More details on Fear the Walking Dead; characters, crossovers, and more
The Walking Dead is one of the biggest shows on TV so obviously that means that we'll be getting a sequel in the form of Fear the Walking Dead. The new drama, which is being called a "companion" series, will fill in the blanks of the early days of the zombie outbreak but will stop short of actually giving us an explanation as to what caused it.
Fear the Walking Dead show-runner Dave Erickson spoke with THR about the new series and dropped several new tidbits including that Fear the Walking Dead will be more of a parallel series than a straight-up prequel.
We are loosely covering the period of time that [The Walking Dead's] Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was in his coma in season one. We're able to watch and experience the things that he missed. It's more of a parallel story than a prequel; imagine the opening where Rick gets shot and goes in his coma — that day was probably very close to our day one. We're playing out the idea of what was going on in the country and the world until he woke up, stepped outside and it's welcome to the apocalypse. That's why a "companion piece" has been the phrase used at the network. It's not a prequel in the sense of Better Call Saul, where we're jumping back six, seven years. It does tie very specifically into the pilot of the original. "Prequel" is not the right word; it's kind of its own strange, hybrid thing. I wish I had a better word.
Erickson also elaborated on the cast and how this outbreak might actually be the best thing for them:
It's about a family: Travis (Curtis) just moved in with his girlfriend Madison (Dickens) after they got married. She has two children, one of whom has some issues. Travis has a very pissed-off teenager and an ex-wife. You're talking about two people who, as the story opens, all they want is to bring their family together under one roof and make everyone whole. The irony for us is that the only thing that helps accomplish that is that the world ends. What's intriguing to me is to take these problems, which I think would make for a compelling drama, and put them in this much larger canvas and see how they play out. All of the issues that we establish, these are the things that in my head will come to fruition in seasons three, four, five and six. It forges an interesting introduction into this world. It's much more about the "shark" you don't see in season one.
We obviously play some of the tropes — and there are definitely walkers — but it's people trying to wrap their brain around what the hell is going on and not fully understanding the zombie apocalypse by act one. It's going through that process of the colleague or the friend you had coffee with the day before is now trying to kill you. And your first thought's going to be, "They're sick, they're on something." It takes a bit of time for everyone to wrap their brains around what this truly means.
As Fear the Walking Dead will occupy the same world as its predecessor, there's a question on whether or not we might see some of the original Walking Dead cast members putting in an appearance.
There's no plan for a crossover. I never considered seeing that in some way, shape or form; that show has been going on for five years since the original outbreak and we're just in the infancy [of the outbreak]. There are no plans to do so but I do think that's a world that could be explored at some point. There no plans for them to conflate, but I will say this: We are living under the same mythological umbrella. We are telling, ultimately, two parts of the larger story in this world that Robert has created. From a storytelling standpoint, I like the idea of conflating stories; I like the idea of things coming together. If that were ever to happen, it would not be for seasons to come, and there's no current plan to do so. But I do think there's something compelling and interesting about it, too.
While I still question whether or not we really need a Walking Dead companion series, I am relieved that they won't immediately be filling the show with characters we already know. If the series is going to succeed i'd much rather see it do so on its own two feet with minimal assistant from its older sibling. The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman spoke with IGN about many of the same topics but he did mention that the walkers of Fear the Walking Dead will look quite different from the walkers we're used to.
They’re not going to be as decayed and they’re not going to be as monstrous, which is going to make the violence in the show and the different things that happen that much more startling. Because we’re going to be dealing with a much more human walker. So while there is going to be a tremendous amount of paranoia and psychological trauma, I think there’s not going to be any loss of zombie action or excitement in this show. We’ll be bringing in the best of both worlds.
The first season of Fear the Walking Dead will be comprised of six episodes and debut on AMC this summer. Will you be checking it out?