A One-Way Ticket to Tijuana, Please

Fear the walking Dead SDCC 2016 Coverage By R.C. Murphy

Taking the stage first in the two-hour Dead block in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, Fear the Walking Dead kicked off the festivities with the teaser for the latter half of season two.

For the most part, the trailer focus on Nick’s pilgrimage to Tijuana. He meets some kind people, some not so kind people, and even more people with a bizarre connection to the dead. It’s like he’s drawn to this stuff. Madison drags Alicia, Strand, and Ofelia around Mexico looking for Nick with no results. They wind up taking refuge in a hotel which randomly rains dead bodies. But it must be an okay place, Alicia stopped to shower. Travis and Chris’ bonding trip is off to a rocky start as son insists repeatedly that he can take care of himself against the undead or any obstacle in his way. There is a lot more close-quarters fighting with the infected on the way. Alicia does some slightly-very dangerous things to shake her undead assailants. We’ve also got more than just the gangs and weirdos in Tijuana to look out for, as well. Chris and Travis’ problems aren’t all internal for the remaining seven episodes.

Producer Gale Anne Hurd said, “We’re really going to see a lot of things you’ve never seen on television before.” Having seen the TWD trailer, that bar is pretty high. I don’t think FtWD can deliver on the spectacle coming from its sister show. However, if they can get even an ounce of the energy from that trailer to translate to each episode’s timing, I may consider watching it again.

The characters fans saw earlier in the season won’t be quite the same. Producer Dave Alpert said he’s enjoyed watching the characters turn into “battle-hardened warriors.” Kim Dickens echoed the sentiment, saying what Madison did in the mid-season finale revealed a new side to her. We’ll see a more extreme Madison from here on out, perhaps? Madison isn’t the only parent stepping to the plate. Cliff Curtis claimed Travis won’t be a sad-ass when the show returns, he’s prepared to become a, “bad ass dad.” Pretty much every actor spoke up to say their character would get a harder edge for the new episodes. Matter of fact, Mercedes Mason said she wants Ofelia to “pull a Carol” and become “a really violent butterfly.” Coleman Domingo had a different outlook for Strand. He considers Strand a symbol for Western civilization. As his character survives, he will continue to break down.

There was a new face on the panel. Danay Garcia will join the show for the remainder of season two as Luciano. She plays a part In Nick’s story line.

Will the new blood and a kick in the pants for the characters be enough to make it as interesting as the trailer promises? I sincerely hope so. There’s too much potential in that cast to continue to watch them flounder with a poorly-managed script. The danger becomes if splitting the group and the story leads to forgotten characters or story-telling shortcuts which defy what little logic these characters operate by currently. I know there’s not much sense in a guy who covers himself in zombie goo all the time, but you know what I mean.
Fear the Walking Dead will continue its second season on August 21st at 9 PM on AMC.

Oh Great, They’ve Got a . . . Tiger?

The Walking Dead SDCC 2016 Coverage By R.C. Murphy

The annual walker invasion at San Diego Comic-Con took place from July 21st through the 24th. Okay, there were a few thousand other people there, as well. Comic-Con is kind of a big thing, if you’ve lived under a rock for the last few years.

One of the most anticipated panels this year was The Walking Dead. Lucy had some ‘splainin’ to do about that angst-generating cliffhanger ending. Which is why Robert Kirkman struck that iron while hot shortly after the producers took the stage. Aside from numerous statements defending the ending since the finale, he simply added that fans would love the payoff from waiting so long for the reveal. We’ll agree to disagree, as we have since he first stepped on a soapbox to defend knee-capping Negan’s big moment.

What’s new for season seven? The producers confirmed a visit to The Kingdom, plus many more survivors and locations. Gale Anne Hurd meowed at one point, which baffled show fans who haven’t delved into the comic world. Kirkman admitted that once the show took off, he included things in the comics they’d never put on television. The show’s other producers picked up the gauntlet and plan to include some of the outlandish comic ideas into season seven. Sometimes these things bites one in the backside. In this case, one idea can bite off an entire backside and then some.

Right before they premiered the trailer, Nicotero shared new walker concept art. Looks like we’ve got more burned walkers on the way, plus the older walkers continue to become more mummy-like, and I don’t even know what happened to the bulgy walker. Death by bee hive attack?

Okay, on to the trailer.

I was really looking forward to seeing Jeffrey Dean Morgan swaggering on the screen. Instead, we got a rehash of the finale’s final scene, along with a cliché memorial video of sorts superimposed over Lucille. I would’ve gladly taken just the cropped shot of him slamming Lucille down on an unseen victim after a pan of the group by the RV. Instead they padded the footage with what is essentially an overly emotional teen girl’s video scrapbook. All that’s missing is the sappy song. The second half of the trailer delivers new characters, but too fast to identify any faces. We meet Ezekiel, leader at The Kingdom. Something we’ve rarely seen on this show is animals. Well, that’s about to change. There’s beasties coming. Most notably, Shiva, Ezekiel’s pet tiger. Funny how a few years ago, the show’s budget was nitpicked right and left. Suddenly they’re okay with tossing huge chunks of cash in to make CG animals.

The actors hit the stage when the trailer wrapped. Andrew Lincoln told fans, “Hang in there, guys.” He went on to say Jeffrey Dean Morgan has way too much fun as Negan. Which, as we already know, is probably creepy as hell on set, despite JDM’s infectious smile. There’s just something about a grinning guy wielding a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat to make one’s sphincter clench. Lauren Cohan said, “We go to very physical and emotional places.”


Pretty standard quo for this show, but things are just beginning to take a turn for the worst. Nicotero confirmed it when he said this [their current situation with Negan] isn’t rock bottom.

The panel devolved into talk about on-set pranks and several cast members doing impressions of other actors. They did air the footage from when Reedus dumped a ton of confetti in Lincoln’s car air ducts. The first time I watched it, I couldn’t breathe because I laughed so hard.

I wasn’t happy with TWD at the end of season six, and they still haven’t done much to convince me they grossly mishandled Negan’s entrance. Yes, we get a flippin’ tiger next season, as well as a smarmy yet charming Big Bad, but fans are kind of a puppy kicked too many times. They’ve promised so many grand things, what happens if these season seven grand plans fizzle like the drawn-out Beth storyline?

Once you jump the tiger, there’s no going back. Hope they have a solid game plan going into this highly unpredictable season.

Out of the Train Car? “The Walking Dead” invades SDCC 2014

Much like year’s past, Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con was jam-packed, trembling in anticipation of the walker horde scheduled to shamble in over the weekend. AMC brought in the big guns, including nearly the entire cast and full producing staff, to discuss the upcoming fifth season for “The Walking Dead.”

And like year’s past, the actors stayed mum while the producers dropped what few hints they could about what to expect while the highlight of the hour was the preview clip they’d prepared.

Before we look at the clip, we’ll go over what everyone said, starting with the producers.

Will Rick and company make it out of the train car at Terminus? Duh. Producers seemed somewhat annoyed that anyone would think they’d downgrade the show’s quality to shoot an entire season inside a small set.

Where are the characters mentally after the chaos in season four? Show-runner Scott Gimple said, “Once they lost the prison—once they lost Hershel—all bets were off. And I think they did find out that you can’t come back from the things that you’ve done. You have to live with them. But also, those things that you have done make you incredibly formidable.” He went on to add, “This season is going to define the characters.”

Any flashbacks planned? It’s safe to say, yes. They plan to show how Terminus and its occupants came to be.

Robert Kirkman admits the show has taken a turn from the comics with the Terminus story line. But throughout the upcoming season, they’ll bring in more content from the comic books and bring the show back on track with them.

Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero said the makeup effects and sets are getting bigger and better. The world will continue to expand. Nicotero teased two walker makeups on the big screen—one a regular walker who has decayed with the same sort of progress we’ve seen thus far, and the second the Water-Logged walker from a scene where the survivors encounter a flooded room full of undead.

On the cast portion of the panel, Andrew Lincoln said while it was great for Rick to be reined in by Hershel, it feels right now to have his gun back and boots on.

Steven Yeun thinks Glenn’s unwavering hope will see him through the trouble ahead of the crew.

In Lauren Cohan’s opinion, Maggie will never be the same. None of them will. Even if there was a cure for the walkers, there will still be bad guys.

Newcomer Michael Cudlitz, who was slightly dazed at the number of fans in Hall H, didn’t feel pressured to become an exact replica of Abraham from the comics. The cast welcomed him with open arms.

When asked about the two sides to Michonne—the killer and the woman still mourning her losses—Danai Gurira said she loves the challenges posed by both sides, and readily admits she was afraid of the physical demands from the role.

Jokingly, panel moderator Chris Hardwick handed Melissa McBride a bouquet of flowers. Which she proceeded to march down the table to pawn them off on someone else. The cast hid. Norman Reedus wasn’t quite quick enough. When asked about Carol’s story arc from season one through season four, Melissa said, “I think the great thing about Carol is she’s kinda prepared to do anything.”

Chad L. Coleman said, “If you don’t have the heart, you can’t have the hope,” in reference to the tense confrontation between Carol and Tyreese last season, adding that Tyreese never lost sight of Carol’s humanity and bravery.

Beth is alive. Somewhere. So says Emily Kinney.

Norman Reedus was convinced he’d die during his second episode on the show and never thought he’d see Daryl make it this far.

Surprise guest—and first-time SDCC attendee—Chandler Riggs surprised the crowd in Hall H by walking on stage with a huge tub of chocolate pudding. Having grown up on the show (he’s 15 now) he said it’s been an awesome experience with great mentors in his cast mates.

We’ll let the preview clip speak for itself.

Mark your calendars. “The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on October 12th at 9 PM.

The Dead Take a Bite Out of Comic-Con


It is that time of the year again. The time when half of the entertainment industry—from video games to feature films—descends on San Diego with sizzle reels, swag, and actors in tow. “The Walking Dead” blew everyone out of the water with their epic four-minute trailer. What did the people involved have to say about the upcoming fourth season?

The producers hit the stage first at the hour-long panel on Saturday afternoon. The general consensus was season four would be, “Way crazier,” “Going to get insane very quickly,” and a series of escalations to keep the danger inherent in their world ever-present. Producer and FX genius Greg Nicotero hinted that the walker “gags” for the upcoming season are above and beyond anything fans have seen so far. As a matter of fact, the Thursday before everyone packed up to fly from Atlanta, GA to San Diego, they’d filmed a rather gruesome walker scene. Or so we were lead to believe. The producers remained rather mum about season four. Instead they let the trailer do the talking.

The cast couldn’t say much about the new season, either. They covered a lot about the previous season and coping with the numerous main cast deaths. It isn’t easy for the actors, they form bonds with these people in character and out. Then they’re suddenly gone. Danai Gurira admitted it was rough losing the person who’d indoctrinated her in the “Walking Dead” universe. But all of the actors understand early on, with the volatile nature of the world, people come and go in their lives. They have to go with the flow.

Going with the flow seems to be the theme for the upcoming season. They’ve brought in the survivors from Woodbury and built a city confined within the gates and walls of the prison. With the tension natural between large groups of people, all they can do is take it one day at a time. There’s no one person in the group capable of predicting human nature, any more than they can predict the walkers. Don’t assume this means the show will shift its entire focus to the dangers from the living, though. Everyone was adamant about the walkers still posing a significant hazard. The proof came in the trailer. Dang, those zombies are looking really ragged this season!

Myth Bashing – Fast and Furious

Once again, it is time to delve into the realm of myth to find the sliver of truth behind some of the misinformation you, loyal ZSC brigadiers, may have heard while preparing for the Zombiepocalypse.

Myth: The only way to make a safe getaway is to have a souped-up zombie survival car.

Fact: Bells and whistled sure do draw a lot of unwanted attention.

There has been a trend in the last couple of years wherein folks have taken it upon themselves to try and modify their vehicles so that they have a fighting chance during post-apocalyptic scenarios. Personally, we blame one-too-many viewings of Mad Max and Tank Girl.

Awhile back, we discussed what vehicles would be rugged enough to survive the zombie onslaught. At that time, the best candidate was a fictional behemoth—part tank, part mobile command base, called “Dead Reckoning” from Romero’s Land of the Dead. And to be honest, it is still what I’d, personally, want to travel around in.

However, in June Hyundai announced that they’d teamed up with The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman to produce their ideal “Zombie Survival Machine” to celebrate the release of the comic book’s 100th installment. The vehicle was on display at San Diego Comic-Con in July and yours truly got to see if this modified Hyundai Elantra lives up to our idea of what it takes to survive the Zombiepocalypse.

Vehicle Specs: Mounted to the front is a massive spiked plow to move any oncoming zombies. An armored roof hatch opens, allowing the passenger to safely shoot attackers. Massive auxiliary off-road-spec lamps on the roof light the way. A winch on the nose of the car should come in handy, right? It also has racing wheels with huge serrated blades attached to the rims. To top it off, there are welded caged window openings to prevent the undead from reaching through and grabbing you.

There’s a CB radio to keep in contact with the others back at camp. A pair of machetes are mounted beside the center console as a just-in-case weapon. There are also explosives, a net launcher in the trunk and a fully functioning NOS system installed—on the off chance that you need even more bang-for-your-buck.

What is the “Zombie Survival Machine” lacking? Storage space. The net launcher eats up almost all of the trunk area. If you’re using a car at the end of days, you’re going to want to be able to shove everything you think is vital inside to make a getaway.

Cars in the Zombiepocalypse will all have one fatal flaw, no matter what shiny gadgets are strapped onto it—the need for fuel. Unless manufacturers begin producing a vehicle that runs strictly on water or solar power, depending on a vehicle past the first couple of weeks will be impossible. Invest on a couple good pairs of hiking boots and for your traveling needs.

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.

SDCC – Where in the Con is Commander RC Murphy (contest)

Sometimes we have a really hard time keeping track of our Orange Brigade Commander, RC Murphy. We don’t call her a ninja just for fun, folks. She’s good at what she does.

That is why we chose RC to head down to San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. We need a scout that can maneuver through the massive crowds undetected. And with our current problems surrounding the UGA (Unnamed Government Agency), it is best that whoever takes on this mission can take care of themselves.

However, we want to test our loyal brigadiers and decided to make a contest just for SDCC.

The first person to locate Commander RC will receive a token of gratitude from the Orange Brigade—a ZSC bumper sticker signed by RC and the Orange Brigade’s First Lieutenant, David Della Rocco.

You only have Friday and Saturday of the convention to complete your mission. Any longer and your brave commander risks being discovered. Work quickly and keep your eyes peeled for something small, furry, and ravenous.

Who broke the locks off of the cages again?