Article: The Dead Are on the Move

The Dead Are on the Move
by R.C. Murphy

Every summer, San Diego, California is overrun with people—in costume, out of costume, covered in body paint, alive, undead; it takes all sorts to make an event of such magnitude truly magical. As always, we’re keeping our eye on the undead attendees scheduled to appear. This year we’re expanding the list to include those pesky vampires who keep creeping back into mainstream media.

Keep in mind, this is a super early, unofficial list compiled from information given by the panelists or production companies. The official SDCC panel schedule will be available about two weeks from preview night, Thursday, July 18th. SDCC programming will run from then until Sunday, July 22nd. For the most accurate information, please visit SDCC’s programming page.

Zombie programming schedule:


5:00 PM – Z Nation (Indigo Ballroom)

The Asylum presents a peek into the fifth season of the intense yet funny SYFY series. Anticipated panelists include DJ Qualls, Kellita Smith, Russell Hodgkinson, Karl Schaefer, and possibly more to be announced before the event.

About Z Nation:

In the beginning, a group of survivors must cross the country with a possible cure for the zombie apocalypse. The holder of the cure, a zombie-human hybrid named Murphy, may not be so cooperative. In season two, the team continued their journey to the elusive CDC lab in California, dealing with bizarre enemies both old and new and an increasingly insufferable— and perhaps dangerous— Murphy. For season three, a new adventure lurked for Citizen Z, while our survivors faced a totally foreign threat. Oh, and Murphy caused all kinds of trouble (are you surprised)? Going into the fourth season, the story skipped two years and caught up when the survivors realized they must deal with new types of zombies to stop a mysterious threat known as Black Rainbow.


11:15 AM – Fear the Walking Dead (Hall H)

There’s little information online so far, but it’s safe to assume a wide variety of cast and the show’s creators will be present. The panel is perfectly timed to give them a chance to hype the second half of the fourth season, which begins again with episode 409 on August 12th at 9 PM.

About Fear the Walking Dead:

In Season 4 of Fear the Walking Dead, fans will see the world of Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and her family through new eyes—the eyes of Morgan Jones (Lennie James), joining the story from the world of The Walking Dead. In the new season, the characters’ immediate past mixes with an uncertain present of struggle and discovery as they meet new friends, foes and threats. They fight for each other, against each other and against a legion of the dead, all to somehow build an existence amid the crushing pressure of lives coming apart. There will be darkness and light; terror and grace; the heroic, mercenary, and craven, all crashing together towards a new reality for Fear the Walking Dead.

12:15 PM – The Walking Dead (Hall H)

Like the above panel, we’ve got no information about incoming guests, but given a history of filling the gigantic table on stage, it’s safe to say they will not disappoint on the caliber of who’s present to introduce fans to the ninth season of the blockbuster AMC show. Hopefully we’ll get a start date, too, so you all can start planning your premiere parties.

A refresher about The Walking Dead season eight:

All out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors. At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan’s attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward. But Rick isn’t the only person who’s living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they’re in friendly territory, or if they’ve just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she’s currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader. In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene’s loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves. As all-out-war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.

Vampire programming schedule:


4:00 PM – Van Helsing (Indigo Ballroom)

Get an exclusive first-look at the upcoming third season for the SYFY show, with additional information from panelists Kelly Overton, Jonathan Scarfe, Vincent Gale, Aleks Paunovic, Rukiya Bernard, Trezzo Mahoro, Neil LaBute, Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes.

About Van Helsing:

Van Helsing is set in the near future, where vampires have risen and taken control. Vanessa Van Helsing is humanity’s last hope, as her unique blood composition gives her the ability to turn vampires human. With this secret weapon, Vanessa becomes a prime target for the vampires. Van Helsing comes from the producers of Fargo and Hell on Wheels. Acclaimed director/playwright Neil LaBute serves as showrunner.


6:00 PM – The Passage (6A)

SDCC guests are in for a treat. Fox plans to screen the premiere episode, followed by a quick Q&A with the show’s stars and producers. Panelists currently scheduled are Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyaa Sidney, Henry Ian Cusick, Jamie McShane , executive producer Liz Heldens, executive producer/ director Jason Ensler, and author Justin Cronin

About The Passage:

Based on author Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name, THE PASSAGE is an epic, character-driven thriller written by Liz Heldens. Executive-produced by Emmy Award winner and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Ridley Scott and writer/director Matt Reeves, THE PASSAGE focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl, AMY BELLAFONTE is chosen to be a test subject, Federal Agent BRAD WOLGAST is the man who is tasked with bringing her to Project Noah. Ultimately, however, Wolgast becomes her surrogate father, as he tries to protect her at any cost. Brad and Amy’s journey will force them to confront Project Noah’s lead scientist, MAJOR NICHOLE SYKES, and the hardened ex-CIA operative in charge of operations, CLARK RICHARDS, whom Brad trained. It likewise brings them face-to-face with a dangerous new race of beings confined within the walls of Project Noah, including former scientist TIM FANNING and death-row inmate SHAUNA BABCOCK. In seeking out any allies he can find, Brad also turns to his former wife, DR. LILA KYLE, for help. But as Project Noah’s scientists hone in on a cure that could save humanity, these new beings begin to test their own powers, inching one step closer to an escape that could lead to an unimaginable apocalypse.

7:30 – Preacher (Hall H)

AMC hasn’t given any hints as to who’ll be on the panel to kick off festivities going into the show’s third season. However, seeing how the show is one of the more unpredictable on television right now, it’s safe to assume the panel will be worth a watch.

About Preacher:

Season 3 sees Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip return to Angelville, the Louisiana Plantation where Jesse was raised and where old grudges and deadly obligations await them. With the help of his friends—and a few enemies—Jesse will need to escape his past . . . because the future of the world depends on it.


2:00 PM – Legacies (Indigo Ballroom)

Executive producer Julie Plec, with series stars Rose Russell and Matthew Davis, will host a special video presentation for the newest addition to the The Vampire Diaries franchise, as well as answer questions about the show. Legacies will premiere on The CW Thursday, October 25th at 9 PM.

About Legacies:

Continuing the tradition of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, the story of the next generation of supernatural beings at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. Klaus Mikaelson’s daughter, 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson; Alaric Saltzman’s twins, Lizzie and Josie Saltzman; and other young adults come of age in the most unconventional way possible, nurtured to be their best selves . . . in spite of their worst impulses. Will these young witches, vampires and werewolves become the heroes they want to be—or the villains they were born to be?


3:45 PM Buffy Musical: ‘Once More with Feeling,’ an Interactive Whedon Musical (Room 6BCF)

“Time to end this show with a bang! The powers that be behind Whedonopolis and Fandom Charities present an interactive screening of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode “Once More with Feeling” as Comic-Con’s big closing event! Many say this is the finest, funniest, most ingenious episode ever to come out of the Buffyverse. But remember, the best part of the show is up to you! This episode was made for talkin’-back, and singing, and shouting, and dancing in the aisles, with or without your dry cleaning! Audience participation: It isn’t just for Rocky Horror and mob riots anymore!”

One last bonus panel, if you guys want to check it out:


6:45 PM Shooting Clerks (Room 6A)

“Fresh off its feature on AMC TV’s Comic Book Me, the biographical comedy which dramatizes the making of Kevin Smith’s indie cult classic film Clerks is finally coming to indie cinemas around the U.S. later this year. Join Christopher Downie (writer/director), Brett Murray (producer/actor), Ryan James (producer/editor), Matthew Postlethwaite (actor), Jay Booton (actor), Stephanie Price (actress), special guests from Clerks and Comic Book Men including Marilyn Ghigliotti (associate producer), Ming Chen (actor) and more for an exclusive sneak peak, behind the scenes footage, and some very special announcements.”

The Walking Dead at SDCC 2012

From Walker Murphy as she’s chained to Michonne, along with her furry friend

On July 13th, a large portion of The Walking Dead’s cast and executive producers braved the insane crowds at San Diego Comic-Con. They started the day with a signing in the TWD booth (complete with life-like Michonne and walker mannequins). A horde of fans crowded around to get a peek. Yours truly was nearly trampled by some of the fans on the outskirts of the crowd.

In the afternoon, the cast and producers hit the stage in Hall H, SDCC’s largest meeting hall. Even with the upgrade to the larger room, they still could not fit all of the fans inside. People were lining up at 4 AM just to catch a glimpse of our favorite crew of survivors and hopefully hear some good news about season 3.

I won’t keep you guys waiting any longer; here are the important parts from the TWD panel at SDCC.

First off, The Walking Dead will return to our televisions on Sunday, October 14th at 9:00 PM. International fans will be able to watch starting the day after and throughout the following week.

Secondly, they confirmed the first-person-shooter The Walking Dead game from Activision, starring our favorite pair of redneck brothers, Merle and Daryl Dixon. This is our only chance to get more background on the pair. Robert Kirkman said they prefer to not utilize flashbacks to develop character story arcs on the show.

Lastly, this wasn’t announced on the panel, but we just got word that Universal Studios is producing a Walking Dead maze during their gigantic Halloween Horror Nights extravaganza in October at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando. They plan to drop brave souls smack-dab in the middle of some of the iconic and downright terrifying moments from the show, including Rick’s long, lonely walk down the halls of the hospital and the front window display of the department store where walkers broke through to get to the crew in season 1.

Now for some fun tidbits gleaned from the hour-long panel before we share the 4-minute trailer for season 3.

Executive producer, Greg Nicotero says that, this season the zombies will be even more detailed. They’re decaying as time progresses, hungrier than ever, and gathering in droves to go after Rick and his crew. Nicotero also directed an episode (maybe another this season?) of the show, which they finished filming before taking a few days off for SDCC.

May we ever see a musical episode of The Walking Dead? It is highly unlikely. However Laurie Holden and Danai Gurira have taken to mini-musical sessions between scenes on set. Laurie sings and they both dance and laugh. A lot of that chemistry promises to translate to the screen as Andrea and Michonne are separated from the main cast and struggle to keep going in the rough post-apocalyptic word.

Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan are very excited for everyone to see where their characters’ relationship goes. That is, if Glenn can accept that Maggie loves him no matter what. She will do anything necessary to protect the family she has left and the man she loves. He is finally growing into the man he wants to be, but does that leave room for a love life? And can we say, thank goodness that we’re not in a real Zombiepocalypse? Steven told fans at the panel that he’d only fight to survive if attractive women surrounded him. “If it’s all bros, maybe I’ll lay down and let [the zombies] bite me.”

New cast member, David Morrissey, is excited to join the cast of TWD. He’s a huge fan of the show and jumped at the chance to be involved. David found his home with the cast and crew since they began filming in May and has been pinching himself since then…even if the heat and humidity in Georgia make filming somewhat uncomfortable.

Andrew Lincoln sang the praises of their youngest (and absent) cast member, Chandler Riggs. He says that Chandler, both in and out of character makes decisions far beyond his years and gets to go on this incredible journey. If Andrew could play another character on the show, he’d choose to be Carl so he could go through the experiences that Chandler is. Not to say that Rick’s experiences aren’t thrilling. But Andrew admits that where Rick is mentally is, “driving me bananas.”

There were a lot of fun moments in the SDCC panel discussion for The Walking Dead, but the best moment has to be the amazing 4-minute trailer they played before introducing the cast. Check it out below and let us know which moment you’re looking forward to seeing once The Walking Dead returns on October 14th.

Talking About The Dead

The Walking Dead season 3 preview

From the undisclosed location of RC Murphy – find her if you can

On the weekend after the Fourth of July, AMC ran a two-day marathon of The Walking Dead, starting with season one and going all the way through season two. The marathon was capped off by a live one-hour edition of Talking Dead, hosted by uber geek, Chris Hardwick. He interviewed cast and crew from TWD while they were out in Atlanta, Georgia filming season three.

Executive producers Glenn Mazzara and Gale Anne Hurd were the first TWD guests. Along with Drew Carey, who is a huge fan of the show and very into survival stuff. (Hey, Juliette, I think we need to go on a new mission for the ZSC…)

Glenn stated that the “Ricktatorship”, which we saw at the end of season two, is just beginning. It won’t be an easy road for Rick. He’s lost his best friend and second in command. His people are tired. Their loyalties are torn after discovering he kept a huge secret from them since leaving the CDC. He has to push the group to keep going, but if he pushes too far, he’ll lose them. The big question is, how will he deal with not having Shane around? Can Daryl step into that position and help out?

Gale adds in that Rick’s personal life isn’t peachy keen at the moment. Lori thought that Shane would be her savior, that he could be a father to Carl. A father that’d stay put because Rick is too keen to run off and save the world. She’s very much feeling Shane’s blood on her hands after pushing Rick to take care of things. But worst of all, she’s completely torn up over Carl’s involvement in the whole ordeal.

For the first time, they’ve announced ahead of time what the interactive fan treat for San Diego Comic-Con will be. Greg Nicotero, co-executive producer and SFX makeup wizard, walked us through the process of recreating Michonne and her pet zombies. They did lifecasts of Danai Gurira and the one of the walkers. Actual wardrobe pieces from the set will be worn by the statues to achieve a very unique interactive experience. Fans of the show that attend SDCC will be able to strap on a collar and take the place of Michonne’s second walker.

Laurie Holden, who plays Andrea, said that her time with Michonne will be spent kicking zombie butt and taking names. She forms a friendship with the other woman after being saved from the horde out in the forest at the end of season two. Laurie went on to talk about David Morrissey, who will play the Governor, saying he is perfect for the role—sexy, charismatic, evil, yet very sweet when not in character.

Glen Mazzara added that the Governor “is a guy that thinks the zombie apocalypse is all about him.” He fully believes that people will look back at this point in history and see him as the light that kept humanity going. The Governor thinks he is the messiah and will do anything to prolong the existence of humans.

Chandler Riggs called in to the show and was very adamant that Carl would not be going into the house any more. He is growing up. Carl wants to pull his weight. He feels it is his responsibility to be a soldier, to protect the group. His experience with Shane is taking him a little towards the dark side. Not quite sure what that means, but it will be interesting to see how being surrounded by death affects a child of that age.

Steven Yeun took Chris Hardwick through a tour of the prison set. Everything was built specifically for the show. It’s all fake, but looks so incredibly real because of the great attention to detail. The prison is dirty, dank, and uncomfortable. The actors aren’t being spoiled between shots, either. They get dirt caught in their throat. It coats their sinuses. All in all, the set makes for very true performances from everyone.

Executive producers David Alpert and Robert Kirkman came on and teased fans mercilessly. It was hard to tell what information they gave was for giggles and what fans can look forward to. David admitted that there will be a lot of death in season three—zombie deaths, human deaths, the deaths of characters we love. Basically he warned fans to watch the next season with a box of tissues in hand.

They confirmed, for the umpteenth time, that Merle Dixon will indeed be back for season three of TWD. Merle is a character that you never know what to expect from him—other than racism and hatred. Maybe this season Merle will adopt a stray kitten or something likewise fluffy and cute to redeem himself.

In other Dixon news, it was announced that in 2013, Activision will release a first-person-shooter The Walking Dead video game. The game will allow players to go through the first stages of the zombie apocalypse as Daryl Dixon, with his brother Merle at his side.

We will have more information about season three of The Walking Dead after San Diego Comic-Con.

Survival by Elantra?

From the undisclosed location of LK Gardner-Griffie

Your Zombie Survival Crew TM commanders are always on the lookout for not only stories of potential zombie uprisings, but ways to improve survivability come the apocalypse. So we were intrigued to learn from Motortrend’s Wide Open Throttle that Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame has collaborated with Hyundai to create the Zombie Survival Machine. Check this bad boy out:

Just imagine plowing through a horde of zombies with that sweet spiked cow-catcher. Wouldn’t you like to get up close and personal with this car? Well, you can. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe Zombie Survival Machine will be on display at Comic-Con, which runs from July 12-15 in San Diego at the Future US booth, along with a limited-run illustrated owner’s manual. This beauty will be unveiled as a part of a four-episode behind the scenes series on on July 11th.

If that weren’t enough…a 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback will be wrapped in the 100th cover of The Walking Dead issue and will be given away on July 31st.

The word on the street is that our Orange Brigade commander, RC Murphy, may be among the merrymakers at San Diego Comic-Con in stealth mode. And I’m sure she’ll be taking the opportunity to size up this newest possibility to keep us safe from the shambling hordes.

Check out what Robert Kirkman has to say below: