Before Rick Grimes and company return in October for the sixth season of AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead, fans eager to see more walkers have something else to look forward to in July.
Set within the same universe as the widely popular zombie apocalypse show, Fear the Walking Dead premieres this summer on the same network. With new characters and locations, this spinoff has a lot of potential to expand the world of The Walking Dead, which all began in the pages of Robert Kirkman’s comic books.
With Kirkman serving as co-creator and executive producer, here are five things we want to see him and his crew deliver in this series.
A Real Sense of Horror
Scaring audiences today is no doubt a difficult task, mainly because 21st century viewers are so accustomed to horror tactics in both film and television. This especially rings true for Walking Dead fans, as we are so used to brutal zombie violence and watching our favorite characters get mutilated that it no longer fazes us.
Fear the Walking Dead has the potential to deliver that terror element in light of when it takes place. Producers of the show have stated that it will take place in L.A. at the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse.
What I want from this show is for it to deliver the same feeling as the George A. Romero films. It was there at the beginning of The Walking Dead, but has since then dwindled. If this spinoff can really live up to its title, I’ll be more than pleased.
Depict a Global Response
This is something the producers have promised. With Fear the Walking Dead set at the start of the outbreak, viewers will be able to see how fast the virus spreads and how the world reacts. Everything from the military and government to the media will collapse, and I am eager to see exactly how it all unfolds.
The L.A. setting also has a lot of potential here, as The Walking Dead takes place in Georgia. I’m interested to see how a zombie outbreak brings about the demise of a highly populated city. Max Brooks’ novel World War Z portrays this to great effect (though I can’t say the same thing about the movie), and I hope that this show will do an equally impressive job here.
A Look at the Cause of the Outbreak
While fans of this universe are more than familiar with the nature of walkers and the gruesome process of humans transforming into these flesh-eating creatures, The Walking Dead has yet to reveal the cause of the zombie virus. Is it even a virus? Or is there something mysteriously supernatural at the heart of all this?
I highly doubt the latter is the reason, but the limited information we have invites all kinds of speculation. Given the timeline of Fear the Walking Dead and the fact that it has already been green lighted for two seasons, I hope that Kirkman and the show’s other co-creator Dave Erickson (Low Winter Sun) won’t shy away from exploring the genesis of the outbreak at some point.
I need not remind Walking Dead fans of the soap opera melodrama which made up the bulk of season two, when Rick and Shane were at each other’s throats on Hershel’s farmland. Fortunately, the current showrunner Scott M. Gimple has rescued the series from the Days of Our Lives feel that once plagued it.
Yet, as the show has progressed, the existentialist themes have only become more prevalent. While this is befitting for a show that takes place in a world where characters watch loved ones die on a daily basis, it won’t be necessary for the spinoff. Keep in mind that, in Fear the Walking Dead, the zombies will be entirely new for its characters. Hence it is only natural for them to be afraid, not dwelling on existentialist thoughts and conversations.
Cameos From Walking Dead Characters
While I look forward to the spinoff focusing on new characters and storylines, I can’t help but cross my fingers that Daryl and Merle will make an appearance somewhere down the line. Since this pair’s origin remains mostly unexplored, it would be cool if they crossed paths with the characters in Fear.
And given that the spinoff’s protagonist is a high school guidance counselor played by Kim Dickens (Gone Girl), the lineup for the new team suggests that they could use a few pointers from someone with combat experience. This is not to say that they won’t be strong enough to handle swarms of walkers, but at the same time I would not be opposed to one or more characters from the parent series coming in the form of a deus ex machina at some point.
Especially since AMC’s other spinoff series Better Call Saul is bringing back Walt and Jessie from Breaking Bad in its second season, it would be a fun jest for Walking Dead fans if the new series overlapped with the original.
While details about Fear the Walking Dead are still fuzzy, I do hope that it will live up to its predecessor. With another part of this universe to explore, I am anticipating seeing the zombie apocalypse unfold this summer.
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