A member of the regular cast on AMC 's zombie-drama The Walking Dead has openly praised the forthcoming season of the show. After a mixed reception to season 7 by some fans, actor Ross Marquand has stated in an interview that season 8 is "going to be the best season so far."
After the gruesome cliff-hanger from season 6 was resolved (and Negan's victims were revealed), many criticized the fact that the main characters were segregated in season 7 and that some of the chemistry was lost. The narrative bounced around between the settlements of Alexandria, The Kingdom, Hilltop Colony, and the Savior's stronghold. It kept Rick Grimes MVP's away from each other and seemingly losing focus. It wasn't really helped by a depressing arc that saw Rick in thrall to Negan and his thugs, until he gradually got his mojo back. Although the finale saw the gang back together and Negan suffer a serious setback, a decreasing audience made people wonder what the show could do in season 8 to improve itself. But as the series ends a new story arc, and "all out war" is inevitable between the Saviors and the settlements, one of the survivors has said that good things are on the horizon.
Speaking to ComicBook,com ahead of the Walker Stalker Con in Nashville, Marquand hinted at what fans can expect from the show when it returns to air;
"I mean, I really can't say much, but I will say that again I think it's going to be, I think with what we're capturing so far I think it's going to be the best season so far of the show. I think it's so, so well crafted .... Every episode I read I'm just blown away by what we're getting on the page and I think it is going to raise the stakes even higher than the show has ever gone before, which is saying a lot considering the stake rising we've been doing every single year for the last 7. To go even further in Season 8, that's just astonishing."
Marquand plays Alexandrian recruiter Aaron, a character who has managed to survive since first appearing on season 5, and he is obviously very confident in what the show will achieve in the next season. The fact that the finale of season 7 managed to be full of incident and action, is encouraging. Also noteworthy are the previous snippets of news that have been revealed ahead of the show's return. Showrunner Scott Gimple has already stated that the new episodes will be kinetic and fast moving and the premiere will have a ton of action.
Intriguingly the show may also include a significant time jump in the storyline which could mean that long and obvious "set-ups" for confrontations might be avoided. And with Andrew Lincoln as a reinvigorated Rick, along with the confirmed return of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the nefarious Negan, the two leaders will be sure to butt heads frequently (especially if the comic book story arcs are followed in any way).
In the meantime, it's good to see the cast throwing their weight and confidence behind the show, but we'll reserve judgement until season 8 actually hits our screens later this year.
The Walking Dead season 8 will premiere in October 2017.