, so he sold plane engines, but after discovering his wife was having an affair, this Bill Lancaster murdered the other fella, made it look like a suicide, and managed to get acquitted. He and his wife moved back to Britain, where Lancaster promptly went back to flying, attempting to break a speed record. He crash-landed, was lost in the Sahara desert with no water or food, and died after eight days (missed by search parties).
So, uh, good luck to you, Terrible Bill Lancaster (well, not really, since you’re a racist murderer). Third time’s a … shoot, I don’t even know what. Good luck, living!
TNT’s EVP of Programming calls Monsters of God “our version of a Western, chock-full of violence, sex and insane characters” (so, Westworld II?), and we do look forward to once again watching Dillahunt do his very bad guy thing. Lurie, a former air defense artillery officer and avid Comanche War researcher, wrote and will direct the pilot, expected to air in 2017.