“When civilisation ends, it ends fast.”
The Walking Dead universe is about to get a whole lot bigger. Fear begins here. The Walking Dead’s new companion show – Fear the Walking Dead – is set for its UK premiere on August 24th in London, ahead of its UK TV debut on Monday, August 31st, and the tale of how it all began is shaping up very nicely indeed.
Fear the Walking Dead acts as a prequel to Rick and the gang’s misadventures in The Walking Dead, placing us smack bang in the middle of the initial outbreak of Walkers. Though set in the same universe as one another, the two shows will co-exist without crossing paths (though we may see some Easter eggs down the line). For those who were as bemused as myself to find that Rick and company were in fact still pretty much right where they started in Atlanta during season five – where they’d begun their journey many moons ago – you’ll be delighted to hear that Fear the Walking Dead will bring us to a new locale, off to sunny California as the infection begins to permeate the everyday lives of the Los Angeles residents.
Meet Travis (Cliff Curtis), high school English teacher, and partner to Madison (Kim Dickens), guidance counsellor extraordinaire; along with her children from a previous relationship, big achiever Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and her recovering junkie brother Nick (Frank Dillane). Joining them for the ride is Travis’s ex-wife Liza (Orange is the New Black’s Elizabeth Rodriguez), their son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), and a whole host of recurring characters. Together they must negotiate the beginnings of the outbreak of an infection which, as we have seen in The Walking Dead, will tear down society as we know it. Gone will be television, gone will be phones, and gone will be civilisation. All in all, things are going to get pretty dark, pretty quick. Here’s what The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman had to say about the new characters:
“They’re complicated, real characters who will not be dealing with the undead the same way. They’ll learn new things, they’ll find new tools, they’ll learn faster or slower but what we end up with is a very, VERY different show… set in a world we LOVE exploring as much as we’d all NEVER want to live there.”
The Walking Dead has always drawn the fine line between good and evil with expertise. Shane (Jon Bernthal) was the first to falter and slip past the point of no return, and Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) psyche was explored in depth throughout the excellent fifth season of the show, as he teetered on the edge of sanity. Whilst we regularly see the moral struggles of the main cast of characters, the antagonistic forces that interact with the heroes of the show are often already very much “evil” from the off, with the effects of what they have seen during the collapse of humanity having already brought out their true characteristics; or at the least having beaten any good in them into submission. With Fear the Walking Dead however, we can expect to see further explorations of what makes a good person good, and a bad person bad. To quote the official synopsis:
“A forced evolution and a necessary survival of the fittest takes hold and our dysfunctional family must either reinvent themselves or embrace their darker histories.”
As in the tradition of The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking dead will begin life as a family drama, with us witnessing the apocalypse through the families not so perfect, and not so happy eyes. Showrunner Dave Erickson elaborated on this decision in his interview with EW:
“One of the things that Robert [Kirkman] and I discussed from the very beginning was, we’re starting a little earlier in the apocalypse. And what that allowed us to do in the pilot and season 1 is establish our core family, establish the problems and the conflicts that they have, and really let that be the initial world that we live in. And we layer in the onset of the apocalypse, we layer in our first walkers, but it’s really an effort to exacerbate the problems that already exist with Kim Dickens’ character and Cliff Curtis’ character and their sort of dysfunctional blended family. It’s really filtering the apocalypse through that.”
With Fear the Walking Dead arriving on the small screen on August 31st, and its older sibling The Walking Dead arriving on October 12th, it’s a good time indeed to be a fan of Robert Kirkman’s post-apocalyptic mayhem!
Flicks and Pieces will be heading off to London Town for the UK premiere of Fear the Walking Dead on August 24th, so stay tuned for a rundown of the event, as well as a review of the series premiere. In the meantime, be sure to check out the trailer, via AMC.
Fear the Walking Dead launches its initial six episode run exclusively on the shiny new AMC UK network, available on BT. Follow Fear the Walking Dead on Twitter, and shuffle over to the comments to share your thoughts on the latest expansion of the Walking Dead universe.