AMC is hoping to satisfy fans' unquenchable thirst for all things “The Walking Dead” with the Aug. 23 release of its risky companion series, “Fear the Walking Dead.” The show exists in the same universe as the immensely popular original series, leaving many "Dead" devotees confused about what they need to know going into Sunday’s premiere.
The short answer for those curious about “Fear the Walking Dead” is that it’s so far removed from the plotline of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) -- and the rest of the characters that viewers are familiar with -- that people don't need to know much going in. In fact, the producers have been clear that they’re hoping for the companion series to stand the test of time on its own and not rely on winks to the original series to carry it into the hearts and minds of the audience.
Still, that does leave several burning questions about AMC’s latest premiere. So no one feels lost before tuning into the premiere at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday, here are the answers to some of the most common ‘Fear the Walking Dead” questions.
Where Does It Take Place?
As the initial preview for the show noted, “Fear the Walking Dead” is set on the opposite side of the United States from the events in “The Walking Dead,” which takes place mostly in Atlanta. The characters in the new show live in Los Angeles, bringing an urban environment to the zombie apocalypse for the first time. Sure, the original series had some pretty interesting scenes in the heart of Atlanta, but these characters actually live in the city proper. Fans can expect to see a different brand of civil unrest than what was shown in the original series.
When Does It Take Place?
The new show takes place in the days and weeks prior to Rick waking up from his coma. For those who don’t watch “The Walking Dead,” the series begins with the main character (Rick) waking up in the hospital after getting shot. Unfortunately, he’d slept through the end of the world and is now a lone survivor in a world where zombies outnumber humans. “Fear the Walking Dead” will attempt to show the fall of humanity for the first time, meaning all events that happened in the regular series mean nothing as the characters will need to figure out the rules and mythos of the zombies on their own. It was previously reported that “Fear the Walking Dead” will use its first two seasons to explore the time period before Rick wakes up.
Will We Learn More?
No, and it’s important to rip that band-aid off quickly. While “Fear the Walking Dead” will deal with the early days of the infection that later becomes the zombie virus, it will never explain why it happened or where it came from. Both the producers of show and series creator Robert Kirkman have made it clear that the focus of the series will not be on explaining the science behind the apocalypse -- but rather, exploring how a family deals with the end of the world.
Will There Be Crossovers?
Given the fact that this show is a prequel series, it would be difficult to work characters from the original show into the narrative. “Fear the Walking Dead” also needs to be able to stand on its own feet before it can bring on star power and start uniting its fan bases. So far, the only talk that Kirkman has done regarding crossovers has less to do with characters and more to do with the characters discovering things that the audience learned years ago on “The Walking Dead.” For example, the new players will have to discover the fact that everyone is infected in a whole different way than the characters on the original series did in Season 2.
Who Are The Stars Now?
Excellent question. “Fear the Walking Dead” packs a lot of great celebrity power into the series including: Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, Ruben Blades, Mercedes Mason, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Frank Dillane and “Orange is the New Black” star Elizabeth Rodriguez. The early episodes, according to Entertainment Weekly, will focus on characters Travis (Curtis) and Madison (Dickens) trying to unite their children as they embark on a new relationship following the respective end of their previous marriages. When the zombie apocalypse breaks out, they’ll have to decide if they want to come close together than ever, or drift apart.
Will you be tuning into “Fear the Walking Dead” on AMC Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EDT? Comment below or tweet your thoughts on the series to @TylerMcCarthy.