SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details about the Season 3 premiere of Fear The Walking Dead

Day 5 of Austin’s ATX television festival brought together the cast and creatives of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead as well as an advance screening of tonight’s episode. Afterwards creator/exec producer Dave Erickson, who was joined onstage by EP Gale Anne Hurd and stars Kim Dickens, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo and Dayton Callie, offered some tidbits on what’s to come.

“A big part of the season is about morality,” Erickson said, a theme which played a significant role in the decision to kill off Cliff Curtis’ character Travis in the season opener. “Travis was the moral compass on the show. The reason to do it early was to drive Alicia, Nick and Madison in a very specific way.”

Erickson continued, “In his absences, everyone, especially Madison, doubles down on the cruel elements of the apocalypse and what you have to do to survive. Part of what the season is about is trying to get back to what Travis offered, for the most part, in the durations of season 1 and 2. He was the rock.”

“Madison goes pretty dark this season and [Travis’ death] spins her off in that direction,” Dickens added. “She becomes really merciless in doing what she needs to do to survive and save her family.”

Season 3 saw the Clark family reunited and taking refuge at a ranch run by doomsday preppers Jeremiah Otto and his two sons. But as always within the Walking Dead world, nothing ever is copacetic.

“It’s a big dynamic for the season, the reason we met Dayton last season, the reason they are preppers but they started as a militia group and they were patrolling the border,” said Erickson. “The big challenge for Madison and the rest of the family is to really dirty themselves a little bit. There are good people at the ranch and of course there are bad people. There’s an element at this place which is tarnish. These are people, some of whom Madison would not associate with prior to the apocalypse.”

Meanwhile, it’s Victor Strand who is now separated from the group and things aren’t looking too good for him.

“[Strand] has a greater sense of the architecture of this world and knows what we need,” said Erickson. “It’s really a question of how does he get to the position to get it. It’s not an easy season for Strand.”

Erickson also confirmed the return of Ofelia Salazar (Mercedes Mason), last seen in the season 2 finale, as well as Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades), who was thought to be dead.

“Daniel is back,” he said. “We’ve been looking forward to bringing him back.

“We’ll get a lot of information on what happened.”

Fear The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.