Is Black Summer Linked to or Prequel of Z Nation?


Developed by Karl Schaefer and John Hyams, ‘Black Summer’ is a gore and gruesome zombie survival series that spills a lot of blood to keep the genre lovers on the hook. Set in the immediate aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, the series follows Rose, a mother who embarks upon a journey to find her lost daughter. On the brink of a societal collapse, she must toughen up and learn the ways of the new world in her nightmarish journey.

Dark, brooding, and somber, the show sets itself apart from other zombie apocalypse fiction through nuanced acting by a talented cast and a gripping and spectacular visual approach. Although some aspects of the story get obscured in roving carnage, when a show is praised by the prolific Stephen King himself, you know that it holds some merit. According to some fans, the series is a prequel to the previously released ‘Z Nation,’ co-created by the same Karl Schaefer. If you are asking about the credibility of the theory, let us keep you informed.

Is Black Summer Linked to Z Nation?

Yes, ‘Black Summer’ is loosely linked to the earlier show. Although the series does not include any characters from the earlier series, there are some semblances between the two shows. For example, both the series refer to the same zombie apocalypse event, although being set a few years apart from each other. While ‘Black Summer’ is set six weeks into the zombie infestation event, the narrative of the previous Syfy series begins three years following the same event.

Co-creator Karl Schaefer called it a “standalone spinoff.” He even alluded that it was the same apocalypse but with a “different story, new characters.” But that’s not all since he even acknowledged that there was a possibility of a crossover between the two shows at some point.  The title of the Netflix original series is a reference to the previous show, in which characters often recall the early days of the onset of the zombie outbreak as the deadliest. Their conversations often reveal survivor accounts from the damning summer when it all started — and they refer to it as the “Black Summer.” Thus, even if the spin-off contains a standalone story that deviates from the earlier series, you could consider it to be a prequel (of sorts).

DJ Qualls, who plays the role of the hacker called Citizen Z in ‘Z Nation,’ believed that the spin-off series has little chance of crossing over with the original. According to him, as the two series are set quite far apart in the timeline, the original cast members would be a bit old to reprise their roles in the prequel. Jaime King, who plays the central role of Rose in ‘Black Summer,’ pointed out the symbolic aspects of the story. In her opinion, the series is a timely allegorical exploration of the hatred and sickness rooted in the fabric of the country. However, she denied the two shows being related.

However, both the series share the same production house, The Asylum. Moreover, the series retains most of the screenwriters, directors, and production crew from the earlier show, which indicates a broader spiritual connection between the two. The standalone spin-off is not unprecedented in the genre segment, as ‘The Walking Dead’ and its spinoff, ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ follow the same pattern.

While the former begins in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, the latter takes us back to the early days of the outbreak. ‘Black Summer’ decidedly walks the same path to take us back to the moment of inception. Therefore, at the beginning of the series, the scenes are more crowded, and as the population begins to get sick and die, the tranquil and peaceful suburbs turn infernal in the blink of an eye.

Read More: Black Summer Season 1 Ending, Explained

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