When AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead returns for its third season, it will boast a series-high 16 episodes. That’s good news because there’s a lot of ground to cover in the story arcs the show is moving into. Like last year, season three will also be divided into two parts. The first eight episodes will air this fall, beginning October 14th, while the final eight will air sometime in 2013.
Production is moving along nicely, and, according to Robert Kirkman—the creator of the comic book, as well as the writer and producer of the show—they have wrapped up filming on the midseason finale. He also shared this new photo of the Woodbury set. Fans of the comics will be familiar with the role that Woodbury plays in the upcoming storyline.
As frustrating as a midseason break can be for fans (it’s not a trend I like at all), the expansion and splitting of the season makes sense in this scenario. The encroaching story arc has a lot going on, and there are two main parts to this story. Initially, the group of survivors, led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), takes refuge inside the walls of an abandoned prison. When they finally get settled, or at least a settled as anyone ever gets in this world, they encounter the megalomaniacal Governor (David Morrissey), leader of the survivalist enclave of Woodbury.
Everyone (including myself) is excited for the Governor to arrive on The Walking Dead. He’s the vilest, most vicous villain of the franchise. It leaves deep, permanent scars on our heroes. Still, as great as that story is, I hope they don’t rush to get there. So much great stuff happens in prison before they meet the Governor, and it would be a shame if they hurry through it in order to get to Woodbury faster.
Hearing the news that the series will be broken up, my hope is that the first portion of the season deals with the aftermath of Hershel’s farm and the prison, and that when the show returns it picks up the Woodbury story. How realistic this expectation is, I don’t know. We’ve seen photos of Morrissey in costume, as well as the Woodbury set. If they’re shooting in sequence, then it would seem that the Governor makes his presence felt before the mid-season break. Then again, it’s easy to envision his arrival as the cliffhanger inevitable cliffhanger in the middle. Either way, we’ll just have to wait until this fall to see for sure.