The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere Will Be “Incredibly Propulsive”


Let it be known that The Walking Dead‘s season 8 premiere, “Mercy,” will ring in the show’s 100th episode in style.

Championed as an “explosive” start to what has been described as a suitably breathless instalment of AMC’s undead flagship, series showrunner Scott Gimple has consistently assured viewers that both he and The Walking Dead‘s creators have learned from past mistakes – specifically the sluggish pacing and drab story that crippled season 7.

But as TWD director Greg Nicotero tells, “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life” ended with the threat of war, as Negan and the Saviors prepare to defend the Sanctuary for all it’s worth.

We ended 7×16 with Negan standing in front of the Sanctuary saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to war.’ Everybody’s kind of there and ready to go. So, I would say this is by far the most propulsive season premiere that we’ve ever done in terms of setting the stage for knowing that we’re in the war.

Nicotero continued by highlighting season 8’s rat-a-tat pace, which will surely banish any half-forgotten memories of trudging through season 7’s quieter moments.

I think we’re accelerating our pace a little bit this season in terms of maybe having some of those little moments kind of conclude a little sooner as opposed to maybe dragging them out over long periods of time. So I think that the show’s going to have a tremendous amount of momentum this year.

Bouncing off that, series showrunner Scott Gimple then hailed season 8’s premiere, “Mercy,” as “incredibly propulsive” episode for its ability to hop around various locations. With that in mind, expect to check in on Alexandria, the Kingdom and the folks residing on the Hilltop throughout the episode’s super-sized, 69-minute running time.

The narrative itself is incredibly propulsive, and it cuts around quite a bit. The characters are all mixed up, and just the circumstance doesn’t really dictate this sort of slow… I do not say that in any sort of pejorative way, but this quieter side story with characters. It’s just, so much of it is just going forward and working against the clock, and racing each other towards objectives and towards victory.

Greg Nicotero, meanwhile, is the man tasked with helming The Walking Dead‘s season 8 premiere, and it’ll be with us on October 22nd.