AMC has announced that this Sunday on Talking Dead they will reveal the crossover character between the worlds of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. The crossover was first teased by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman in October at New York Comic Con, though the identity of the character doing the crossing over was kept under wraps (the better to foster discussion, no doubt).
Fan speculation about who might be making the jump between series has followed several different lines. The most popular theory has Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), who was killed by Negan on The Walking Dead season 7 premiere, showing up on Fear at an earlier point in time. Another theory has a Fear character, perhaps Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) or Madison (Kim Dickens), making the jump over to Walking Dead. Speculation about a Fear character arriving on Walking Dead was given extra fuel at the tail end of last week’s episode when Rick spotted a helicopter flying overhead, a strange occurrence in a world where the zombie apocalypse has rendered most such technology obsolete.
AMC has now announced that they will end the speculation and reveal the character who will be crossing over (see the Twitter video below). The reveal will come this Sunday on Talking Dead, the all-things-Dead talk show that airs right after The Walking Dead.
Prior to the announcement of a crossover, Walking Dead producers had always insisted that it would make no sense to directly connect Fear the Walking Dead with The Walking Dead, owing to the two shows’ differing timelines (Fear takes place at an earlier point in time than Walking Dead and the series is in no rush to catch up, the whole point being that it exists as its own separate entity within the same universe). Something obviously happened to make producers change their minds about that and ponder the possibility of a character-share between the two shows.
For this crossover to actually work as something more than a momentary novelty, the character doing the crossing has to be someone fans will be eager to see again. The Abraham theory is popular because Abraham was a character people liked and would enjoy seeing on Fear. The Alicia/Madison theory is also popular because those are characters from Fear that people are into and would like to see transplanted over to the main show.
The big question is, will the crossover gimmick do anything to help inject new life into the Walking Dead franchise? Ratings for The Walking Dead have been flagging ever since season 7, and in season 8 they have dropped to levels not seen since season 2. Maybe moving a character over from Fear will help the ratings on Walking Dead, and maybe it won’t. Having Abraham show up on Fear might work to bring new fans to that series, but Fear doesn’t return until mid-2018, so there wouldn’t be an immediate payoff. The suspense won’t last much longer, as the reveal is set to come Sunday night.
The Walking Dead season 8 continues next Sunday with ‘The King, The Widow, and Rick’ at 9pm/10c on AMC.
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