AMC announced a few weeks ago that their most successful show will be getting a spin off. Zombie filled drama The Walking Dead will receive a "companion series", in 2015, focusing on an entirely separate storyline than the comic series. Robert Kirkman, creator of the comic, will be in tow as executive producer. He said: "After ten years of writing the comic-book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn't be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe,"
Little else is known about the new series. We do know following Kirkman will be executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert, but nothing else. Kirkman continued: "The opportunity to make a show that isn't tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing." So where has that creativity taken the writing team? The Walking Dead has developed into a multi format franchise after expanding from the comic into the TV series and a number of games. Where could the new series lead us?
Warning spoilers for all things The Walking Dead ahead:
Out of America:
Every aspect of The Walking Dead franchise has focused its attention on the zombie outbreak in America. We've seen Atlanta overrun but how about an entirely different part of the world. Somewhere zombies haven't been tackled before. World War Z had the nerve to take us to Wales! How about a zombie apocalypse in Shanghai where high population would cause even more turmoil. It's unlikely we will leave America for this spin off considering the production will be based there but at least take us to someone fundamentally different to the Deep South. Did somebody say New York City?
Thing to avoid: CSI style spin-off, The Walking Dead Miami starring Dead Horatio.
Potential crossover with TWD heroes:
Could Rick & co pop up in this separate series? Glenn made a fleeting appearance in Telltale's The Walking Dead videogame before he continued on his journey to meet the prison crew. We could see characters pop up; especially part time spots such as seeing Michonne pre-season three or even meet up with Morgan as he goes mentally insane.
Things to avoid: Merging the two series
Other comic characters:
Kirkman has said he will enjoy a blank page but this could be a way to introduce other characters into the television universe. Followers of the comic book will know and may be anticipating the introduction of big, bad villain Neegan who could be introduced in the spin-off as The Governor continues to terrorise the Atlanta survivors. Characters could become introduced in one series and then crossover into the original series or vice-versa.
Thing to avoid: Casualty/Holby City style shared characters.
Different time period:
We're not talking about jumping into the RV and flying back to 1885 to save Dr Edwin Jenner. But the timeline of this new series could head forward five years to see how the planet is coping further ahead in time. Surely the situation only becomes more and more dire as food supplies continue to stop. As the population truly dies out and becomes the undead, humans will get more desperate with every passing day.
Thing to avoid: Spoiling worldwide events we want to see Rick's group live through.
A different tone:
The Walking Dead supplies us with some of the darkest television available, their ability to kill off major characters in shocking ways without a moment's notice is a main reason it's so popular. It would need to be done with great care to not become a parody of the original but the show could become even darker and delve deeper into the grim universe Kirkman has created. Although the series is intensively brutal, the comic will always be king of the castle. For example, while The TV Governor brutally beat Michonne, the comic series storyline involved a rape and characters losing multiple limbs.
Thing to avoid: Carry On Walking The Dead, severe tone shift could damage the franchise.
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