With all the interest in the Civil War being
generated by the sesquicentennial, it is not surprising that the History
Channel is planning a new mini-series based on actual events from that
time. What is surprising is what it will be about--and the location
where it will be filmed.
The new show,
The Moccasin Rangers, is
County’s most memorable
band of Civil War volunteers. The History Channel is hoping this show
will be able to ride on the coattails of last year’s hit mini-series,
The Hatfields and McCoys.
The show’s producer, Geoff Alsinger, said that he
first heard about the Moccasin Rangers when his 12-year-old son told him
about seeing a video on You Tube.
“He called me into his room and said he had an idea
for a new show. He showed me the video titled ‘Legends and Lore’ and I
was stunned. There it was, everything was perfectly in place, a small
village that looked just like it would have in the 1860s, and the people
in the video were so convincing in their roles that I couldn’t believe
that they were just volunteers from the local Historical Society and not
professional actors,” said Alsinger.
“Not to be name dropping, but Brad Pitt has already
expressed interest in playing the role of Perry Conley. We are currently
writing the screenplay, and I cannot tell you how excited I am about the
story lines we have uncovered here.
“Everything you need for a good series is here,
love, betrayal, intrigue, retribution. I mean there is even a ‘femme
fatale’ in this story, with Confederate spy, Nancy Hart. She was an
amazing woman with a story that could span several weeks just about her.
“I truly believe that this could be even a bigger
hit than Hatfields and McCoys, because it is a much more encompassing
story with more plot twists than Rt. 16. If anybody reading this wonders
what that last bit is in reference too, go to
County and drive Rt. 16
from one end of the county to the other. It is one the twistiest roads I
have ever been on,” explained Alsinger.
He said that any credit due for this story being
brought to life should go to the Calhoun Historical Society for its
production of Legends and Lore and the extensive research that went into
their portrayal of the characters.
He said that at least one character, Shadrack
Badgett, would be played by the original actor, Historical Society
president Robert Bonar, who was so convincing in the role that you could
believe he was actually the character he was portraying.
When asked for a comment, Bonar said, “Now that I
am retired, I guess I have time to take on a new career, although I am
not so sure that my wife Karen wants me to run off to
and hang out with Brad Pitt.”
The show will begin filming sometime in May and the
producers will be here in mid-April to audition local people to be cast
as extras on the show. They may be hiring as many as 150 to play the
parts of villagers and soldiers.
The 12-part mini-series is due to air this fall,
with a weeklong premiere.