In just about one week, Fear the Walking Dead will premiere and the show’s executive producers want to caution fans not to expect the same level of gore and in-your-face horror that they might be used to with The Walking Dead primary series. As a way of showing the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, Fear the Walking Dead has always been intended to be more of a thriller, using suspense in place of as much gore to tell the story.
“Because it is something of a slower burn, we do get to steep ourselves in this incredibly dysfunctional, blended family dynamic and in the problems and conflicts of that family,” Fear the Walking Dead E.P. Erickson said. “Ultimately, that’s where the story’s going to start. When we get to Season 2 it’s going to be how have things fractured for this family and what’s different. That will be our starting point and then there are zombies.”
Fear the Walking Dead showrunner Robert Kirkman adds that not having source material, unlike The Walking Dead primary series, which relies heavily on the comic books, will create an exciting new dynamic for the companion series.
“It’s the exciting blend of uncertainty and the inevitable. On one hand … you have a cast of question marks. Who will survive? Who won’t? And how will they evolve? How will they grow? I think not having source material, where you kind of know there are stories with Michonne that just have to be told — and sometimes we break that mold, but too often, we can’t because it would change the overall story we’re talking — we don’t have any of that here. We can, and do, go in any direction we imagine and that’s made for, I think, a companion show that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the original.”
Kirkman is quick to add that fans of The Walking Dead will at least know the rules as they go into the companion series, since the same basic rules will apply to Fear the Walking Dead.
“Now on the other hand, there’s the familiar, the inevitable — people know this world. All our viewers, or at least most of them, will have seen The Walking Dead. They know the rules, they know what these people are up against,” said Robert Kirkman. “Our characters do not and that creates a tension and a sense of dread in the viewing experience that I think is unique to our show, and very exciting.”
The series premiere of Fear the Walking Dead will air on Sunday, August 23 on AMC.
[Featured image courtesy of AMC/Fear the Walking Dead]