It's been a long and grueling wait for The Walking Dead's many fans - but the wait for new zombiefied action just got a little shorter: AMC will be airing six short webisodes next Monday, just two weeks before the season 2 premiere.
The short stories will focus on a character who's infamous for Dead heads, the crawling, bisected zombie girl that Rick Grimes encounters just after leaving the hospital in last year's pilot episode. Show writers calls the character "Bicycle Girl." The forthcoming webisodes follow the life of the girl named Hannah leading up to her death, un-death, and finally the iconic meeting with Rick.
All six episodes will air on AMC's website on Monday, October 3rd. The network announced the webisodes when it promoted special effects guru Greg Nicotero to the co-executive producer role in the wake of Frank Darabont's controversial departure.
Nicotero himself is in the driver's seat for the webisodes, which will show the slow transformation of Hannah into Bycicle Girl in a sequence that's sure to put even The Walking Dead's stellar makeup and practical effects to the test. You can see the level of work that went into the segments from the pilot as Nicotero explains in a behind-the-scenes video:
The original Bicycle Girl actress (whom Darabont apparently cast himself as season 1 was filming in Georgia) will not return to the role. Presumably at least a few minutes from the pilot have been re-shot with the new actress/victim, Lilli Birdsell. She's made the rounds on network shows like Two And A Half Men, NCIS and Cold Case, but has yet to secure a breakout part.
Fans and media alike have been considering Darabont's firing for months, with a gloomy eye towards the successful series' future. News leaks of The Walking Dead's budget being slashed didn't help - including the disturbing suggestion that the expensive zombies be heard instead of seen. Perhaps the creation of the Bicycle Girl webisodes under Nicotero is a way to save face with the series faithful.
In any case, new content is likely to be gobbled up eagerly by an audience starving for more.
The Walking Dead webisodes land on AMC's website on Monday, October 3rd at 2PM. The Season 2 premiere will follow on the 16th.
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