The Walker prequel is set in an 1800s Texas town where nothing is what it seems.
If you’re a western fan who doesn’t cotton to the notion of paying extra for cable or streaming — and judging from posts on our Facebook page, there’s quite a few of you out there — we have some great news. It was confirmed this week that, for the first time in two decades, a traditional western series will air for free (with commercials, of course) on broadcast TV: Walker: Independence, a prequel to Walker — the popular Walker, Texas Ranger reboot starring Jared Padalecki — is set to premiere during the 2022-2023 season on the CW network.
Padalecki is an executive producer for the series, which is set in the late 1880s and focuses on Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara of Arrow and Shadowhunters), an affluent Bostonian whose husband is murdered before her eyes while on their journey out West. On her quest for revenge, Abby crosses paths with Hoyt Rawlins (Matt Barr of Hatfields & McCoys and Blood & Treasure), a lovable rogue in search of purpose.
Abby and Hoyt’s journey takes them to Independence, Texas, a place where nothing is what it seems — and where they encounter an eclectic collection of residents who are running from their own troubled pasts and chasing their dreams. While interacting with the diverse citizenry, Abby and Hoyt gradually become agents of change in the small town.
Faithful viewers of Walker will note that actor Matt Barr (pictured above) played another character named Hoyt Rawlins during the first season of that series. He didn’t make it to Season 2, however, because — well, let’s just say his character was written out of the show. As the Deadline showbiz website reported: “It is unclear how the 1800s Abby Walker and Hoyt Rawlins are related to the present day’s Abeline Walker (Molly Hagan) and her sons, Cordell Walker (Padalecki) and Liam Walker (Keegan Allen), as well as Cordell’s best friend Hoyt Rawlins (Barr), but Barr’s casting hints at a direct link between 2020s and 1800s Hoyt.”
(Any resemblance to the link between Yellowstone and 1883 is, presumably, only coincidental.)
Other series regulars include Greg Hovanessian as Tom Davidson, the untrustworthy sheriff of Independence; Philemon Chambers as Gus, a deputy who keeps his feelings about his boss to himself; Lawrence Kao as Kai, a former railroad worker who has settled into a new life while running the local laundry; and Katie Findlay as Kate, a federal agent who’s posing as a burlesque dancer while investigating the secret workings of Independence.
Stay tuned for further developments.