The Walking Dead Season 7 was reminiscent of the search for Terminus in how it kept its characters completely divided and separated for most of its first eight episodes.
For example, Rick, Maggie, Daryl, Michonne, and Sasha, were only together in the first and last episode of Season 7's first half. Along the way we saw Carol and Morgan twice, isolated from the rest of the cast, met King Ezekiel, and watched Daryl holed up in a cell with new cast members Austin Amelio and Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing Dwight and Negan.
The characters being split up was not an uncommon complain from fans as several Sunday nights saw certain characters completely absent. Some cast members share that opinion, as production kept them divided for several months.
Horrible, just horrible – I swear to God, horrible [laughs]. But it was the same for everybody. Everyone's had more time off this season than they've ever had, but it's horrible. I hated it, and I complained about it – and I'm not a complainer – every day, like: "How you doing Lennie?" I hate it! "You want tea or coffee?" I hate it! It was horrible, because you just didn't see anybody.
And because we filmed The Kingdom in a completely different area to where they were filming Alexandria, the Hilltop, or the Saviors, it meant that no one was close to each other. When we starting filming the first episode, there was a moment where everybody sort of came together – and then everybody split up. I didn't see Andy for six weeks because we weren't filming in the same place. We live kind of close to each other [in Atlanta], but we weren't either filming at the same places or at the same times, and in the end the only time I did see him was when we were both on a plane back to London to see our families. I hated it, it was horrible.
If you speak to anyone from The Walking Dead cast – and if you say this on another job, it's a lie – then you know that everyone just gets on, and that you want to hang out and be around one other. But they were filming stupid hours, and because you have so much time off – there was one point where I had three episodes off – I just went off to see my kids. What could I do in Atlanta for that amount of time – and I love Atlanta – so I would leave town, as everyone else did [when they weren't shooting]. I hated it. I said to Scott: "I see what you're doing, I respect what you're doing, but don't ever do this to me again because I hate it." I just didn't see people.
And then there's whole bunches of people that you meet at the wrap party who you've never met before! You're like, "Who are you and what are you doing on my show?" There were just loads of people going: "Hi, I'm such and such and I play…" I don't know you, go away! Where's my mates? It was horrible, I hated it – meeting people at a wrap party and they don't even look like themselves. It's just stupid.
James went on to promise that the back half of Season 7 will see a different pace than the front end, though he does stand by its pacing. "There were a lot of people who needed to be introduced [this season]," James said. "If they'd gone, 'Oh, by the way, this is Ezekiel, he's got a tiger, let's go!' then people would be saying the opposite. There's characters to introduce, there's people to get to know, and we need to spread the worlds [of the story] – introducing us to Negan isn't just about us meeting Negan and meeting the immediate Saviors around him."
MORE WALKING DEAD:
Andrew Lincoln's Epic Reaction To Season 7 Finale / New Season 7B Key Art / Violent Takes Were Removed From Midseason Finale / Best Moments of 2016 / Negan Featured in #162 Preview / Five Worst Storylines / Who Will Be The Next Major Death? / AMC Stock Takes Hit With TWD Ratings Drops / Spoilers: How Will Season 7 End?
The Walking Dead returns for the rest of its seventh season on February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead's third season does not yet have a premiere date but with The Walking Dead finale set for April 2, expectations for Fear's return are set for April 9. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.