Some people are saying that AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead is going through a renaissance. Fans haven’t been speaking this kindly about the popular zombie drama since it’s first season and part of that success can be attributed to Scott M. Gimple. After writing some of the show’s most memorable moments, the writer/producer stepped up when former showrunner Glen Mazzara vacated the position. Now, with the fifth season filming right now, the current boss weighs in on a number of different aspects of the series and it’s future.

During the recent Saturn Awards where ‘The Walking Dead’ was honored with a few wins, Gimple spoke to Collider about the structure that he designed for the show when he was brought in for the showrunner spot. First, in speaking of season four, he shared some of his goals for the characters and where he found the inspiration for Terminus:

“I came in with a design for the season, an architecture that we could build our house around… In the comics, there isn’t as big of a group. A lot fewer people made it out of the prison. We had this huge group to get back together and at the beginning of the year, I wanted to have a story for every character and to fulfill that story in the end. Some of the stuff we laid in the first episode, we didn’t get to until the back half. That was purposeful. When I was working on the show — even before I was in the position I’m in now — I would look towards Georgia and Atlanta history sometimes just for notions. When I’m out there, there’s a lot of history all around and during the hiatus, I was looking at all the railroad tracks that crisscross Georgia. I also knew Atlantis used to be called Terminus because all these railroad tracks would converge there and I put it aside. When we were going through [the season] in the writer’s room, I picked up on the Terminus stuff I had read about and it all clicked together. It really was the way to have all these characters by themselves. [It allowed us] to tell the emotional stories we had known. Sometimes that is the trick with the show – we know the emotional stories but we have to find the practical realities [for] making some of those stories happen.”

Then, after discussing his intentions to stay as close to the comics as they could despite having dead characters still living and entirely new characters to this universe like Daryl Dixon, he touched on what they have in store for the next season:

“It’s not mirroring [the previous season] completely… The challenge of the show is every eight episodes, it’s a whole new show. I will say that there may be some slightly familiar structural turns. But for the most part, it is going to be brand new versions of the comic story.”

Finally, with a spinoff to the show in the works, the reporter had to get a question in about it. However, it looks like Gimple and company won’t be involved in it… for now:

“I have little to do with the spinoff… This I do know. It’s set in the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ but from what I understand, it’s not like Daryl’s cousin or anything… I would never say never [to a crossover between the shows] because if I was a viewer I would say that sounds awesome. But we’re doing our own show. I also think a crossover might be tough because it would take a lot of [license] within the comic story. We’ll see. When we get to ‘All Out War’, who knows? We’ll add another faction. It’ll be the Saviors and the Hilltop and the ‘Spin-offers’.”

For the full interview where Gimple also talks about the network’s involvement in the show, staying true to Robert Kirkman’s comic while offering a new spin on the material, and the end game for the series, check out the video below:

What do you think of Scott M. Gimple’s approach to ‘The Walking Dead’? Are you excited for the upcoming fifth season? Sound off in the comments below.