‘The Walking Dead’: Robert Kirkman Says Season 5 Will ‘Hit the Ground Running’

Published 11 months ago by

A walking dead person in The Walking Dead The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman Says Season 5 Will Hit the Ground Running

[Warning: SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 4 ahead.]


When zombies first started gaining popularity, they were mainly seen in horror movies where a group of survivors would slowly get whittled down over the course of about ninety minutes until all – or nearly all – of them were dead and/or members of the zombie ranks. Exploring the zombie apocalypse in a long-running episodic series, as The Walking Dead does, changes the dynamic of this narrative and allows more time for a lot more breathing room.

Some critics of The Walking Dead have said that the show has a little too much breathing room, and that too many episodes drift by with too little momentum. Season 4 certainly started out with quite a relaxed mood, kicking off with an episode called “30 Days Without an Accident” that showed Rick Grimes trying to settle down and become a farmer rather than a fighter.

Rick’s dreams of a peaceful life have yet to come to fruition, and season 4 concluded with a large group of survivors from the prison thrown into a train car by the not-so-friendly residents of Terminus. The first official image from The Walking Dead season 5 indicates that the next episode will pick up exactly where the last one left off, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman confirmed that this is the case.

“This is the first time we’ve really finished a season and gone back to the same place for the next season, so that’s kind of cool… I think this show works best with a cycle or ramping up and ramping down, and lulling people into a sense of security and speeding things up and keeping them on guard. I will say that we definitely start this season in an up cycle, whereas last season we definitely started the season in a down cycle. So we’re certainly changing things up in that respect and we’re gonna kind of hit the ground running this season.”

The Walking Dead Season 5 Header Image The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman Says Season 5 Will Hit the Ground Running

Even after the survivors were forced to flee from the prison, the second half of season 4 passed by pretty sedately with a series of episodes focused on individual groups of characters and their development. There were a few significant plot events, but for the most part the pace was slow and thoughtful as everyone carved out their own path towards Terminus. But what will happen now that they’ve finally arrived? Kirkman isn’t telling.

“There’s been a lot more secrecy on set. Just because any images that get out of any kind of things that are seen do in a sense spoil that cliffhanger, so we’re trying to keep things a little more tight this time around. There’s always people crowding around where we’re filming and trying to get spy spots of what we’re doing and stuff, but for the most part we’ve been able to avoid that.”

Although the show does tread a similar path to the comic books, it’s also different enough to warrant the kind of secrecy that Kirkman is talking about, and those who read the source material know by now not to get to complacent about what they think is coming in the show. One thing’s for sure: Rick and his friends are in desperate need of an escape route.


The Walking Dead will return to AMC in fall 2014.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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    • He doesn’t have any control over commercials.

      • Was thinking the same thing…commercials…really

        • product placement, maybe?

  1. Since I’ve seen it since the beginning I’ll continue to watch, but for real..

    I won’t take any comments from the show runners seriously because they talk a big game and disappoint A TON. But like always, I will wait and see.

  2. I’ll give them 2 episodes to turn it round, within 5 minutes of last seasons finale I could tell they were going to drag it out and make us wait another year. This show is an almost constant disappointment now.

  3. So no 5 episodes of flash-back, exposition detailing the back story of the Terminus group?

  4. This shows gets worse every season. AMC should have a 5 season limit like HBO so shows like this don’t drag on in slow motion while nothing happens. Also supper cheesy dialog and acting at some points. It’s a soap opera zombie show for women. Get onto Fargo now that’s good stuff.

  5. The show is a 1 trick pony, but that would be okay if they just gave us the *#$% pony every episode.

    The second half of this last season killed it for me. Nothing happened until the end. Whole episodes of characters whining about how bad life is now, doesn’t make for fun tv. As my friend said, “Rick’s a downer.”

  6. Hit the ground running … in circles. After 5 years they’re still making the whiny complaints and killing the same zombies in the same part of Georgia. I’d love to hear an original thought like, hey, this beats my 9-6 desk job, or who needs to worry about social security anymore or I’d love to hit the beach and live off shore and catch some fish and… Get away from mopey Rick and this humorless bunch!

  7. “This is the first time we’ve really finished a season and gone back to the same place for the next season, so that’s kind of cool …”
    Nice try, to interpret this no-season-final as a cool season final. But in fact the 4. season was a constant downfall dominated by fillers and plot stretching. The final would have been a great cliffhanger or even a great midseason-final … but overall season 4 bored me to death (despite there were one or two good moments).

    Season 5 has to be more group-centered again, characterisation has to take place within the group and the roles and interactions of the group characters has to be the core of the plot … not stand-alone episodes centered on single characters without real connection with the group.

    If the fillers and plot stretching goes on in season 5, this time I just skip the show.

  8. Hope is not so booring and long like last season! :( The show was perfect in first season, alot of Action…

  9. there you go Kirkman,

    pretty much every flaw in the show summed up in 11 comments. Its totally fixable but stop promising and just freaking DELIVER an exciting full season. you now have the perfect season for this, The hunters stalking the group for the first half of the season – mid season finale the group going pulp fiction on them second half of the season they high tail it to DC. If it were me, I would skip the gated community crap and find a way to start NEGAN

  10. Just ti be clear… this is the same guy that claimed the second half of S4 was going to be intense and non-stop, right?

  11. I want to believe in this show.
    but after watching 27 million hours of back story pertaining to dule secondary characters i did not care about in the first place, not to mention the sunday stroll, that was part 2 of season 4, I find my faith has gone.
    p.s your not game of thrones, you can’t kill of liked characters i.e hershel, if you don,t have a massive pool of great characters to choose from, or you just end up with a bunch of characters no one likes standing around talking about the weather, or as its better known season 4.

  12. The thing that ruined season 4 was the single POV episodes. It needs to be revolving from group to group. Had it been done in that fashion, I feel as though season 4 would have been better received, but they want to give viewers the characters’ sense of being alone or lost from the group, which really doesn’t make for good TV.

  13. Sooooo….. Carl is going to miraculously age 9 months in that cargo container?

    And I quite liked last season. Was it perfect? No but it was a HELL of a lot better than dinking about a farm for an entire season and then giving us one token zombie every episode! ><

    • Beef Aging. They need to break down the connective tissue for consumption.

  14. You don’t say? The next season will pick up where the last season left off…why didn’t anyone ever think of doing that before?

  15. I thought that season 4 was a lot better then 3 I only hope they have more zombie run in’s in season 5 it would make the show more entertaining. I hope my Daryl and Rick don’t get killed.

  16. S4 was by far my favorite and also if you haven’t seen the deleted scene pic from the S4 finale check it out just google “The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale Deleted Scene Picture”

  17. Typo… “and those who read the source material know by now not to get to complacent” – where is complacent, and how do I get (to) there? if you want people to respect anything you have to say, respect yourself enough to use proper English. I won’t even go into the typos in the comments… Come on, guys.. Americans don’t HAVE to be so dumb……