We know from our conversations with Fear the Walking Dead exec producer Robert Kirkman that the zombie drama is set closer to the origins of the outbreak—as opposed to the original Walking Dead, which begins a few months after the apocalypse (after Rick Grimes wakes up from his coma).
“We’re very early,” Kirkman told us. “But if you think about the way a zombie outbreak would happen, it would happen very organically. It would be happening for a while behind the scenes. In pockets of civilization, there would be news stories that didn’t really make sense and didn’t seem connected. And that’s kind of where we pick things up. There are a lot of things on the news, there’s a lot of chatter and paranoia and concern. And yet the vast majority of the population is ignoring these things and talking about their daily lives, and that’s kind of where we pick things up. And things ramp up very quickly from there.”
The next question, then, becomes: how fast will the outbreak progress, and how fast will the show move in terms of showing that progression? It’s a question Kirkman doesn’t particularly want to answer: “You’ve almost tricked me into saying too much!” he responds, before clueing us in to the fact that the companion series will at some point align timeline-wise to early seasons of The Walking Dead. That also means the show does not qualify as a prequel, as some are calling it.
“I will say that it will definitely progress,” Kirkman says, referring both to the outbreak and the story that accompanies it. “I will say that I don’t consider this show to be a prequel to The Walking Dead, because there will be a point where a certain episode of this show will line up with season 2 of The Walking Dead, and a certain episode of this show will line up with season 3 of The Walking Dead. So we will be progressing through time to the point that we do pass the initial days of the outbreak. But how fast it is that we get there? That’s just going to have to remain a mystery.”
While Fear may eventually line up with early episodes of the original series, the fact that the first show took place in Georgia while the new one is in Los Angeles should still prevent any interaction between the characters. So don’t look for Fear’s Madison and Travis to be enlisted in the search for Sophia. (P.S. Check the barn.)
For more ‘Walking Dead’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.