It’s way early days for The Walking Dead spin-off, which AMC is hoping to launch in 2015, but still, The Powers That Be must have some idea of what they want from the show, right? If so, they aren’t telling, other than to clarify what the show won’t include.
Gale Anne Hurd told MTV the companion show still doesn’t have a concept. "That's still being batted around.” But she said it won’t be like the Walking Dead webisodes, which are tied to the flagship show in a tangential way. For example, the most recent series, The Oath, was released on October 1 in advance of the October 13 premiere of Season 4. The Oath includes a reference to the very first episode of The Walking Dead, tying into Rick Grimes’s time in the hospital. The first two webisodes were also connected to Rick’s past, but don’t expect the spinoff series to be like that.
"I do think the webisodes serve that purpose," Gale reasoned. "Every year, they explicate a bit of backstory that fits in a character or theme you've seen in the series. That's what I think is so fantastic about them. They're expanding the world and the mythology of The Walking Dead."
So when AMC’s president said the companion series would “develop an entirely new story and cast of characters” it seems he really did mean entirely new. No connection to the Grimes family, and maybe not even in the same area anymore. That would be refreshing, and it’s true that the webisodes are already doing their own thing pretty well, so why create a third product to cover the same territory?
As Robert Kirkman said in his statement about the spin-off, “After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”
Kirkman later added to IGN, "Yeah, it’s a really different location with completely different people, so we are going to see an entirely different corner of the Walking Dead world. It definitely won’t be set in Georgia, I can at least say that. It’s important to us that this show exists on its own. The spinoff has to be a show worthy of existing, or else we’ve all sold out. So that’s something we’re all working hard towards doing, and I think we can pull it off. I think that the ideal situation is, when you’re watching the spinoff, you’re like, 'Wow, this is a really awesome show.' The whole other show doesn’t need to exist for this show to be cool and stand on its own."
What do you think of the idea that the spin-off won’t be connected to the original series? Is that exciting, or do you wish they would leave the door open for crossovers?