For fans of The Walking Dead, the season six premiere (less than two weeks away, at the time of writing this) can't come fast enough. To help tide themselves over in the meantime-time, fans has been able to instead tune in for the spinoff Fear the Walking Dead - a show that set a cable series premiere record with the highest viewership for a premiere in cable history.
Hungry for content, fans have been savoring every bit of news released about the upcoming Walking Dead season. Here's what we do know: season six will feature the most complex Walker effects yet seen on the series; Walking Dead comic book character Paul ‘Jesus’ Monroe (Tom Payne) will make an appearance; and, as detailed in a recently released featurette with multiple cast member interviews, the conflict between Alexandrians and Rick's crew will be the focus. Today, we can offer Rick himself (Andrew Lincoln's) input on this, along with a fresh promo (see above).
In an interview with EW, Lincoln made it clear that Rick will not tolerate any nonsense from those at Alexandria. Given the Walking Dead season 6 promos that have been released, no one expects anything less. However, the way Lincoln talks about it (see below), this season may take the show in an overall new direction:
"You meet a man at the end of season 5 that is unequivocal about how we should defend and secure this new world, and it is a feasible world, he believes. And I think that you see a man going into motion about that. But, you know, respectful of the hierarchy over there [at Alexandria], but very possessive, and he’s not integrating as well as he could. And maybe that’s his Achilles heel."
Perhaps the most interesting thing Lincoln had to say is that what we will see from Rick this season won't be a straight power struggle between his crew and Alexandria - which is how season 6 has been painted so far. According to Lincoln:
"It’s not a dictatorship, but it’s certainly run by a very pragmatic woman that is realizing that she has to change, because she’s ill-equipped. She has no information about what is out there, and this guy does. So maybe it’s a leader and a general."
Lincoln's comments don't align quite so well with the information released about Walking Dead season 6 so far. It was suggested in season 5 that Rick and his crew will take over Alexandria if they feel they had to. Even though it's clear there will be major clashes, the way Lincoln talks here describes a man who will work with these people, rather than crush them under his boot. Lincoln said this in a pretty straightforward way:
"He’s not taking any s— from anybody. But not in a kind of I-want-to-take-the-place way, just in a very kind of I-know-what-needs-to-be-done, and let’s f—ing get it done."
It will be exciting to see the story turn in a way that offers the characters a chance to build and defend something- which we haven't really seen since the prison in Walking Dead season 3. Since then, the story of the core cast has been concentrated on wandering and stark survival to complete wariness of the Alexandrians. A focus on integrating with- or at least using- the community will give viewers something new. It also looks like the survivors in Alexandria will have a larger role this season if they are butting heads, working with, or trying to take down, Rick.
Add new characters to the mix and season 6 may well be something very different from what we've had from The Walking Dead in recent years.
The Walking Dead returns October 11th at 9pm on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead currently airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC.