‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Showrunners Dish on New Characters

Fear The Walking Dead showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg have opened up about the [...]

Fear The Walking Dead showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg have opened up about the decision behind bringing in two lighter characters in the form of trucking grifters Sarah (Mo Collins) and shotgun-riding partner Wendell (Daryl Mitchell).

"Coming off of the previous episode with Alicia and Charlie having their reckoning together during the hurricane in a house, that was a very dark episode and there was only a small glimmer of hope at the end. We wanted something that really was a shift in which we're reminding the audience that at the end of the day there is hope in this world. We ended up landing on these two characters, who we meet in Wendell and Sarah," Chambliss told EW.

Lennie James' Morgan first encounters wheelchair-bound Wendell post-business when stepping out from a handicap accessible bathroom stall, something Wendell takes issue with because such amenities were "made for people like me." It's an atypical first meeting for the Walking Dead world — almost as atypical as introducing levity amongst the misery.

"One of the things we love about humor is how people often use it to cope with really difficult situations," Chambliss added.

"There's not something we can think of much more difficult than the zombie apocalypse, so these two characters, Sarah and Wendell, are people who almost are joking with each other and trying to keep things light because they have to. That's kind of their survival mechanism. It's a big shift when they come into contact with Morgan, because he's not necessarily a character who goes around cracking jokes. So, he's kind of the straight man to them."

Also introduced is brewer Jim (Aaron Stanford), who was on the verge of striking rich before the world went to sh-t.

"All three of them have come from very different circumstances and are surviving in really different ways. I mean, you take Jim, he's someone who has been somewhat sheltered from the apocalypse. He's holed up in his brewery, and he has a very clear drive of what he wants to do. He believes that beer is key to bringing people back to civilization, and he's got that speech where he tells Morgan of all the historical reasons for that," Goldberg said.

"It seems like it's a very kind of noble thing that Jim wants to do, but what we think is so kind of interesting about Jim is the contrast, and that he's actually doing it for a very selfish reason. He's got a big chip on his shoulder for what he feels like he didn't get before the apocalypse that he feels like he should now. There's some complexity to Jim in that way."

Sarah and Wendell refused to help when Morgan, hands tied, was stranded helplessly on top of a car just inches away from a swarming pack of gnawing walkers. The pair aren't necessarily malicious, Chambliss said, but are instead more concerned with self-preservation.

"I think if you asked Sarah and Wendell, they would say they're just two people trying to survive, and they don't necessarily see what they do is anything worse than what anyone else would do," Chambliss explained, characterizing the pair as "people trying to live in this world."

"Morgan does, I think, get through to them by the end, and even though they ostensibly are helping him in his mission to find his friends and leaving these boxes kind of begrudgingly on the side of the road, I think there's a part of them that may actually find some satisfaction in doing that," he added of the pair helping Morgan disperse the boxes belonging to the mysterious new character who will emerge as the series' newest villain.

"And that's something that we're going to kind of play forward as we progress throughout the season."