In the coming years, AMC will roll out spinoffs to two of its most successful TV series: Better Call Saul (the continuation of the Breaking Bad universe) and an untitled companion to The Walking Dead. While the former will feature a character previously introduced on its predecessor, the Walking Dead spinoff won’t be connected to the current show - other than existing in the same zombie-infested world.
Robert Kirkman, Gale Ann Hurd, and David Alpert of The Walking Dead will serve as executive producers on the new series, with Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy) as showrunner. The pilot script, written by Erickson and Kirkman, was well received by AMC, which gave the series the green light earlier this month. Now, new information about the companion’s six central characters has been released.
TVLine is reporting that the Walking Dead spinoff will focus on two small families as well as another character, comprising the six central figures in the spinoff series. There will be the Cabreras, a father and son; the Tompkins, a single mother with two teenaged children; and Andrea Chapman, who is reeling from her own personal tragedy.
Read the full character descriptions:
SEAN CABRERA | A Latino male in his early 40s, Sean is a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life.
CODY CABRERA | Sean’s whip-smart and rebellious teenage son. Known as the angriest kid in town.
NANCY TOMPKINS | A thirtysomething single mom to two kids, Nancy looks like the girl next door, but there’s an edge to her.
NICK TOMPKINS | Nancy’s screwed up teenage son. He’s too old to stay home, too scared to flee.
ASHLEY TOMPKINS | Nancy’s mostly level-headed teenage daughter. Her ambition is in direct proportion to her older brother’s failures. She loves her mom but it’s time to get out of Dodge.
ANDREA CHAPMAN | A somewhat wilted flower child, fortysomething Andrea — yep, another Andrea! — has retreated to the outskirts of the city to recover after a horrible marriage.
Although The Walking Dead can be considered a dramatic horror series, since it exists in a world filled with zombies, the show leans more heavily on its dramatic elements, such as character development. This has turned The Walking Dead into more of a character drama residing in a horrific world than a cut and dry horror series. It seems the Walking Dead companion will uphold the character-focused tradition by putting familial drama at the forefront of the series.
The combination of Sean and Cody Cabrera may be especially compelling for Walking Dead fans wondering what the character dynamic between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) would be like if the latter were older. However, the Tompkins’ will not be without their own tension as it seems the two teenagers, Nick and Ashley, may have often butted heads even before a zombie plague descended on their world. Additionally, it will be interesting to see how Andrea interacts with the two families - as well as how they interact with each other.
Although some aspects of the descriptions for the Walking Dead companion may fall into the realm of tired television tropes, whether or not the finished product does will depend on the show’s development of these characters. We won’t know more until actors and actresses are cast for the roles and more information about the project is released.
The Walking Dead season 5 premieres Sunday, October 12th, 2014 @9pm on AMC. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information about the show’s companion series as it becomes available.