UPDATE: The intel below was from halfway through Season 4. At that point, Greg Nicotero said it was about a year and a half since "The Turn." However, there’s conflicting information out there. Michael Cudlitz did interviews after Season 5, Episode 5, saying — after Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) confession — Abraham feels like the last two years of his life were a lie. He said two years in a couple of interviews and year-and-a-half/two years in another. That’s just two years on the mission with Eugene, which was after his family was killed earlier in the outbreak.
Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) also recently weighed in on the start of the ZA, telling New York Daily News, “As we progress further and further into the show, it becomes a period drama (when) it comes to clothes, fashion and even weaponry. We have to have a cutoff of three years ago (from when the apocalypse occurred on the series)."
Three years? Two years? Two years might be fair, even it seems like time was quite condensed in the second half of Season 4, and only about a week has gone by in the timeline of the show since the first group got to Terminus to the “current” time of Abraham’s group getting stranded on the road in Episode 5. So we're probably somewhere between 1.5 years to two years into the zombie apocalypse by the first half of Season 5. Some people are gauging the time by baby Judith, but that might be giving the show too much credit. Look at how much Chandler/Carl has grown in what the show is calling 1.5/2 years. We have to suspend some disbelief.
The Walking Dead started with BFFs Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) on the job just before the outbreak. Then we woke up in the hospital with Rick and saw the world had gone to poop. Now it’s halfway through Season 4, right after the prison battle.
How long has it been since the start of the zombie apocalypse? What’s the timeline?
Every so often we try to do the math, including time jumps between seasons, but director/producer/special effects guru Greg Nicotero helped us out in a December 31 interview with Channel Guide Magazine.
Here’s what he dropped into an answer about walkers in the second half of Season 4: “The threat of the walkers is something that Scott [Gimple] and I had a long conversation about when we wrapped Season 3. Because the truth of the matter is that if our group has been going out on runs and living in this prison for a year, year and a half — because you figure it’s probably been about a year and a half since The Turn — they have to be good at killing walkers or otherwise they wouldn’t have survived...”
OK, so that gives us a big-picture feel for the timeline. There were several months between Season 2 and Season 3, illustrated by Lori’s advanced pregnancy; and there were about six or seven months between Season 3 and Season 4. Do you think they’ll do another time jump between Season 4 and Season 5 or follow the characters wherever we leave them on the March 30 finale, "A"? We're guessing they won't be on the road as much when Season 5 returns, and it would be nice to pick up the action as if no time had passed. But filming tends to be done from spring to fall, so we won't be shocked if the story fast-forwards through another winter.
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Source: Channel Guide Magazine