The zombie-loving public’s attention has, rightfully so, been focused on the return of the mega-popular The Walking Dead. But while that series has been gradually creeping towards the debut of season 5, AMC has been quietly working behind the scenes to create a spinoff show, one that people have been calling “companion” series lately, though I don’t know what the difference is, or if there is one. Details have been sparse, at least until now.
TV Line has some details on the core characters, as well as the time and place where the series takes place. And there’s even another Andrea in this series. Honestly, as long as it’s not the same Andrea from the main series, who dies on season 3 and is one of the worst characters on TV ever (that may be hyperbole, to a degree, but I’ve hated few fictional creations as much as I hated her, and it’s extra frustrating because the character is so damn good in Robert Kirkman’s comics, where she is still alive by the way) I’m okay with it.
Here’s the breakdown of the people on this new series:
SEAN CABRERA | A Latino male in his early 40s, Sean is a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life.
CODY CABRERA | Sean’s whip-smart and rebellious teenage son. Known as the angriest kid in town.
NANCY TOMPKINS | A thirtysomething single mom to two kids, Nancy looks like the girl next door, but there’s an edge to her.
NICK TOMPKINS | Nancy’s screwed up teenage son. He’s too old to stay home, too scared to flee.
ASHLEY TOMPKINS | Nancy’s mostly level-headed teenage daughter. Her ambition is in direct proportion to her older brother’s failures. She loves her mom but it’s time to get out of Dodge.
ANDREA CHAPMAN | A somewhat wilted flower child, fortysomething Andrea — yep, another Andrea! — has retreated to the outskirts of the city to recover after a horrible marriage.
Aside from New Andrea, it looks like the main action will revolve around two families, perhaps from different sides of the metaphorical tracks, or at least different worlds, forced together by the fact that the dead are now walking the Earth and trying to eat everyone they see.
We’ve been told that The Walking Dead spinoff will show the zombie apocalypse in a new light, from a new angle, and TV Line is hearing the same, saying this could be a kind of prequel to the world we’ve seen depicted on TV thus far. It won’t be set in Georgia—nothing against the Peach State, but we’ve been there and done that at this stage—and will dramatize the early days of the outbreak and attempts to figure out what the hell is going on. The Walking Dead picks up right in the middle, so it may be interesting to see how the world came to this, though this scenario is also something we’ve see depicted onscreen countless times before. We’ll have to wait and see on that front.
Kirkman and Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy), the showrunner for the new series, wrote the script for the pilot, and Kirkman, along with fellow Dead producers Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert are also on board in a similar capacity. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the characters from the main series show up in the early days, as Kirkman has previously indicated could happen. Maybe Daryl (Norman Reedus) blasts by on his motorcycle.
AMC recently confirmed an order of the spinoff/companion series, which, given the massive popularity of The Walking Dead didn’t surprise anyone. There’s no real timeline, though there has been talk of the show premiering sometime next fall. They’ve been taking it slow in order to make sure they get it right, but with this announcement, it seems like the wheels are starting to turn a bit faster.
In the meantime, The Walking Dead season 5 premieres on Sunday, October 12.