Fear the Walking Dead Almost Aired a Zombie-Free Episode
Walking Dead without walkers? A Season 6 episode of Fear the Walking Dead would have been the first without zombies — if it weren’t for a last-minute shot. In Season 6, Episode 9, “Things Left to Do,” an outmanned and outgunned Virginia (Colby Minifie) has her stand-off with Morgan Jones (Lennie James), who must keep Virginia alive to rescue hostages Grace (Karen David) and Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades). Pursued by Victor Strand’s (Colman Domingo) posse and Sherry’s (Christine Evangelista) gang of masked Outcasts out to dispense their own justice, Morgan and Virginia flee into the woods, where Sherry kills the only walker to appear in the episode.
“It’s a strange thing because when we approach these scripts, walkers are such a big part of it. And we realized when we got into it that we just had not put any in [Episode 609],” Fear co-showrunner Ian Goldberg said during a post-season live-stream with TWDUniverse on Twitch. “I think because we were so kind of consumed with the human drama between Virginia and Morgan, and sort of the final gathering clouds of the war and the storm and sort of this end of Virginia, that we watched the cut and we were just like, ‘Wow, there’s no walkers in the episode.'”
“It didn’t really bother us that much, but we thought, ‘It might be good to have some walker presence,'” added Goldberg of the episode, which was planned as the mid-season premiere before preceding episode “The Door,” originally the mid-season finale, was delayed amid the pandemic. “So we had to get a couple pick-ups [shots] anyway, so we decided to put one [walker] in.”
That walker appears when the hounded Virginia is trapped beneath a log and rescued by Sherry, who wants the kill for herself.
“When we were getting some pickups there, we added a walker just because we thought we can’t have a walker-free episode,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg also said that The Walking Dead‘s special effects make-up artist Greg Nicotero and KNB EFX Group created “nightmarish” new walkers for Season 7 of Fear. The spin-off is ground zero of the nuclear zombie apocalypse after ten warheads detonated across Texas in the Season 6 finale.
“We have to give huge credit to Greg Nicotero and his team at KNB for always upping the ante and just coming up with incredibly novel, inventive, horrifying ways to redefine these walkers season to season,” Goldberg said. “There’s a lot more of that to come in Season 7. There’s some [walkers] that are so weird and scary and nightmarish in ways that feel really fresh and different, which is really amazing this deep into the universe.”
Season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead premieres later this year on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things The Walking Dead Universe.