The spread of the coronavirus has put a halt to the production of entertainment worldwide, causing some TV shows to go on indefinite hiatus and with The Walking Dead sadly being no exception, the situation is angering many fans.
Some shows were already far along enough in their production that episodes were ready for airing and can continue with a minimum amount of disruption, and most of this season of The Walking Dead was in such a state. Unfortunately, though, the season finale was still having post-production work undertaken when the pandemic escalated to the point of people requiring to isolate themselves to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading the infection. Speaking to EW, showrunner Angela Kang addressed the technical reasons for the delay, saying:
“I think it’s disappointing for all of us that work on the show. Everybody works so hard, our post production team, all of our vendors who are partners with us, everybody was really kind of racing against the clock. But as everything was unfolding worldwide, we have people around the world that work on our VFX and so people were having to start moving things remotely. But there’s just certain parts of the post-process that are very difficult to move remotely, and everything that moves remotely works slower because it’s like rendering these giant effects. If you don’t know that technical language, it’s like once they finish the stuff, the machines basically work on it to spit out a beautiful version of it, which we drop into the show.”
She then went on to praise people’s work under decidedly less than ideal conditions, stating:
“Everything just takes longer. And there’s certain processes that couldn’t be moved before California shut down for business. And it just couldn’t be done. And it’s people’s health and safety are first and foremost on our minds as well during all of this. So we will at some point air this amazing finale, but also, I really love how episode 15 came out. People did amazing work on it. It will feel like there’s kind of an epic, wonderful end to it. And even that one kind of came in really under the wire.”
The season finale will see Beta, driven to insanity by the death of Whisperer leader Alpha and thoughts of vengeance, lead an army of the undead to lay waste to the remaining communities and destroy what’s left of his enemies. It will presumably be heavy with action and effects, meaning the amount of post-production work required would have been higher than a standard episode, and thus part of the reason why its completion was still pending.
It’s obviously disappointing that we’ll have to wait to see exactly how this story arc of The Walking Dead will play out, but Kang is right in that people’s safety should always come first. No entertainment, regardless of how popular or anticipated it is, should be produced at the risk of the lives of those creating it, and we can only hope that the spectacular final battle will be worth the wait.