Today at PaleyFest, we learned something new: Zombies can’t swim. But don’t think it’s safe to go back in the water. According to co-creator/EP/Showrunner Dave Erickson, “They can wade…. We’ve figured out the best ways to shoot water zombies. They don’t drown. They keep floating back up.”
The explanation came in reference to one of the two exclusive clips shown to the audience at the 33rd annual fan confab. The clip featured Nick Clark (Frank Dilane) under water as a zombie floats just above him.
In Season 2 of The Walking Dead companion series, we find our band of survivors aboard a yacht owned by the mysterious Victor Strand. Although many would logically believe that the water would be a safe haven for the uninfected, Fear The Walking Dead is out to prove us wrong . “What people find out fairly quickly is that we weren’t the only people who had the bright idea to leave land,” offered Erickson. “There is going to be threats and obstacles and conflict on sea and on land.
Another recurring theme of season 2 and of parent series The Walking Dead is building alliances and trusting relationships, something that our apocalypse newbies will grappling with. “She’s stuggling to find a connection in this very confined space on the boat and she starts looking elsewhere for it,” Alycia Debnam-Carey comments on her character. Kim Dickens weighed in on her character Madison’s “good instincts to not trust these new characters” but will make a few “uncomfortable alliances that she has to.”
When asked about any possibility for a run-in with the Rick Grimes-led group on the parent series, Erickson quickly responded, “No. That’s the one straight answer I can give you.” He noted that the two worlds are chronologically and geographically far apart so “finding a way to intersect them would be difficult.”
Erickson spoke on the comparisons of the two shows. “What they accomplish on The Walking Dead in many respects is harder because of the anticipation,” he said. “What Scott [Gimple] and Robert [Kirkman] and the writers on that show have done is that they’ve figured out a way to remix just enough so the story still has twists and turns. It serves the comic but also brings some fresh qualities to the show. As long as we don’t make up new zombie rules we can pretty much do whatever we want.” EP Gale Ann Hurd added, “We can’t go back to the same kinds of scenes and the same kinds of events that happened in The Walking Dead… You have to be pretty damn inventive to not go where that show has gone or the comic book has gone.”
The zombie rules still apply, according to Erickson. “Anything that has been established in the comics we have to follow.” The 15-episode sophomore session of Fear The Walking Dead premieres April 10 on AMC. Like its predecessor, the season will be split into two parts with the final eight airing in the fall.
Other panelist included cast members Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Lorenzo James Henrie, Mercedes Mason, Colman Domingo, and Ruben Blades, who joked that our country’s political state “is not so far away from the zombie apocalypse.”