USA’s New ‘Damnation’ Is A Brilliantly Wicked Thrill Ride

Chris Large/USA Network

Buckle up, for this is TV at its best. Rich in relevancy to our current times but set in the 1930s American heartland, USA Network’s Damnation comes from Longmire’s Tony Tost, who wrote and created the can’t-turn-away saga starring Killian Scott and Logan Marshall-Green.

In equally juicy roles, Scott plays Seth Davenport, a roving preacher using his pulpit for politics and inciting downtrodden farmers of Iowa to stand up against the wealthy bankers and store owners, and Marshall-Green plays the malevolent, emotionless Creeley Turner, hired by a tycoon to stop the uprising using any means necessary. The two, however, share a secret bloody past that’s painfully palpable when they finally do meet onscreen.

“Seth knows about who Creeley once was, and also about what happened,” Marshall-Green teases. “An event happens in their lives that shatters them. … It’s a lot of their past that you should not understand, but you should feel in that moment. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The yin and yang of these two will start to really show.

“We’re filming in Calgary, which is kind of the Wild West Texas of Canada and is arguably one of the more beautiful places when it comes to scope and landscape that you can find,” adds Marshall-Green on his way to the set. “It feels so great to play these epic Steinbeckian characters of the Great Depression and the ’30s and the industrial age, [but] it’s also a trap because you don’t want to get lost in the cool.”

And while cool clearly defines Creeley, you’re not quite sure who really is the hero in this story, and that’s a good thing.

Coming off his mesmerizing role in Cinemax’s series Quarry, Marshall-Green credits his thespian parents for exposing him and his twin brother to the world of arts. “My father actually taught my mom at the University of South Carolina, and my mom would go on to become quite a well-respected professor at Brown University. … I was a theater brat. A little theater Brown brat. … I have a real respect for theater, and when I got out of school, I thought that’s all I was going to do. TV and film was such a lottery win.”

There’s no doubt that Damnation will continue Marshall-Green’s winning streak. Damnation airs on USA Network Tuesdays beginning Nov. 7 at 10/9c.