‘Fear The Walking Dead’: Everything You Need To Know If You Haven’t Watched ‘The Walking Dead’

AMC will premiere Fear The Walking Dead this Sunday. But what is Fear The Walking Dead? And can you watch it if you haven’t already seen the companion series original The Walking Dead? The answer is yes. And here’s why:

WARNING: Spoilers occur for both the The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead within this article. Please proceed with caution.

Rick Grimes Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead season 1
'Fear The Walking Dead' season 1 will occur while Rick Grimes was in his coma at the start of season 1 of 'The Walking Dead'
  1. Fear The Walking Dead is set at the onset of the zombie virus outbreak that is present in The Walking Dead. The difference is that the series will start prior to the original time frame in season 1 of The Walking Dead. This series begins, essentially, as a prequel to The Walking Dead. And for those who have watched The Walking Dead, season 1 of Fear will occur in the time frame when Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) was in a coma. However, as the series progresses, the potential is there for Fear The Walking Dead to catch up — time wise — with its predecessor. However, while many Walking Dead fans would like to see a character crossover between the shows, the crew have already said this is unlikely to happen — at least not in the first season. While finding petrol may be easy, travel would still be hard after the apocalypse; it is the constant road blockages and not knowing your surrounding area that leads to complications when travelling in a post-apocalyptic world. It is unlikely fans will see this occur any time soon. Fear The Walking Dead core cast promo pic Alycia Debnam Carey as Alicia, Frank Dillane as Nick, Kim Dickens as Madison, Cliff Curtis as Travis, Elizabeth Rodriguez as Liza, Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris, Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar, Patricia Reyes Spíndola as Griselda Salazar and Mercedes Mason as Ofelia – Fear The Walking Dead _ Season 1, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
  2. None of the characters are existing characters from The Walking Dead. Fear The Walking Dead will center around a core family unit. This family will consist of Travis Manawa (played by Cliff Curtis) and his girlfriend, Madison Clark (Kim Dickens). Travis is divorced and has a son, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) to his previous wife, Liza Ortiz (played by Orange Is The New Black alum, Elizabeth Rodriguez). When the apocalypse hits, Travis will bring his ex-wife and son to live with him and his new girlfriend, Madison. The potential for cat-fighting between the two women is pretty much a given. Madison also has children of her own. A teenage daughter, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), who is an overachiever, and, drug-addicted Nick (Frank Dillane), also a teenager. Joining this core family unit will be the Salazar family. Daniel (Rubén Blades) and his wife, Griselda (Patricia Reyes Spíndola), are immigrants who moved to America to give their daughter, Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) a better life. Fear The Walking Dead promo pic gallery 12 Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris – Fear The Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC
  3. It is set in L.A. as opposed to Georgia and its surroundings in The Walking Dead. L.A. will give fans of The Walking Dead a chance to see the outbreak occurring in a more built-up location. Lexi Johnson as Gloria - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/AMC Lexi Johnson as Gloria – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/AMC
  4. Zombies won’t be called zombies. In The Walking Dead, there has been many terms used to describe the undead but the most common one now is “walkers”. This term has mostly developed due to the shuffling amble of the undead. Considering Fear The Walking Dead will commence with the outbreak, walkers is not really an appropriate term to use yet. However, early reports suggest that the term “infected” will be used in place of walkers to describe the undead. Fear The Walking Dead sneak peek video 2 Viewers will have more of a clue on how to deal with the undead than the characters in ‘Fear The Walking Dead’
  5. But why don’t the characters just call them “zombies”? Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has been very clear in explaining the fact that the Walking Dead universe is nearly identical to ours. The only significant difference being that the characters in the Walking Dead universe know absolutely nothing about zombies. There were no George A. Romero movies or zombie literature to alert the characters to the fact the undead had risen. Kirkman decided this so his characters would have no idea how to behave when dead people started reanimating in front of them. They had absolutely no comparison. As a result of this, the audience has always known (in the early days, at least) more than their characters. Fans watching the show will know that a zombie will only stay dead if you severely damage their brain. The characters in Fear The Walking Dead don’t know this. As a result of this, seeing the early outbreak will give the audience those “edge of their seat” moments when characters try to help others out and get bitten, infected, and then die as a result of the mere act of being kind to a sick person.
  6. While Fear The Walking Dead will commence with the zombie outbreak, don’t expect an origin story. Robert Kirkman has made it very clear that he is not interested in showing the how and why of the zombie apocalypse, but rather, how people deal with the demise of civilization as they know it.

Fear The Walking Dead will premiere on Sunday, August 23, 2015, on AMC.

Are you looking forward to Fear The Walking Dead? Have you watched The Walking Dead already, or is this your first time in the Walking Dead universe? Let us know by commenting below!

[Image credits: AMC / Frank Ockenfels / Justina Mintz]