AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead may be following in the footsteps of greatness, given that its parent show has become an undisputed cornerstone of the network’s line-up, but that doesn’t mean the spinoff can’t escape the shadow of AMC’s flagship to an entirely different, flesh-munching beast.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Dave Erickson provided an in-depth look at the upcoming zombie series, how it differs from The Walking Dead, and why it ought to be referred to as a “companion series,” as opposed to an out-and-out spinoff.
We are loosely covering the period of time that [The Walking Dead’s] Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was in his coma in season one. We’re able to watch and experience the things that he missed. It’s more of a parallel story than a prequel; imagine the opening where Rick gets shot and goes in his coma — that day was probably very close to our day one.
We’re playing out the idea of what was going on in the country and the world until he woke up, stepped outside and it’s welcome to the apocalypse. That’s why a “companion piece” has been the phrase used at the network. It’s not a prequel in the sense of Better Call Saul, where we’re jumping back six, seven years. It does tie very specifically into the pilot of the original.
Across TWD‘s lore, it’s an interesting time period to cover. The fact that Rick Grimes’ story doesn’t begin until the apocalypse has kicked off in earnest allows Fear the Walking Dead to explore the twilight zone between patient zero and the whole world going up in smokes. Primarily, AMC’s new kid on the decimated block will follow characters played by Cliff Curtis, Gone Girl‘s Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey and will shift the action to the west coast.
AMC has signed Fear the Walking Dead for two seasons with the option to renew the zombie “companion series” should the audience take a liking to Erickson’s vision. We’ll have a better indication of whether or not that comes to pass when the series makes its premiere on the network this summer.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter