The Walking Dead has reached a milestone many shows do not: the Season 8 premiere will be the show's 100th episode.
With the stakes having reached an all time high as of the Season 7 finale of the AMC series, the show will jump right into a brand new style of storytelling and action as the All Out War story from Robert Kirkman's comics is adapted to television. The first episode an those which follow will serve as the foundation of everything to come.
Showrunner Scott Gimple has revealed his plans for the 100th episode and beyond while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. "Episode 801, the first episode of Season 8, is going to be the 100th episode," Gimple said." The first episode is, I think less about that we reached 100 episodes. It’s more about setting up the next 100.”
As for the major differences, they will be felt in the storytelling. A common complaint from fans regarding the show's seventh season was that the AMC series slowed down its story in favor of extending the Negan storyline and delaying the inevitable war ahead. Season 8 sounds like it will jump right in.
“The turn of the story is really going to dictate the structure of the story and the speed of the story," Gimple said. "The things that they are getting into demand a more kinetic narrative. The pace is accelerated by virtue of the things that they’re up to. Though I don’t want to say exactly, anybody who watches the show can extrapolate that they’re now into public conflict with the Saviors; the battle lines are drawn. There isn’t quite as much time to dig into anything but prosecuting the war.”
“It’s just where the story is going to. That presents all sorts of narrative and production challenges. We’ve known we were going this way for a long while; in fact, doing season seven, I remember talking to [writer and exec producer] Angela Kang about the difference between the structure of seasons seven and eight before we started seven. There’s aspects to talking about season nine like that. We try to reinvent the show every eight episodes and I believe the differences between season seven and eight are going to be quite pronounced just by virtue of the narrative.”
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The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October of 2017. The first trailer is expected to arrive at San Diego Comic Con in July. For complete coverage and insider info all off-season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.