The long-range radio project undertaken by Eugene (Josh McDermitt) plants a pivotal seed for Season Ten, teases The Walking Dead executive producer Denise Huth. “I don’t know if it’s overly significant [in the season finale] but it’s one of the great things that we get to do sometimes — which is sort of feature it for a moment and it’s not a big deal then, but perhaps it will be a big deal later,” Huth told Digital Spy.
“Fans of the comics probably know that that is a storyline directly from the comics. There is a big story with the radio. I like how we have chosen to introduce it. We introduced it way back in episode 6 when they were first trying to set it up. And then in this most recent episode, we see Eugene working on it again with Rosita.”
Huth added the radio is a “symbol of hope” for the survivors, who aim to keep in contact despite the great distance between their communities. The previously splintered communities of Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom only recently reunited, assembling at the fair hosted by King Ezekiel (Khary Payton).
“I like the idea that these characters have found a relatively safe home — the Whisperers notwithstanding — but they're still trying to find out if there are other people. Are there other survivors? Are there other people who are living in a different way that they can learn and benefit from?” Huth wondered. “To me, it’s just a great symbol of hope.”
It has since been theorized Eugene’s radio will come into contact with the long-missing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) or the away Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who is off someplace far with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) assisting with a new community. That community could be the comic books’ Commonwealth, an Ohio settlement home to more than 50,000 survivors ultimately reached through Eugene’s tinkering.
“Obviously the Commonwealth does mean things to people; we’re starting to seed in some future stories,” showrunner Angela Kang told IGN in October. “The timing of those stories may not be in the immediate future, but there will be things this season that are groundwork being laid for finding out more about the world.”
Until then, Kang more recently revealed the snow-covered Season Nine finale goes out on a juicy tease that will “once again change everything for our heroes.” The Walking Dead premieres its Season Nine finale Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
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