Written by Christian James
“The Walking Dead” has been listed as AMC’s most popular show by tv.com, and for good reason too. While it takes place in a world overrun by zombies, the show really delves into the ideas of society and how easily it can fall apart. Due to their ratings and the fifteen million people who watch the show weekly, AMC and the show’s creator, Robert Kirkman, have decided to put together a spin-off series. Following a different set of characters and allow fans to see the transformation from our everyday world into the apocalyptic world portrayed in “The Walking Dead.”
While the original show’s location has mainly took place throughout Georgia, the spin-off, “Fear the Walking Dead” will take place on the other side of the United States in California. Watching the destruction of society in a more suburban area will allow for even more action than the wooded areas surrounding Atlanta, which was the main setting of the first season of “The Walking Dead.” It’s interesting to see where showrunners, Kirkman and Dave Erickson, who is new to the show, will take the series. Zombie fans have had the chance to see a zombie outbreak in action through multiple movies, so it’ll be fascinating to see how Kirkman and Erickson attempt to differentiate their story from the others.
Kirkman has expressed that he has thought up a story that involves the first person to be infected with the disease that turns someone into a zombie after dying, but that story will not be told in “Fear the Walking Dead.” Instead, the show will follow multiple characters, which had no relation to patient zero, as they witness the beginning to the end of the world. Kirkman has also explained that real life events have actually influenced his ideas for the show. Talking directly about the bath salt incidents that the United States witnessed as well as the Ebola outbreaks.
Specifically, Kirkman spoke about people’s reaction when they heard about the first bath salts incident. In the beginning, word spread of a man who was found eating another man’s face and then charged a police officer who had to put multiple bullets into the crazed-man before taking him down. While people joked about a zombie outbreak, no one really prepared for the worst. Kirkman and Erickson plan to use that within the story to explain how easily it can be for a deadly disease to spread due to the lack of seriousness given towards the situation.
He also said how the Ebola outbreak was another influence for the spin-off series, and went into details of numerous accounts that are examples of what could have started an epidemic. Specifically a nurse from Maine who went to West Africa to help treat Ebola patients, and after returning to the United States, she refused to self-quarantine herself. “Wow, maybe that could have been the beginning, or maybe this could have been the beginning,” Kirkman said about the situation.
The multiple outbreaks of measles disease throughout our history is overwhelming. Earlier this year there was an outbreak at Disneyland that infected 141 people, and 131 of them resided in the state of California, which is where the new spin-off series will take place. An entire month after the outbreak ended, the California Senate passed a bill that mandates students to receive vaccinations. The bill was set in place in order to protect students within California from measles, which is one of the largest causes of death within children. This outbreak and reaction by the Senate is a perfect example of how easily the disease can spread throughout the show. While doctors may have stopped the disease from spreading after 141 people were infected, they didn’t put an action into place that would help lower the chances of catching the disease until an entire month later. Not a lot is known about the disease in “The Walking Dead,” but it is known that it spread fast. So even if doctors within the show were able to stop the disease, most likely within a month there would be another outbreak. Maybe even due to a nurse refusing to quarantine herself before the United States could place a vaccination into action.
It seems that for the most part, Kirkman and Erickson are keeping the plot of “Fear the Walking Dead” under wraps. A synopsis has not been released for the first season, and the only thing fans really have to go on are the influences that Kirkman has discussed as well as the idea that the show will explore the collapse of society. The spin-off series will premiere this August and star Rubén Blades, Mercedes Mason and Cliff Curties
- Genre: Horror, Drama
- Created by Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson
- Writers Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson
- Starring: Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Mercedes Mason, Rubén Blades
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