THE WALKING DEAD
Well, here we are. Who would have thought that this year’s SDCC The Walking Dead panel would be about the still un-aired S10 finale, with no new S11 content. Such is life in this upside world today. In the lead-up to this panel and Comic-Con@Home in general, I alternated between struggling to stir up any kind of enthusiasm, and applause that anyone even made the valiant effort to make this all happen.
Because it is still fun. And exciting. More exciting than pruning my sickly tomato plants, at least. What is Negan’s trick, anyway? My tomatoes all hate me. And in the case of TWD, let us not forget you are free to make as many zombie and apocalypse jokes as you like! No show is more appropriate in these times.
Alas, I was a bit disappointed to find that the panel seemed to be pre-recorded. That kind of sucked a lot of the fun out of it for me. I still enjoyed seeing everyone’s thoughts and comments, as well as low-key checking out their houses in the background (Greg Nicotero, I approve of your wall paint choices). But let’s be real, they were all mostly commenting on stuff that has already happened, so it’s hard to drum up too much more enthusiasm on that front. Even the sneak preview footage appeared to be old news. Yes, there’s a big battle coming. Yes, we know Maggie is on her way. Yes, Carol and Daryl have a “long road to walk.” It’s been ten years! Can they just get together already? Of course, just when they might finally be on the verge of getting closer than ever, a real life pandemic is stalling them out. C’est la vie.
The one piece of new information is that instead of starting on Season 11 when filming finally resumes, they are now planning to tack six brand new episodes onto the end of Season 10 instead, independent of plans for Season 11. These six extra episodes should be airing in early 2021, barring too much more pandemic craziness. 3/5 Bibles.
THE WALKING DEAD: WORLD BEYOND
The upcoming limited 2-season series TWD: World Beyond panel had one major thing going for it that the flagship show did not: a whole season of brand new material to tease. This one felt a little more like a proper SDCC panel, albeit for the obvious. That said, I’m still battling the feeling that this experience isn’t offering much more than any other random online interviews, to be watched at any time. I am giving Comic-Con major props for trying hard, though.
We learned during the earlier TWD panel that TWD:WB will premiere on October 4, right after the Season 10 finale of the original show (at least, what used to be the season finale, since we now will be getting six additional episodes in S10 of TWD). The panel showed off some fresh footage and additional tidbits about the world-building and characters. We already knew that this chapter in the world of TWD follows a group of the first young people to come of age in the apocalypse, but now we find out a little more about how they tick.
The sisters Iris and Hope (who, according to actor Alexa Mansour, is anything but hopeful) and their peers have grown up in a world of relative safety, but with a vast theoretical knowledge of the dangers of the zombie-ridden outside world. For them, this is not so much a show about survival as it is about finding themselves; what sets them apart from the “empties,” to find their father and find a new beginning. The show promises a cross-country road epic, the likes of which we haven’t really seen in TWD to date.
The other intriguing part of this new show is what they are doing with the larger TWD universe. We see that the characters’ town in Nebraska is established enough that they now commemorate the anniversary of the apocalypse, known as “The Night the Sky Fell.”
On “Monument Day,” they remember the old world and those they lost. We can see banners that hint at the existence of other communities beyond their own. The most promising information we might hope to glean about these other communities is who exactly are CRM, the shadowy organization with the helicopter that spirited away Rick Grimes. According to Chief Content Offer Scott Gimple, this will be the show that will finally give you some answers about them.
I, for one, look forward to finding out more about how TWD establishes a new kind of civilization moving forward, into the beyond. 3.5-3.75/5 Bibles.