AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama, The Walking Dead follows Rick Grimes and his group of survivors through the southern United States. Although the series has had its ups and downs in terms of critical reception over the show’s five seasons, it has remained a ratings powerhouse for the network.
Growing its Walking Dead universe, AMC recently debuted Fear the Walking Dead, a spinoff/prequel that details the beginning of the zombie outbreak. Like its predecessor, the new zombie series was a success in the ratings, setting a new record in cable premieres. Now, AMC will add another component to its zombie franchise in the form of a stand-alone special.
EW is reporting that AMC is producing a half-hour special within The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead universe. The story will be separate from both previously established TV series and follow a group of characters during a walker attack on a passenger airline flight. One character that survives the attack will later join the cast of Fear the Walking Dead.
In terms of how the special will air, the story will debut online and segments will premiere during commercial breaks of The Walking Dead. Fear the Walking Dead producers Dave Erickson and David Weiner are both on board to produce the new story. EW mentions that little else is known about the stand-alone special, such as the project’s name, the cast or how many different parts will air during The Walking Dead.
Previously, AMC produced an online web series, The Walking Dead Webisodes, that told the stories of characters outside the show, or loosely related to the series. However, the web series was never used to introduce a character that would appear on The Walking Dead.
So far, it appears the as-yet-untitled airline special will largely be a way to tie together The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead since no crossovers are planned at this point. With the special airing in segments during commercial breaks of The Walking Dead, then continuing a character’s storyline on Fear the Walking Dead, it entices viewers to watch both series plus the airline attack story.
As for the situation of a walker attack on an airplane, it certainly provides a compelling, one-off horror premise that may offer plenty of chilling moments in such close quarters. Of course, a zombie outbreak on a plane has been shown before, such as in the horror blockbuster World War Z. That being said, AMC’s take on the attack of the undead may focus more on the character drama than the action, as has been the case with their zombie series.
That being said, it may be difficult to tell a character drama in such small parts throughout the commercial breaks of a longer show. Of course, at this point too little is known about the airline attack story to determine whether it will be another good addition to the franchise. But, fans will still likely tune in, if only because they’re already watching The Walking Dead.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. The Walking Dead returns October 11th on AMC.