The Walking Dead Season 5 is about halfway through the filming process, but it won’t wrap up until November. At this point in the story we’re about two years into the zombie apocalypse. (Halfway through Season 4, right after the prison battle, Greg Nicotero estimated that it had been about a year-and-a-half since “the turn.” You have to figure a few months went by in the second half, since the characters started wearing heavier clothes.)
Executive producer Tom Luse just had a Q&A with AMCTV and hinted to maybe getting a different perspective on the ZA than the micro look we’ve had in the past four seasons. Asked about the most challenging thing about Season 5 in particular, Tom answered, “I think our journey this season, especially at the beginning, is going to show the scale of the world that we’re living in in a way that we haven’t done before. That is the most interesting thing. We’re showing many aspects of what has been going on for the last couple of years that we haven’t had an opportunity to show before.”
We haven’t seen any of the world outside our own little Georgia group — in downtown Atlanta, at the farm, the prison, the pudding house, the grove, etc. We got a taste of the big picture at the CDC in Season 1, and Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) claims to have answers about a cure, but what has been happening out there, beyond small groups scavenging on a day-to-day basis?
Tom’s “especially at the beginning” line makes it sound like there’s either a Terminus connection or he means the first half of Season 5, which could include an attempt to reach Washington, D.C. for Eugene’s “mission.” Maybe we’ll start to see how other urban areas have changed in the past two years of dead-ness. Season 5, Episode 1 is meant to give us a ton of Terminus answers and we’re supposed to see the story of Terminus, so maybe we’ll get another look at the start of the outbreak, like in that Season 2 flashback where Shane and Lori watched them bomb Atlanta. The S5 trailer showed Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) at a hospital place, and Gareth(Andrew J. West) seemed to show interest in Bob Stookey’s (Larry Gilliard Jr.) cure talk, so perhaps Season 5 will also delve deeper into the big picture aspect of trying to stop the ZA instead of just surviving around it.
Tom also noted that TWD has become a year-round job for the team. “Sometimes we prepare the new season before the previous season is over,” he said. “As we’re traveling, we have to prepare new locations. Zombies do not provide lawn services or leaf blowers — and the goal is to have our world look as if the world has been shut down for a couple of years — so in a way, we’re making a period film. We have to keep that world fresh for our audience. In order to do that, we have to be planning ahead.”
Filming spoilers have shown where they’re planning to go next, but are you excited to get a look at the scale of the world in Season 5, to see what else has been going on in the past two years?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres Sunday, October 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.