Serving as the 100th overall episode of The Walking Dead, fans are expecting big things for the AMC series' Season 8 premiere. If showrunner Scott Gimple's recent promises are any indication, those expectations will be met and then some.
"It's our 100th episode," Gimple points out. "Eight years, 100 episodes."
That 100th episode will serve as a launching point for what sound like an epic bunch of episodes for The Walking Dead. Gimple, who already promised to "melt people's minds" and "break TVs" with the returning episodes, took the hype train even further out of the station.
"It sets into motion, with emotion, the next 100 episodes," Gimple said. "It's the fuse that lights, though the episode, and by the end it explodes and starts the season going. After the first episode, the next three episodes are just break neck speed and full of action. I think, probably, the most consecutive action-oriented episodes we've had on the show. Then, things get a little acoustic."
Also on hand to preview the upcoming season were Morgan actor Lennie James and Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
"I'm staggered that I was in the first episode and I'm in 100, really," James said. James' Morgan Jones character has come and gone on the AMC series several times, appearing in the first season before sporadically popping up in the five which followed. Since Season 6, James has been a regular on the series and played a key role in Rick's group.
He credits his involvement to the fans.
"I think, as I said to someone the other, I'm very much aware that I'm in the 100th episode because of the way fans reacted to the first episode," James said. "I'm pretty convinced that I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for the noise that they made."
For Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who joined the AMC series in its Season 6 finale before becoming a staple in the seventh season, picking up production for Season 8 felt natural.
"It felt like we hadn't stopped from Season 7," Morgan said. "It doesn't feel like our break is very long and we all talk to each other and see each other throughout that break so by the time cameras were rolling for that first episode back, it stars off right where we left off last year. It's balls to the wall. It's fun."
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season Eight premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.