By Scott C.
October officially starting means that The Walking Dead season premiere is almost here, so fans are preparing for the next adventure, with season ten debuting on Sunday, October 6 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Whisperers are back, after leaving for warmer weather over the winter. The Whisperers are a group of survivors that wear the skins of the undead to stay hidden, and they will create some trouble for those with whom they disagree. Their leader, Alpha (played by Samantha Morton), made a bold statement towards the end of last season, to put fear into each community near their area. With their return, it’s time for those to protect their homes from the Whisperers, a war of survival is coming. Yet this major plot point is overshadowed by the news that Danai Gurira, who has been playing Michonne since season three, is leaving the show after this season. At this year’s 50th San Diego Comic-Con, the FoCC Blog had a chance to hear from most of the main cast, as well as the series’ showrunners, during a press conference.
After learning of Guirira’s departure, Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) said that he ‘begged’ for her to stay, yet he understands that new opportunities await her beyond this show. He sees her as an awesome person, and stated that no one will ever forget her hard work and kindness. When asked how hard it is to see someone leave the show, he stated that it is a “big deal” when The Walking Dead loses someone, and that being a “close-knit” family doesn’t make it any easier. The actor still has not gotten over the departures of, for example, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene). (Sadly, Wilson passed away in early October of 2018.)
Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple said that he loved telling Michonne’s story, although it may not be a total goodbye for Gurira. According to Gimple, the showrunners are “not completely done with her”. Perhaps we will see the actress return as Michonne in one of the upcoming movies, the new series, or at the end of the main series, whenever that may be. Fans did see Jon Bernthal return as Shane Walsh (who was killed off long ago) for a flashback scene in season nine, so anything is possible! As for Gurira, she is just grateful to be part of the Walking Dead family, working with everyone on set, and to having had a chance to play Michonne. Lastly, this season will do everything possible to make this character’s farewell tour notable.
As for Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character Negan, he said that his character might be somewhat different now, due to spending time in jail. Yet the actor also stated that there is no redemption story incoming for Negan, just that his character sees things differently now. He won’t hurt Judith Grimes, according to the actor. But do not worry, Negan fans, the actor did say that the character will act like the “old Negan” when it is justified. Later, Morgan compared Negan and Daryl as being as “outsiders” thanks to having a “parallel path” on the show, and that his character respects Daryl because of that. I am guessing that Daryl might need Negan’s help soon, when going by the body languages of Reedus and Morgan.
At Comic-Con 2019, it was announced that season ten will have Thora Birch (Hocus Pocus, Ghost World) playing as Gamma, a Whisperer who is very loyal to Alpha, and to the Whisperers’ cause. As for naming, executive producer/showrunner Angela Kang stated that it is “special” to have a name within this group, and no else should have one; it’s a rare thing to see. Beta (Ryan Hurst) will be surprised to know that someone else has a name, which should create some interesting drama between Gamma and Beta. Gamma’s background will be explored eventually.
As for how long the series is going to continue, since the comic book has now ended, Kang said that the show has “long ways to go,” before tackling that ending. The showrunners have a “great road map” right now, according to Kang. She also said that the show will continue to act differently from the comics, to keep telling the stories that they want to produce. Of course, they will continue to use some elements from the comic book. Regardless, with the upcoming movies and a brand-new television series in the works, along with Fear the Walking Dead returning for a sixth season, fans will have plenty of things to look forward to from AMC.
As for using the weather as a plot device at the end of season 9, Kang stated that she had fun using the snowy subplot last year, and she wants to keep using the weather as a tool to keep challenging each Walking Dead character. The only other detail revealed abut season ten was that Carol Peletier (played by Melissa McBride) is going to have an important role this season, but she wasn’t able to share any details about that.
With Fear the Walking Dead now officially on its seasonal break, it is time to prepare for the future of The Walking Dead, as well as get ready for the farewell tour of Michonne, which should only get fans anxious for season ten.
Season ten of The Walking Dead premieres on October 6, 2019 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Don’t forget to visit the FoCC forum to keep the zombie talk going.