If you expect there to be a steady stream of news about AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead between now and the time the show returns for season 5 on October 12, you will most likely be right. We’ll probably get little pieces of minor reveals as we get closer that will give you a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming episodes, and then we’ll get random things that, while they may be cool, don’t tell you anything. And today we’ve got a little bit from both of these columns, including the confirmation of the identity of one highly anticipated new addition to the cast.
There are going to be a number of new additions to the series this season, and we’re talking about actual characters that contribute to the series in a meaningful way, not just the barely-named zombie fodder we had at the prison who get one line and then they die. One of the most interesting new faces is Seth Gilliam, who joins fellow alums of HBO’s The Wire, Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob Stookey) and Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese).
Since it was announced that Gilliam was joining the party, there has been speculation that he is going to play father Gabriel Stokes. The timing is right, the show follows roughly the same timeline as Robert Kirkman’s comics, and this is about where he shows up. There was even a leaked picture of Gilliam wearing a priest’s collar. While no one would confirm or deny these suspicions at the time, EW now reveals that Gilliam is in fact playing Gabriel, and there’s even this official picture of him dressed as his character.
I only read the comic book where Father Gabriel was introduced. Which I think was episode 61 in the comics. I didn’t read anything before that, and I haven’t read anything after that. I discovered from reading about the show that often times characters’ names and journeys are kind of crisscrossed and mismatched, so I thought if I did read too much I might be giving myself a lot of information that would be useless, or just outright wrong. So I figured, like with everything, I’d just take the script and try to fill him out the best I possibly can.
We’ll have to wait and see how closely the TV version resembles the source material. Though they’ve stuck rather close to the script as far as big plot points go—like Hershel’s farm, the Governor, and the prison—they’re not shy about changing things up or tweaking things in order to keep fans of the comics from getting bored and knowing exactly what is coming.
Trying to do everything they possibly can to remain viable as the print medium dies, EW routinely publishes issues with multiple covers hoping that people will buy them all, and their latest issue offers a number of Walking Dead images on the cover. Like I said, this isn’t the first time they’ve done this, hell, it’s not even the first time they’ve done this with The Walking Dead.
First off, there’s a photo of the entire cast, or at least most of them, that is similar to the one revealed for San Diego Comic-Con last month.
And then there’s the first cover, which, understandably, is Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). That makes sense, he is the protagonist after all, and he appears to have a full berserker mode thing going on here. Which, according to what we’ve seen building up to the new season, is a very real possibility.
Michonne (Danai Gurira) also gets into the act, swinging around her trademark katana. We have to hope that season 5 continues to build her character like the final eight episodes of season 4 did. She’s such a phenomenal character in the comics that is has been hard to see her given such short shrift thus far in the series.
Glen (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) are, as you might expect, together, taking a break from knocking boots in whatever secluded corner they can find.
And then there’s fan favorite, potentially gay redneck Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), who we all know is fond of stabbing walkers in the head with arrows (any old fool can shoot and arrow at a zombie, it takes a badass to get close enough to jam one through an undead skull).