Proving that even soulless, flesh-eating zombies need friends, AMC is preparing to expand the world of The Walking Dead with what they’re calling a “companion series.” They’re not calling it a spin-off series because the only thing it’s going to have in common with the original is that it’s set in the same universe. This is a great way to go about making a related series, but leaving it completely unhindered by its progenitor.
At this point they’re not giving away any details about the new series so it’s anybody’s guess as to what direction this new show will go. And before you get any ideas, the image above was taken from AMC’s global promotion of the show and it has nothing to do with the upcoming new series. Although if it did take place in Britain I suppose they could always call it “Blighty Bighters” if they were really desperate for a title.
The door is wide open for possibilities here and you can let your imagination run wild until AMC tells us just exactly what it’s going to be about. The full press release is below, but before that I want to torture you with a few off-the-cuff ideas that I wouldn’t mind seeing.
No, not that kind of barf, you sicko! In this case it would stand for the Biological Anomaly Research Facility. The show would focus on an underground high-tech research center that’s trying to understand the mechanics behind the outbreak. The main characters would be a group of action-hero scientists (are there any other kind on TV?) who make forays to the surface to hunt down and capture walkers for research purposes.
Think of it as a much higher tech version of what Milton was doing in Woodbury; something along the lines of Walter Bishop In Zombieland. There could be all kinds of possibilities for strange twists on walkers when scientists with too much time on their hands begin tons of strange experiments on the undead…and maybe even the living.
Okay, so the title could use some work.
The Blood Boat
A close-knit crew of a cruise ship travels around the world saving the uninfected from the hordes of hungry corpses all while fighting the occasional undead stowaway or biter outbreak on the Lido deck. Each week would feature a famous guest star who would figure prominently in the plot and it would be anybody’s guess if they ended up alive or infected.
There’d still be science going on, though. The friendly and quick-witted bartender would be busily working on a counter-corpse cocktail to try and, ahem, stem the tide of zombies or at least protect the living from being attacked. I’m thinking of a repellant along the lines of a single-malt scotchguard. Thankyouverymuch…
I know I mentioned this dreadful title already, but I’d love to see the universe of The Walking Dead head over to the land of Sean of the Dead. It would be almost exactly like the original show, but the lead would be played by an American Southerner who puts on a very convincing English accent while driving on the wrong side of the road. Oh, and the walkers would be much more polite. “Pardon me, but do you have any fresh human flesh?”
Zombies In Spaaaaaace!
So, this would be a budget breaker, but wouldn’t it be cool to see astronauts fighting biters in zero g? In this universe the space program is a little more advanced than in our ordinary world. There are several orbiting space resorts with thousands of tourists just floating around trying to figure out how to do everyday tasks sans gravity. It’s bad enough trying to eat soup or go to the bathroom without making a mess, but then toss in the hungry, hungry horrors and you’ve got a wild time indeed.
The focus could again be on an intrepid team of heroes who spend their time trying to keep space a zombie-free zone. Each week they’d board a different orbiting facility to bust some brain-hungry skulls and teach people basic microgravity survival skills.
Alright, mom says I have to turn off the computer now, but before I go here’s the official AMC press release regarding their intent to “Spread the Dead.”
AMC Readies To ‘Spread The Dead’
Network Developing Companion Series ToThe Walking Dead
Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd And David Alpert On Board As Executive Producer
New York — September 16, 2013 — AMC announced today that the network is in the initial stages of developing a companion series to its original drama series The Walking Dead, which premiered on AMC in October of 2010. The Walking Dead is currently the #1 show on television among adults 18-49. Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert are on board as executive producers, with AMC Studios set to produce. The companion series has a target on-air date of 2015.
“Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager. “We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters. It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.”
“After 10 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,” said Kirkman. “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.”
In addition to Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels and Low Winter Sun, AMC recently greenlit two new drama series for 2014, Halt & Catch Fire and Turn. The network today began shooting a new pilot, Line Of Sight, directed and executive produced by Jonathan Demme, and has a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Television for a spinoff series of Vince Gilligan’s landmark Breaking Bad, based on the Saul Goodman lawyer character with the working title Better Call Saul.
Season four of The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 13. The Walking Dead is based on the comic book series created and written by Robert Kirkman and published by Skybound, Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics.
The Walking Dead season three out-delivered everything on television including The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, Game of Thrones, Modern Family, and almost doubled The Bible for the broadcast season for adults 18-49.