Note: My Tales of the Walking Dead episode 1 and 2 reviews will have minor spoilers.
By Scott C.
The AMC Network’s The Walking Dead (TWD) series, with the original and new, two shows visited 2022’s San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) last month. By doing so, fans got to see their favorite guests, announcements, and trailers. So, time to take a quick look back on some of the juicy news!
First, let’s focus with main series that began it all in 2010, which is The Walking Dead. Like seen with Marvel’s Agents of Shield farewell tour during 2019’s SDCC, TWD was on its goodbye tour too that included the usual visit to Hall H. At the panel, fans saw the chief content officer of TWD, Scott Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, and producer Greg Nicotero. Also, Norman Reedus, Josh McDermott, Melissa McBride, Seth Gilliam, Lauren Ridloff, Michael James Shaw, Ross Marquand, and Cailey Flemming. The panel’s moderator was Chris Hardwick.
Reedus stated it was hard showing up and saying goodbye to the fans, that everyone in the room is family. The guests also knew that if they didn’t have the loyal support from the fans since day one, the television franchise wouldn’t have lasted so long. By the way, Reedus went on to say that the Carol and Daryl saga is not over yet. I am guessing a spinoff is in the works for those two characters.
Fans also saw a special guest appearance of Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira, who are back together for another TWD series. It will continue the story of Rick Grimes and Michonne, and fans were thrilled about the news. It was said that both actors have been very much involved, aka executive producers. Gimple will be the series’ showrunner, and that the new show will have six (6) episodes airing in 2023.
Gimple also confirmed that Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who couldn’t be at the panel, have begun filming their spinoff series: Isle of the Dead. That show will have six (6) episodes airing in 2023, set in Manhattan, and have new cast members: Željko Ivanek as The Croat, Jonathan Higginbotham as Tommaso, Mahina Napoleon Ginny, and Gaius Charles as Perlie Armstrong.
During the TWD press conference, the guests were Reedeus, Gilliam, McDermitt, Fleming, Ridloff, and Shaw. Plus, Kang, Nicotero, and Gimple. In it, it was mentioned that our heroes will face new challenges soon like different zombies, and that the the showrunners were very determined to make sure the final episode sticks the landing. “We really struggled and agonized and buckled in to make sure that it served the fans of the show,” Nicotero said. Of course, until we see the final product, that is good news to hear from the showrunners.
“I think anytime you are tasked with ending a story, and this is true for any show, everybody wants to stick the landing,” Kang said. “But particularly for us, this is something that’s been so important to our fans, the community that stuck with us, and for us, too.” Reedus said that everyone knew about the Rick Grimes and Michonne series announcement, with a laugh.
Overall, the Hall H TWD visit was about remembering the past, thanking the fans, showing off trailers, as well as looking ahead to new adventures. As for the series finale itself, the guests recommend getting those emotions of yours ready for the end. The final eight (8) episodes will be on AMC and the premiere is on Sunday, October 2.
As for the next chapter of TWD small screen universe, Tales of the Walking Dead will have six (6) episodes, which the series already debuted recently on AMC. At the Hall H panel, fans saw Scott Gimple, Channing Powell, Michael Satrazemis, Danny Ramirez, Terry Crews, and Samantha Morton on stage.
The original idea was to make TWD specials and move on, but the showrunners decided later why not do an anthology series for better storytelling. As for Crews, he was so thrilled to be part of the TWD universe as Joe due to being a fan of the franchise, and also loving Night of the Living Dead.
Ramirez said that the series will focus on the side stories from the TWD world like Eric’s. Morton, meanwhile, was thrilled to have played Alpha again, and to show more of her character’s backstory.
At the Tales press conference, the same guests showed up. Gimple pushed that Tales will provide variety for the fans, via more storytelling that will have conclusions. Crews believes one hour will be enough to give each character a chance to shine. Ramirez also agreed with the actor that one hour was enough to wrap up an arc. Lastly, Morton just can’t wait for fans to see why Alpha should not be viewed as a villain as seen in her TWD days. Speaking of the characters, everyone will be new but Alpha. The series creators want to make this new series easily accessible for new fans overall.
Crews used growing up in the 1980s in Flint, Michigan, to prepare to play Joe. He witnessed the rise and fall of that city he lived in for six years to make it easier for him to dive right into the TWD universe. Morton was focusing on how to tackle the tone of Dee, aka pre-Alpha days. Ramirez used the book Endure to prepare for filming.
As for the first two episodes of Tales, each had the important task to make the series a essential watch for old and new TWD fans. I can safetly say that both used that TWD formula: surviving with others with blood and gore! Although the second episode took inspiration from the film Groundhog Days. I give kudos to the showrunners for trying something new with TWD universe, but I was so confused about what the heck was going on at first. I did like Jillian Bell (playing as Gina) and Parker Posey’s (playing as Blair) comedic bits, and chemistry. The gore was also not bad at all, in my opinion. Yet when did the “temporal loop” concept become a thing in this franchise? Are the creators planting a seed for something else other than zombies walking around the world? I certainly hope so!
The first episode had Olivia Munn (playing as Evie) and Crew (playing as Joe), both had good chemistry together. Yet there were a few predictable moments from poor decision-making that I rolled my eyes on multiple times. This first episode also stuck with the TWD formula very tightly, and maybe too much, in my opinion. Although a certain small lamb defiantly stole the show with its cuteness. Overall, one hour is enough to complete a story, and I will continue to watch the other four episodes, but I was left wanting more from each episode. Yet I have a feeling we will see these new characters again someday. Lastly, fans can catch new episodes of Tales of the Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC, while AMC+ will be one episode ahead.
So, there you have it! Yes, it is sad to see the main TWD series ending soon, but the universe’s future will still keep moving along.
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