The Walking Dead just wrapped up season 7 with the sacrifice of a popular character, and showrunner Scott M. Gimple is already busy setting the stage for season 8, promising the next season will be kinetic and fast moving. That news will be welcome to longtime viewers, as the show has faced criticism of late for its languid storylines and use of stalling tactics to delay action until the season finale.
Although the show has remained popular, it's no secret that the series has been losing viewers for the past two seasons, reaching a low point of 10.16 million U.S. viewers at the beginning of March. There is no single answer as to why the series is losing viewers but many fans chalk it up to the fact that The Walking Dead has become extremely bleak with inconsistent writing and a very slow pace.
It seems that this slow pace will come to an end with season 8, however. In an interview with TV Line, Gimple stated as much:
"It’s going to be different. They aren’t going to meet in Alexandria every weekend and do that. There are twists and turns to it, definitely some small-scale things and some large-scale things and a whole different momentum to the story. Now that [the various factions] are in public conflict and everything is on the table as far as everybody knows who everybody is to each other and what’s going on, the narrative changes a lot. It’s going to become a bit more kinetic and fast-moving because that’s where the story is going. The content is definitely going to be determining the form."
This comes as good news to longtime fans who had been frustrated with the past few seasons. The season 7 finale somehow gave the death of a single character gravitas in a series where most of the deaths have lately felt inconsequential to the plot or just plain gratuitous. It also didn't give viewers a cliffhanger like season 6's divisive final scene with Negan swinging his bat off-screen.
Season 8 finally makes the declaration of all-out war that the series has been promising for a year and a half now. We can only hope that the producers will fix some of the complaints that viewers have had for a while, such as how the middle of each season ends up a series of slow filler and bottle episodes. According to Gimple it seems that the next season of The Walking Dead is teeing up an epic, fast-paced storyline when it premieres later this fall.
The Walking Dead will return for season 8 in the fall of 2017.
Source: TV Line