AMC's Fear the Walking Dead - it's new companion series to The Walking Dead - is setting itself up to be an interesting addition to the zombie genre. After its predecessor was solidified as one of the most successful TV series of all time - it'd be easy to just try and duplicate the same show with a different set of characters. Unlike Walking Dead, which had a major time jump as Rick awoke from his coma into an already zombie-overridden world - Fear the Walking Dead is set to tell its story in real time from before the outbreak began all the way through to the complete desolation and brutality viewers have become familiar with.
Having a zombie TV show take place during the outbreak seems simple but there haven't been many zombie properties that have actually played with that device - as most usually pick up after the largest amount of destruction has already taken place. The different setting (Los Angeles) and experiences the characters will have to go through, should help Fear the Walking Dead separate itself from its predecessor.
Today, EW has revealed some new images and details for the upcoming companion series, giving insight into each of the main characters - straight from creator Robert Kirkman. The images feature members of the show's central family, including: mother Madison (Kim Dickens), her daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), her boyfriend Matt, and Madison's boyfriend, Travis (Cliff Curtis).
Check out the images below:
Kirkman revealed that when the series begins, there's already an intense sibling rivalry taking place between Alicia and her brother, Nick (Frank Dillane) - one that brings an interesting dynamic to the show:
“Alicia is your atypical teenage girl. She excels at school. She’s on her way to college. She’s very self-sufficient. She’s very self-reliant. She’s kind of the model student and the model child. In the face of that, we’ve got Nick—who is played by Frank Dillane—who is pretty much a parent’s worst nightmare. He has flunked out of college, had a lot of trouble, got mixed up in some bad elements, and is definitely the problem child. And it’s exacerbated for him to be next to this perfect sister who seemingly doesn’t have anything going on in her life that is negative. But that’s not really the case, that’s just his perception.
So you have these two siblings that are very much at odds with each other. They love each other because they are brother and sister, but to a certain extent it’s almost like they are each other’s worst enemies because one is screwing things up while she’s trying to achieve things and get on to the college, and the other one is seeing her as this reminder of everything that he can’t be. So it’s an interesting dynamic.”
In regards to Dickens' Madison, Kirkman said the following:
“Madison is a character whose husband died. And she’s been raising her kids on her own, so she’s a character that has experienced a very abrupt change to her life that she has had to adapt to. So there’s an inherent strength in this single mother that makes her in some ways uniquely adapted to live in the zombie apocalypse. And I think Kim has shown that if you want to have a strong female character, a no-nonsense strong character —but with a lot of warmth, because its hard sometimes to find an actress that can have those two things and can be this leader and also have this warmth and this kindness to her—that’s something that Kim is very capable of.”
As usual with all Walking Dead characters though - most aren't what they seem to be at first, and Kirkman concluded, hinting that Travis might have some skeletons in his closet:
“Travis is a character that represents a sense of stability in Madison’s life, and so he’s really 100 percent on board. With the craziness of her life, he’s her rock. He’s her foundation. He’s come into this and become a part of her life and definitely is someone she’s leaned on. He’s definitely got a darkness to his past. There are some interesting revelations to come with him, I’ll just say that. He is finding himself torn between Liza, his ex-wife, and Madison.”
While nearly all of the family dynamics in The Walking Dead were established in its post-apocalyptic world, it's interesting to hear Kirkman talk about the show's central characters without mentioning walkers or enemy humans much. All of the actors have proven themselves capable of solid work, and with a performer like Dickens acting as the glue that holds her family together - she should prove to bring some tangibly stressful moments as the apocalypse threatens to tear her family apart.
Fear the Walking Dead is one of a number of new zombie properties set to make its way to the big and small screen in the coming months, but with its recognizable name as well as intriguing premise - the show is poised to be a standout hit this year. That is, as long as it lives up to the quality already shown in The Walking Dead.
Fear the Walking Dead premieres in summer 2015 on AMC.