‘The Walking Dead’ Spin-off: Kirkman Expands the Dead Universe, But Will Anyone Care?

‘The Walking Dead’ Spin-off: Kirkman Expands the Dead Universe, But Will Anyone Care?

Yesterday,  Robert Kirkman, creator of AMC’s juggernaut ‘The Walking Dead,’ announced his plans for a ‘Walking Dead’ spin-off. The show will take ‘Dead’ fans out of Georgia and explore the wide world of the zombie apocalypse, but will ‘TWD’ fans tune in?

AMC President Charlie Collier believes fans are begging for a new view of the ‘Dead’ world since, ” Almost from the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, fans have been curious about what is going on in the zombie apocalypse in other parts of the world. In fact, beyond requests for zombie cameos, it’s the question I get asked the most,” (“AMC Announces Pilot“).

All the ingredients seem to be in place: Kirkman, zombies, and David Erickson. Erickson’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ was wildly successful, so clearly the pilot is in capable hands, but will anyone care?

Rick Grimes and his adopted family of survivors ARE ‘The Walking Dead.’ Viewers are drawn to the show’s compelling character dynamics more than the magically visceral special effects and haunting sets. Heck, rabid fans threatened to boycott the show if beloved character Daryl was killed off the show. It will take more than including the zombie apocalypse to duplicate ‘The Walking Dead’s’ power.

Chances are, when fans express curiosity about the wider world of the zombie apocalypse, they want to see Rick and the rest of the Grimes gang experience new conflicts and climates that challenge the group’s dynamics in fresh ways. It will be hard not to compare the pilot’s characters to favored ‘TWD’ characters. Will the association with ‘The Walking Dead’ be this pilot’s undoing or its insurance policy?

The potential for comic book crossovers are exciting. In recent issues of ‘The Walking Dead,’ a new group of survivors, led by Magna,  joined the Grime’s settlement. Magna’s back story has yet to be developed and her story arc is far removed from the TV series. Chances of this, though, are slim- especially if Kirkman wants a unique identity for this new series.

What do you think of plans for the new series? You can share your predictions and dream-plots in the comment section.

Season 5 of ‘The Walking Dead’ premiers Sunday October 12, 2014  at 9:00 PM. The pilot is slated to air some time in 2015.

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Teacher by day, pop culture consumer by night- Melissa lives for good stories and loves to share them with fellow TV, movie, graphic novel, and book enthusiasts. As Galabout Bethlehem, she blogs, too, about her local arts and culture scene for figbethlehem.com. She also blogs about pop culture's influence on everything from her world view to her relationships at undertheinfluence76.blogspot.com-- she'd love for you to join in on her journey.