AMC President Charlie Collier, showrunner David Erickson and stars Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Mercedes Mason appeared on a panel to promote their upcoming series ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ a companion to AMC’s #1 hit ‘The Walking Dead.’  The new show varies quite a bit from the original, beginning with the fact that the storyline is all new, whereas ‘The Walking Dead’ adapts the comic book series of the same name, by writer Robert Kirkman, who also executive produces both shows.

‘Fear’– as the cast and crew are referring to the new program for short (“We wanted to avoid… doing ‘The Walking Dead: Los Angeles'”)– is set in L.A., versus the original show’s Georgia environment, and chronologically takes place beforehand, at the dawn of the zombie outbreak.  The show will follow its characters in a world still mostly inhabited by ordinary but terrified humans as some of them slowly become flesh-eating monsters.

The first season arrives at the end of this month, on August 23rd, over a month before ‘The Walking Dead’ returns on October 11th.  Season One of ‘Fear’ will only consist of six episodes, but apparently they’re six doozies as AMC has already ordered a second series and bumped that order to 15 episodes.  Some wondered if that meant that ‘Fear’ would eventually time jump to catch up with ‘The Walking Dead’.

Well, not quite.  Erickson reports:

“By the time we end season one, there’s still a window of time, a window of exploration.  We have some real estate left. We’ve come to realize things have changed. We structure the season in a way that the characters are still insulated from the truth of what’s going on. Part of season two will be that very thing.

“There might be a season where we do a major time cut because that’s always interesting to me.  How do you catch up with your character when six months have gone by, a year’s gone by? Right now it’s not about how we intersect or catch up.”

Meaning, it sounds like the cast will spend the first six episodes clueless and living in terror, but by the time the audience catches up to them in Season Two, they will have come to some understanding of their situation. But don’t expect the show to speed up in order to align with the existing one.

“There’s no crossover plans right now.  Telling parallel narratives that live under the same mythological umbrella, my instincts would be I’d love to see those stories conflate ate some point, but there’s no plans to do so. There’s no intention to have Easter eggs.”

And while the characters will come to some understanding, don’t expect answers to be laid out too easily for them.  The focus of the show will remain on the family, literal and figurative , as they put things together, without the guidance of the government, law enforcement or the CDC.

Erickson clarified:

“We’re never going to tell the story from the perspective of someone at the CDC or in the military.  We’ll see how first responders responded when things went sideways, how they protected their own family. That’s an arc of the first season.”

And just because these characters are present at the beginning of the outbreak, don’t expect the source to be revealed.  When asked if the answer was coming, Erickson replied, “Short answer, no.”

Back to the concept of family, as fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ know, a family is anyone that’s not trying to slit your throat.  Mercedes Mason discussed how her mysterious character Ophelia Salazar is impacted by this:

“A lot of the theme of the show is about family and when the world goes to hell, what does family mean?  Is it something you’re born into, something you pick, what is morality? Ophelia goes through that very quickly in the first season. She has to discover herself. Her bond to her own family is questioned, as she starts learning about her family and her father. The nice ones are always the first to die [so] she has to grow a set.”

What do you hope to see on ‘Fear The Walking Dead’?  Does knowing that this show will remain self-contained and have nothing to do with ‘The Walking Dead’ make it more or less appealing?

Comment below!

Source: Slash Film