The New (Dead) Guys in Town


Digging up information about AMC’s next installment in zombie television has been a little difficult. Up until San Diego Comic-Con, all we knew was AMC purchased a six-episode season for something titled Fear the Walking Dead which was not a prequel to The Walking Dead, but set in the same universe. What have we learned since then? Not much. It is enough to whet your appetite, though…

The show will air its 90-minute premiere episode on Sunday, August 23rd at 9/8c. The episode was written by executive producer Robert Kirkman and FtWD’s show runner, David Erickson (co-executive producer and writer for Sons of Anarchy).

We’re not jumping into the middle of the zombie apocalypse this time around. We’re witnessing the outbreak as it happens. Watching as the characters learn the hard way how to dispatch the undead. Observing the chaos of a civilization’s dying gasp. Kirkman promises FtWD will show, “…all the insanity of civilization crumbling that Rick Grimes slept through.”

It won’t be an instantaneous change. Producers say the full zombie apocalypse, as shown in TWD, won’t happen until the final episode. However, there is absolutely no overlap between the shows. The characters, locations, and plot are unique. A breath of fresh air for fans feeling TWD has grown stagnant with all the long forest walks and Rictatorship monologues. Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Bennett) says, “You don’t have to have watched the original. It’s coming from a very different place, a very different time, it’s before everything happened, so it’s completely refreshing and different.”

Bringing the action to the beginning of the end will liven things up a bit with the zombies. The makeup design isn’t as heavy-handed as later seasons of TWD, leaving the zombies with more face to show on screen. We still have no clue how these fresher zombies will act, if they’ll move faster or retain more human characteristics. Like most things within the franchise, fans must wait and see. One thing we know for certain, they won’t be telling us how zombies are made.

This show is billed more as a family drama with an undead war brewing on the horizon. Be prepared for the initial tension to be because of family issues—a couple attempting to make their teenaged kids get along before their wedding, ensuring their grades don’t fall, and keeping one kid in particular off drugs.

Fear the Walking Dead stars:
Kim Dickens (Sons of Anarchy) as Madison Bennett
Cliff Curtis (Gang Related) as Travis Manawa
Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) as Nick Bennett
Alycia Debnam-Carey (The 100) as Alicia Bennett
Lorenzo James Henrie (Star Trek) as Chris Manawa
Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange is the New Black) as Liza Ortiz
Rubén Blades (Safe House) as Daniel Salazar
Mercedes Mason (Quarantine 2: Terminal) as Ofelia Salazar
To tide you over, here’s a look at the trailer released at SDCC: