Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that AMC is about to premiere "Fear the Walking Dead," a new companion series to “The Walking Dead.” With the show promising to take on a time period not previously seen by fans of either the original TV show or the comics, many are looking back at the original series for any hints as to what they can expect from the Aug. 23 premiere.
As previously reported, the first two seasons of “Fear the Walking Dead” will take place during a time prior to the first episode of its companion series, when Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was still in a coma. Finally, viewers will get to see the rise of the zombies and the fall of man from the perspective of characters that aren’t sound asleep. Despite “Fear the Walking Dead” having a patient zero zombie virus carrier in Los Angeles, according to ComicBook, series creator Robert Kirkman has stated time and again that he will never explore the cause of the zombie outbreak. However, that still leaves the show with a lot of room to play, particularly with the fall of society -- something it has done in the past through flashbacks to the original series.
In “Fear the Walking Dead,” the new group of survivors, led by Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens, will have to discover things that “The Walking Dead” crew already has, such as the revelation that people can still turn into zombies without being bitten. However, the audience will also see them survive the fall of civilization, government and humanity. In the first two seasons of “The Walking Dead,” the producers included several flashbacks to the time when Rick was still in a coma and Shane (Jon Bernthal) was attempting to get his family to safety. While the flashbacks didn't give much detail about the state of the world and its leaders, they almost always shared one chilling common factor -- the U.S. government turning on civilians.
The first occasion of this is in the scene from Season 1, episode 6, in which Shane attempts to get his partner out of the overrun hospital. The scene shows U.S. soldiers frantically herding survivors out of the building. When Shane goes against the crowd to find help, he spots a whole group of unarmed doctors, nurses and patients getting mowed down by machine gun fire execution-style. In the first episode of the series, Rick takes a deeper look in the hospital and it’s pretty apparent that the government began executing living humans in a failed attempt to contain the outbreak.
Season 2, episode 5 featured a flashback in which Shane was trying to get Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) to the safe haven promised in Atlanta. Apparently, as Morgan (Lennie James) revealed in episode 1, people were told to flock to the major cities for protection. However, when Shane and company arrived outside of the city, they watched the government bomb it into oblivion -- likely in another attempt to contain the virus.
Basically, the only clue that “The Walking Dead” has given fans about what they can expect from “Fear the Walking Dead” is that once the government fails, it fails quickly and turns on its citizens in the process. While the logistics of the military’s response may be different in Atlanta than it will be in Los Angeles, the odds are strong that the soldiers become the bad guys at some point before “Fear the Walking Dead” catches up with the episode one timeline of “The Walking Dead." Unfortunately for fans who want to see the crushing moment when America falls, they may have quite a while to wait. After all, Rick didn’t wake up too far behind Shane’s escape, and the producers of “Fear the Walking Dead” have already revealed that it will take close to two seasons before the new companion series catches up with the first episode of the original.
What do you hope to see in “Fear the Walking Dead” that “The Walking Dead” had to gloss over? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.