With only a few more episodes of The Walking Dead until its season finale, the series writers and the cast are already looking forward to season four. Opening this year’s PaleyFest in Los Angeles, the cast and crew of AMC’s widely popular zombie series got together to talk about the future of the series.
Entertainment Weekly was on hand during the Q&A panel where the cast and crew filled in the blanks about current storylines and character motivations. Executive producer and makeup artist Greg Nicotero talked about the overall strategy of The Walking Dead‘s fourth season. It will be a completely different beast from the last two seasons of the TV series. Nicotero revealed:
I think there may be a wee bit less of the run and gun. And [we’ll] get a little more into some of our characters. The challenge with a show like this, when you have a big ensemble, is you don’t want any of the characters to get lost; it’s important that we know what Carol’s story is and that we know what Beth’s story is. And when you’re trying to service a lot of characters, it becomes challenging. Watching the first season of Walking Dead and seeing how grounded it was, that’s really important to all of us. Andy Lincoln and I spent a lot of time going through the scripts and making sure we feel that they’re grounded. Because that’s what keeps our audience coming back. The walkers and the gore and the action and stuff, that’s fun, that’s the popcorn part of it. But if you don’t have characters that people are invested in, you lose your audience.
So it looks like The Walking Dead will get back to its roots and focus on more character-driven narratives. It’s something the zombie series is in desperate need of at the moment. While it’s exciting to see these characters kill zombies and have conflicts with the Governor, we still don’t know much about them. For audiences to care about the TV series, the writers and producers have to do a better job balancing thrilling action and in-depth character moments. Just don’t go back to sitting around on a farm, waiting for things to happen, like the majority of season two.
As season three begins to come to a close, many wonder if its season finale will be just as explosive as last season’s. According to Laurie Holden, the finale will be different from anything seen so far on The Walking Dead. “I would say [the Season Three finale] is the opposite of last year. In every way.”
The Walking Dead’s episode 11 — “Clear” — airs tonight on AMC.