The first trailer for The Walking Dead Season 4 debuted at Comic-Con (and happily, online) giving fans a long-awaited tease at what the new season will throw at Rick’s prison group.
Thankfully, it’s not just a 20-second teaser, but a long long long four-and-a-half minute monstrosity. The trailer definitely shows off a new visual aesthetic for the show (more of a theatrical one, actually), and really gives you a taste of what The Walking Dead Season 4 will look like under the guidance of new showrunner Scott Gimple.
Watch the trailer above, and if you feel so inclined, attend my ramblings about The Walking Dead below.
When we last left Rick’s group of survivors in Season 3, The Governor’s plan to overtake the prison failed miserably, he slaughtered his militia, and Rick managed to recruit Woodbury’s “good” citizens into the fold at the prison.
The trailer shows exactly how regimented, organized and settled the prison has become since then. It looks like the group has settled it much in the same way their comic book counterparts did. Instead of merely “standing in cell blocks” (my primary complaint from Season 3), they’ve actually figured out how to make the setting pull a plough for the group, and you get a sense that the prison will finally become a character instead of just a set.
Another big criticism of Season 3 was how far it deviated from its source material. The changes from comic-to-show up to Season 3 were more or less welcome, making the show familiar yet different enough to please fans of the comic.
Season 3 pretty much went off the rails, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing at face value, it’s just awful to change things up if you’re not going to put something better in the place of that which you take away.
A dead horse that I continue to beat (while I love the show and the comic) is that Season 3 treated characters like hollow plot points instead of dignifying them as human beings. The “humanity” thing is kind of at the core of The Walking Dead, and it was, in my opinion, completely missing from Season 3. Lori’s death in the comics was shattering. In the show, it was just okay. The Governor was a terrifying sociopath in the comics. In the show, he’s just a skeevy liar in a trenchcoat.
Even Andrea’s death seemed kind of like Glen Mazzara’s way of saying “I’m taking my toys and going home.”
But the trailer gives me hope that “humanity” has wiggled its way back into The Walking Dead. I had high hopes for Season 4 under Scott Gimple even while other publications were crying foul over Mazzara’s exit. I remembered that the two best episodes in recent memory, Season 2’s “18 Miles Out” and Season 3’s “Clear,” were Gimple’s brainchildren.
So a whole season of episodes of that quality? Sign me up.
Though the odious Governor is strangely absent from the Walking Dead Season 4 trailer, I can’t help but think his character will evolve into the dynamic and truly terrifying villain he’s supposed to be. Everything else seems to be in place for a powerful new season, comparable (one hopes) to the standard set by Frank Darabont so many years ago.
We’ll all find out for sure when The Walking Dead Season 4 premieres on October 13th.