Perusing the upcoming slate of shows currently in development or production over at Syfy, there are definitely a few popular types of shows that the network hopes to capitalize on. Among others, there’s a clone drama (Clone), a time travel adventure (12 Monkeys), and, of course, zombies. Their upcoming entry into the undead sweepstakes, Z Nation is set to debut this September, and now we have our first good look at the series.
Aside from the bare bones of the story and set up, you don’t learn too much about Z Nation from this trailer. Action and post-zombie mayhem are the key features in this video, that and a zombie baby. You can bet their going to play that card in order to traumatize a character that can’t believe he has to shoot a baby in the head. People seem to have a big problem doing that.
You also learn that there is one person who has been bitten by a zombie, but did not turn. This is the main propulsive event of the series. Three years after the world goes to shit due to a virus, it’s always a virus these days, and he represents the one ray of hope for humanity. The story follows a crew of soldiers, led by Hammond (Harold Perrineau, Lost), who must transport this fellow across the country to the last functioning lab so people can study him and hopefully find a cure. Ideally they’ll be able to fashion a vaccine, but the last hope for human survival also has a “dark secret,” whatever that means, that threatens the entire mission.
You also get a peek at some of the other players in this drama. Tom Everett Scott plays Garnett, Hammond’s second in command. DJ Qualls plays a computer hacker named Citizen Z, which indicates that there must still be some infrastructure remaining, at least electricity to power his computers and what appears to be all of his broadcasting equipment. Then again, maybe he used to a DJ and just play-acts that role because he misses his old job. There are also a couple of stragglers named Addy and Mack (Kelita Smith and Michael Welch), who join up with the team.
Z Nation, which is currently filming in Spokane, Washington, also marks the Asylum’s first foray into episodic television. And yes, that is the Asylum, the ones responsible for unleashing the likes of Sharknado upon the unsuspecting populace. We’ll have to wait and see how this team up works out, but judging from this quick look, the result is underwhelming.
Since Z Nation was first announced, Syfy executives have gone out of their way to set it up as something different from it’s main competition, The Walking Dead. They claim that this series has a much more hopeful tone and won’t wallow in the bleak depression of a world overrun by zombies, like AMC’s hit drama tends to do. The Walking Dead already has the market cornered on the grim, desolate version of a post-zombie world, and we’ll see what Z Nation has to offer this fall.