Looks like Bradbury was right! TELEVISION IS GOING TO EAT YOUR BRAIN!
The dangers of Zombies overrunning the pop culture landscape will continue, it seems: Deadline is reporting that AMC has approved the filming of a pilot for the planned spinoff of its megapopular The Walking Dead.
First announced last fall, the spinoff series will differ sharply from its parent show by featuring wholly new stories not based on any of the existing comic storylines. Similar to Telltale Games's Walking Dead narrative video games, the new show will feature new characters and supposedly take place concurrent with the main series.
The reason this is news is because the series is not being given a straight-to-series order but instead has to impress with the pilot before AMC will approve a full run. (Both The Walking Dead and the upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul got immediate series orders.) However, given the monstrous ratings of TWD - the most recent season averaged 13.30 million viewers - it's probable that AMC will jump at another taste of the golden goose.
Personally, I'm all for another show if - and this is a big if - it finally does something that so far, no filmed zombie production has managed to do: actually give us a plausible explanation for how shambling, Romero-style zombies managed to cause a total societal collapse in such a short period of time (approximately 2 or three months going by the pilot of TWD).
Don't get me wrong, I understand they're undead, that people would freak out and get themselves killed (and turned) before we got a handle on it. But these works tend to take place in the developed world, not Thunderdome, and zombies move slowly enough that they're really only a mega-serious problem when they're swarming up on you. Even if more than one city became uninhabitable, we're talking about a country that has numerous redundant and complementary protocols for dealing with everything from nuclear war to disease pandemic. Where did the government go? What happened to communications? Why did local Army bases suddenly get isolated and surviving soldiers picked off? Hell, how did zombies get into that tank in downtown Atlanta?
Seriously, please, just once, give me the ability to suspend my disbelief enough to buy a total zombie apocalypse that doesn't involve running zombies.
In fact, readers: what are your theories for how that happened?