There are just 30 episodes remaining of The Walking Dead. A few weeks ago, the show wrapped up its tenth run in style, with Daryl plunging two enormous knives into Beta’s eyes and the arrival of some high tech soldiers from the Commonwealth. Due in spring 2021 is season 10C, six new outings that will help fans get through the long wait for season 11, while the final 24 episodes will air sometime in 2022 and serve as an ending to the main series.
It’s been a long, bloody, occasionally slightly dull but often exhilarating ride. And now, with the finish line in sight, former showrunner and current The Walking Dead Chief Content Officer Scott Gimple has begun talking about the end. In an interview with THR, he explained why the series is wrapping up, saying that AMC are the ones who decided to put a stop to it.
“This came out of conversations with AMC and ultimately they made this call [to end it], obviously. And so [The Walking Dead showrunner] Angela Kang and I, thinking about it was… I don’t know, it’s incredibly heavy.”
“I remember reading about long running shows ending. I remember reading an EW article about the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The end of Lost. And even the end of MASH when I was a kid. And it was always hard for me to wrap my mind around eight years, 10 years, 11 years. And I think the thing that’s most weird about it is how quick it all went. It doesn’t feel like 10 years. It doesn’t feel like 11 years. And so I loved doing it.”
“I’m talking about when I was a showrunner; I loved doing that so much. It was so intense. And it’s so inside the story in every way, that I think I never really got to appreciate all of it when I was doing it. In some ways, even I get to appreciate it more in the position I’m in, because I’m not totally slammed with specifically showrunner stuff. And I don’t know… it all went by too fast. I mean, that’s how I feel. It all went by way, way, way too fast.”
But while the main show might be coming to a close, the franchise is far from dead. Fear the Walking Dead is still airing and The Walking Dead: World Beyond has just begun. Beyond that, there are the movie projects and building rumors of further spinoffs to fill the gap. Gimple went on to talk about this growing empire of TV series as well, saying:
“We have all these Walking Dead things ahead, and even with so many of the people that we work with, and in fact I’m hoping it’s with most of the people in one direction or another with Tales, Daryl and Carol, other stuff. I don’t know, it’s still incredibly heavy.”
Whatever else happens, those involved with The Walking Dead can hold their heads up high for creating a show that’s defined the horror genre on the small screen. Sure, it hasn’t been perfect from start to finish, but taken as a whole, it’s delivered some truly iconic characters such as Daryl and Negan, memorable twists like the time skip and brutal moments that have set new standards for what can be shown on network television.
And who knows, if season 11 really does plan to deal with the Commonwealth and their relatively stable society as depicted in the comic books, perhaps we could see some of our favorite survivors get a happy ending? Or at least, what passes for a happy ending in The Walking Dead‘s grim universe.