The Walking Dead’s season 8 premiere will also be its 100th episode, marking a very significant landmark in the history of AMC’s Georgia-set zombie TV drama. The network was embracing the achievement at San Diego Comic-Con last month, plastering a ‘100 episodes – thank you, fans!’ banner around the convention center. (Check out The Walking Dead's SDCC banner here.)
That, of course, was only the beginning of the celebrations. As The Walking Dead season 8's October premiere shambles closer to TV sets around the globe, it’s safe to expect shed-loads of references to the series reaching triple figures across trailers, images and every other sort of promotional media that AMC decides to release online, in the weeks ahead.
Now a video has been released by AMC on Facebook, featuring Walking Dead stars such as Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Chandler Riggs, Lauren Graham, Danai Gurira and Jeffrey Dean Morgan taking the time to pay tribute to the show’s fans. Of course, without such a fervent fan base, the series never would’ve made it this far. You can watch said video, which intercuts the cast in full-on ‘talking heads’ mode with footage of the aforementioned fan base, below:
Of course, the fans have always been there; but they haven’t always been happy. Those same viewers that helped The Walking Dead get this far haven’t been quiet when it’s come to raising concerns. The slow-paced nature of season 7, for example, earned a massive amount of negative online feedback. The glut of single-location, character-specific episodes got an awful lot of backlash, too.
It’s no surprise, then, that the bulk of scuttlebutt surrounding season 8 has focused on how different it will be to its direct predecessor. Most recently, showrunner Scott M. Gimple promised that season 8 will be “massively heavy on action”. And before that, producer Denise Huth made a similar statement, assuring fans that “a ton of action” is on the cards for season 8.
And it’s not just the action quotient that will change this time around. The season 8 trailer that debuted at SDCC teased a time jump. Said trailer features a heavily-bearded Rick Grimes, which suggests that a massive change in status quo is set to take place. It’s already been suggested that this time jump could be just the kick up the rear that the show needs.
The Walking Dead returns on October 22 with its 100th episode.