This season of The Walking Dead (based on the comic by producer Robert Kirkman) is on track to be one of the best seasons yet. It's receiving huge fan approval, and at the New York Comic Con the cast and crew gave fans some insight into the upcoming season and how they feel about their characters.
Already at the mid-season finale mark (see Alyse Wax's detailed recaps for more), we've seen the return of the Governor (David Morrissey); Carol (Melissa McBride) has been banished; and many of the new arrivals to the prison have died. It almost seemed for a time that Hershel (Scott Wilson) and/or Glenn (Steven Yeun) might die of the flu-like illness, with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) determined to join them. Carl (Chandler Riggs) is continuing to prove that – despite his father's wishes – he can protect himself and others. Michonne (Danai Gurira) is officially an irreplaceable member of the crew. And despite their struggles, or maybe because of them, the connections between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the core group have deepened.
One of the questions asked at NYCC was how invested fans should be in the new characters. The response was that fans should be completely invested. And keeping fans invested has been a major component of this season, just as in others. From the first episode, we are introduced to characters and made to care about them, only to lose them – sometimes by the end of the same episode. Norman Reedus (aka Daryl Dixon) and producer Gale Anne Hurd noted how fans' responses to The Walking Dead are incredible and part of what they strive for in the show.
The cast also talked about the fact that, at this point in the series, their characters are used to walkers – for the most part – so it's key to portray that, and find other ways to show that they can be caught off guard. Just seeing a walker isn't going to do it. And so far this season that has been true. The characters tend to get surprised by walkers when they are preoccupied with their own issues – with each other and with themselves.
It will be interesting to see what else Kirkman, producer and writer Scott M. Gimple, producer and make-up designer Greg Nicotero, Hurd and others will put the characters through this season. At NYCC, actress Danai Gurira hinted that fans should “beware within.” Undoubtedly, The Walking Dead has shown that – for some – being civilized is not so easy after civilization has collapsed.
Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!; and others. She has a BA in Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a former Fellow of Film Independent's Project:Involve.