The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang opens up about never-before-seen Whisperer Gamma, played by franchise newcomer Thora Birch, who has a key role to play in the cult ruthlessly commanded by Alpha (Samantha Morton).
“Gamma is a character that we’ll get to know in the season. I’m such a huge fan of Thora Birch’s work prior to this show. I particularly love Ghost World, but she’s done such amazing stuff all around and she’s been a wonderful addition to the cast,” Kang told EW. “She has such an interesting take on this character because when you have a group that’s wandering around wearing skin masks, you have to kind of be in a particular sort of space to kind of decide, ‘This is the only way that I can survive or this is the right way.’”
Through Gamma, audiences will get an up-close look at the “complex” inner workings of the Whisperers.
“And so, we’re going to explore a story of somebody who’s just part of that group who rises into leadership. It’s complex,” Kang continued. “I think the thing that we wanted to show with the Whisperers is that we know quite a bit about Alpha and Beta at this point. We’ll learn more as the season goes on. But who are these people that are just part of the followers and what are their stories? I think that there’s a really powerful story to tell about the soldiers on the ground. And so that’s what the story of Gamma is, and I think Thora brings such humanity and also badassery to the role. I’m just enamored with her work and hopefully other people are too.”
Gamma also has significant ties to a character we met during Season 9. Both Gamma and this character are encountered in 10x02, “We Are the End of the World,” a Whisperer-centric episode that reveals the origin of the bond between Alpha and loyal follower-slash-protector Beta (Ryan Hurst).
“I think that there is a cult-like aspect to it. Alpha is such a charismatic leader and Beta is a true believer. So, I think that there is an element to it that I think will feel that way,” Kang said. “Certainly Samantha Morton has said that that’s an element that’s similar to what she’s channeling. Because these people have to be true believers in a philosophy that’s really pretty extreme in some ways.”
She continued: “Just to say ‘It’s survival of the fittest. If you got to leave your baby behind, you got to leave your baby behind.’ We have to sort of forget human ties and human emotion as much as possible. It’s weak to cry. All these things that are so counter to the way that our heroes in the show have dealt with the struggles of survival. So yeah, it takes a particular mind-melding. But even within a cult, is everybody 100 percent with it? Or are there people that are just kind of drifting along, you know? So, I think those are some of the questions that we’re exploring.”0comments
Another note worth mentioning: Gamma is seen dressed in clothes that once belonged to slain Hilltop medic Enid (Katelyn Nacon), one of ten victims abducted and slaughtered by Alpha and the Whisperers in 915, “The Calm Before.”
The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.