Uncertainty thy name is COVID-19.
One of the many side effects of the pandemic has been the way it has upended all kinds of schedules and plans, including which TV shows would land on our favourite streaming platforms and when (or, even if they could be made now at all), a sundering of the best laid plans of mice and men that has affected, among others, season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead and new limited series set in the same universe, The World Beyond.
The good news is that San Diego Comic Con aka SDCC, which this year is totally online, has come to our rescue, offering up new trailers and, best of all, release dates and bringing the zombies back into our lives again.
Or telling us when they will shamble back into our apocalyptically-tinged existences anyway …
I have loved this show from the moment it premiered way back when (truthfully only 2015 but after the year of neverending virus it feels like an eternity).
Broody, slow-building and grounded in the kind of authentic humanity that a premise like the zombie apocalypse demands if it’s going to be even somewhat engaging and affecting, Fear the Walking Dead has taken the time to build its world, grow its character and craft a narrative that speaks to what might happen to the human race after the dust of the end of the world has settled.
It thankfully eschews, for the most part, the big action set pieces of its parent, The Walking Dead, choosing instead to focus on intimacy, emotional connection and existential angst, again reflecting what might happen to people when everything they have ever known is rent asunder.
After a long wait for season 6 – season 5 finished up in September 2019 – we finally have a trailer and a release date, meaning we can find out what happened to everyone we know and love from the series but most especially Morgan (Lennie James) who, last we saw, was about to swarmed by zombies in Humbug’s Gulch after everyone else was taken into captivity effectively by the aggressively territorial Pioneers led by the iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove Virginia (Colby Minifie).
What will happen to him? What will happen to everyone? And why are Morgan’s eyes red? We find out on October 11 when Fear the Walking Dead returns to our screens and lives.
The delay of this limited series set in The Walking Dead universe has never really made much sense.
Granted, with all the delays laying waste to TV production at the moment, AMC likely thought they’d better hold back on new stuff where they can but delaying this much-hyped show when they had Fear the Walking Dead season 6 in the can, seemed odd.
Especially given that the show contains a very fresh take on a much done-over concept – what would life be like if all you have ever known from when you were a kid are zombies, zombies everywhere and not a piece of normalcy to be found?
Ah, well, see that’s the thing, for the children of the Empties Apolcaypse – that’s what this show calls zombies and it’s kinda clever (and taken, says the showrunner, from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics), this is the only normal they have ever known.
While everyone else might remember the world a decade ago when you could wander anywhere without being chomped by ambulatory corpses, the kids and teenagers of the new normal do not, and this shapes how they perceive the world around them.
Fertile ground indeed for a refreshing new take on the zombie apolcaypse, and one we can only hope will be realised as fully as it potential suggests when it lands on our screens on 4 October this year.