The Walking Dead: Gale Anne Hurd Talks The Governor, Female Roles, And The Number One Spoiler Of The Season
AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead roared back to life with a vengeance. 16.1 million viewers tuned in to see what Rick and company have been up two since season three wrapped. While the season four premiere episode, “30 Days Without an Accident,” isn’t the greatest thing you’ve ever seen—there are things that will make fans of the series cringe—it’s a solid beginning. More than anything, it sets up the possibility of a strong season to come. We’ll have to see if that’s actually how things shake out, but the potential is there in a number of areas. Luckily for fans, producers of the show love, love, love to gab about their undead baby, so there’s never any shortage of stuff to talk about on that front. In the wake of the massive premiere, which came in second in the Sunday night ratings to the NFL—nothing beats the NFL ratings wise—producer Gale Anne Hurd dished on some things you may, or may not, see in the upcoming season.
Talking to Blastr, the super producer—she has movies like Aliens and Terminator, among many others, on her resume—addressed some lingering questions that The Walking Dead fan base would like to see answered in the near future.
One issue that was left dangling out in the wind is the status of the season three’s primary antagonist, the Governor (David Morrissey). Even though he was conspicuously absent in the marketing build up to season four, we knew that he’d been promoted to series regular, and we’ve heard reports that he’ll be getting his own standalone episodes.
The Governor killed his own followers, so he’s gone to a very, very dark place that’s going to be even more difficult to come back from than the place where Rick went in Crazytown. So we’ll have to see what’s become of him. Is he still truly a madman … or does he try to redeem himself as well?
However big a role the Governor plays, this appears to be the primary question at the heart of the season, whether or not you can come back from what Heard calls “the dark side.” This applies to individuals—you get the feeling that that the Governor is going to sink into this darkness, while Rick and his team struggle back to the surface—as well as the larger world of The Walking Dead.
Something else many viewers would like to see is an increased involvement from the female characters on the show. Despite my own personal feelings about Andrea (Laurie Holden), who died at the tail end of last season, at least she played a big part in the show. The roles of women on the series have left much to be desired. Robert Kirkman’s comics are full of strong, complex female characters, and the show has ruined them completely. Andrea is one of the best characters in the comics, but the show made her little more than an obnoxious know-it-all who had to butt in at every opportunity and prevent anyone from making an actual decision ever. Michonne has been reduced to a functional mute who, instead of saying anything, just stares like an idiot. She’s quiet and tough and wounded in the comics, not stupid. And don’t even get me started on Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies). Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is about the only well-rounded female character on the show, and even that is debatable.
Hurd had this so say on the matter:
Laurie Holden is a fantastic actress. It’s very sad not to have her this season. On the other hand, it has provided an opportunity not only for Carol to step up, but also for Sasha and Beth … so actually this season you’re going to see a transformation of many of the female characters.
This is the most promising thing Hurd had to say, and even in “30 Days” you start to see some of this manifest. Michonne, while still remaining largely quiet, appears to have the beginnings of a an honest-to-god personality forming, which is wonderful, because the character is so much more than just stern looks and a sword. Even Carol (Melissa McBride), the eternal doormat, is growing and evolving. She secretly teaches children how to fight with knives on the sly. The old Carol would never have had the guts to pull a move like this, but now she has enough courage to stand up and do what she believes needs to be done.
And speaking of Carol, the one inquiring minds want to know is, will she and Daryl (Norman Reedus) finally get together? There was a lot of romance in the air at the prison in “30 Days,” and there was a little bit of something new going on between the two. Hurd, as is to be expected, danced around the matter, saying:
They have love and respect for each other, no question. They are able to tease each other. You don’t get Darryl to smile very much, but Carol can. I love the interplay between the two of them. I love the double entendre. We’ll see if it develops into anything more.
She goes on to call this the “number one” spoiler of the season, confirming that The Walking Dead really is a soap opera for fans of blood, gore, and guts.