The Walking Dead Season 8 Will “Trump Everything That’s Been Done On The Show”

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For all of the excitement and nerve-wracking tension generated by The Walking Dead‘s season 7 premiere, it’s no secret that the remainder of the show’s most recent run fell victim to pacing issues, leading to AMC’s flagship posting some of its lowest ratings in four years.

Those numbers bounced back just as season 7 started to reach its bloody conclusion, but if you’re worried that the upcoming eighth season will repeat the same mistakes, don’t; showrunner Scott M. Gimple has assured viewers that season 8 will motor along at a “breakneck” pace. As Gimple revealed to Entertainment Weekly, that accelerated pacing largely comes down to the fact that the upcoming season of The Walking Dead will tout a “very different” structure to its forebears, one that will seemingly skirt around individual story arcs in favor of a more “kinetic” storytelling flow. Don’t be expecting too many “deep dives” into your favorite survivors, essentially. Not within single episodes, at least.

In the aforementioned interview with EW, Gimple had this to say:

“By virtue of the fact that the narrative has turned into one of pretty intense conflict, it’s going to affect the structure in ways that make it a bit more kinetic, a bit more breakneck — shifting away from entire stories in one episode, and sort of fractured over several episodes, with little pieces of each story coming together.”

As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, we’re now hearing a bit more about the upcoming season from Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron on the show. Speaking to ComicBook.com, he had a lot of hype to offer up, saying that the episodes they’re filming now are going to “raise the stakes” and are “so well crafted.”

“Man, 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.”

When asked about the first trailer, which is set to debut at Comic-Con, before no doubt breaking the internet shortly after, Marquand mentioned that what we’re going to see in it will “trump everything” that’s come before.

I think, I mean, for as cool as the Tiger is, we all love Shiva, but I think what we’ve got to show here in season 8 is going to trump everything that we’ve ever done on the show by far.”

Production on season 8 of The Walking Dead kicked off on May 1st. That places AMC’s undead flagship on course for a premiere in late 2017, at which point TWD will get “straight to the righteous battle” between Rick and Negan’s warring groups of survivors.