Are you ready to spend a few more months in prison? The Walking Dead Season 4 premieres Sunday, October 13 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. We’re starting the season right back at the prison, although we may not end up there when the 16-episode season ends.
Head here for a quick recap of Season 3 and where we left off.
The Season 4 premiere — written by new showrunner Scott M. Gimple and directed by producer/special effects guru Greg Nicotero — is titled “30 Days Without an Accident" and will follow this vague description: “The group lives an ideal life at the prison, and strives to hold onto humanity.”
There will be a bit of a time jump between Seasons 3 and 4, around six or seven months, and a winter will have passed. We’ll see upgrades to the prison setup to account for the influx of about 50 expats from Woodbury. There will be some changes, and our former Ricktator (Andrew Lincoln) will no longer be the leader, he’s now just a farmer trying to focus on fatherhood.
According to Entertainment Weekly, a new council is formed to replace the Ricktatorship and anyone wanting entry into the prison community has to answer three questions: “How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? And why?”
A bunch of new characters will have major roles in Season 4 — including Bob Stookey, who apparently passes the three-question test. He will be showing up in the premiere, and his portrayer Larry Gilliard Jr. has signed on a series regular.
Bob is a character from the comics, but like most everyone else, his story has been changed a bit for TV. Unlike in the comics, the TV version of Bob is found by Daryl Dixon (who is not even in the comics) about a week before the events of Season 4 pick up. Instead of going to Woodbury, Bob joins the group at the prison. But Bob is still an Army medic, haunted by his past. “His backstory is not entirely the same as in the comic and the novel,” Scott told Entertainment Weekly. “I think he’s seen things go bad over and over, and winding up in this stable place doesn’t shake him from his experience. He struggles with that.”
Larry added to EW, “You can see there’s something deeper and darker that’s going on with this character, just from the first episode. We don’t really know what it is. We just know he’s got some issues that he’s dealing with.”
In terms of general teases, back in April, Steven Yeun (Glenn) told Wetpaint Entertainment the actors had seen the first script, and he knew the season would be “pretty awesome.” On that note, Norman Reedus (Daryl) tweeted, “Episode one is huge. I promise you’ll freakout. gonna be SO GOOD.” He then added a photo with Greg Nicotero, writing, “Ep 1 is gonna RULE.”
Norman told the Wall Street Journal, "It’s interesting because people that aren’t villains, may turn into villains, you know what I mean? Carl just shot a kid in the face. I think Season 4 is going to be our best season, I really do. Our new showrunner — Glen [Mazzara] was amazing, and Frank [Darabont] was always amazing, but Scott is such a good writer. He’s got the whole thing plotted out already."
He updated later by saying Season 4 had the best scripts so far: “The sets are crazy," he told Sirius XM radio. "It feels like we’ve shot about three movies already. It’s super intense, and everything’s for a reason, a specific reason, and it’s great right now. [...] They’ve introduced a way to make zombies scary again, and they’re terrifying. The new threat is just unreal. I can’t of course tell you what that is, but it’s brilliant writing."
In a behind-the-scenes AMC video, producer Denise Huth teased, "We're filming the season premiere right now. The action sequence [Scott] came up with, I think it's going to be really, really spectacular." It's possible she's referencing the Big Spot supply run featured in the extended trailer. It looks like Sasha, Tyreese, Glenn, Daryl, Bob and some others head into the store to search for supplies and ... something happens. In fact, we're thinking something may happen to this guy in particular and it may mark his end.
Greg, who directed Episode 1, talked to AMC about the experience. “What's nice about the first episode is that they always supersize it and give you an extra day, because they know that the script is going to be insanely filled with great drama and great action, and we certainly didn't skimp on anything in this one.” Greg said the Season 4 premiere is “bigger than any script we’ve ever done before.” He added, “We have some new people coming in that I'm really excited about. There's some great character turns, there's a lot of really good twists that will delight the fans.”
Asked about new zombie tricks this season, Greg said, “In the first episode this season, one of the guys in my crew was like, ‘You did every gag that you ever did in three years of The Walking Dead in one episode.’ We had walkers. We had mummified corpses. We had puppets. We had zombie bites…” He told Entertainment Weekly, “The first episode, we had days where there were 150 walkers.”
Speaking of iconic walkers, Danai Gurira (Michonne) and comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman told TV Guide we’re going to see a zombie baby. "There's a little hint of that in the premiere," Danai said. Kirkman added, "It'll be something different from the baby who was seen in [2004's] Dawn of the Dead remake, which was horrific and done so well. There's still room for us to do something different and cool."
Catch up on a bunch of other Season 4 spoilers, including more episode titles, details on new characters, and other general themes. Long live the zombie apocalypse!
The Walking Dead Season 4 premieres on October 13 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.