It was Eugene’s long-range radio that made contact with an unidentified female voice in the final moments of the Season 9 finale, where King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) stepped away just before the voice came over the radio: “Hello? Hello? Calling out live on the open air. Is anybody out there?”
“This will definitely be a part of the season,” showrunner Angela Kang told EW.
“It’s part of the fun mystery of the season, and it will come into play in hopefully interesting ways that turn the story. I can’t tip too much about, but I think there’s some fun to be had there.”
Is the photo a clue Eugene gets his comic book story? “Eugene will definitely be playing a role in the story,” Kang teased.
“He’s certainly the one that has been helping set up these ham radios throughout all the communities. There are ways in which he is very involved. He’s tech support in the apocalypse. He makes some interesting discoveries and there is a hopefully very cool, satisfying story there.”
In the books — spoiler warning — Eugene is the first to make contact with an outside community that proves to be endgame for The Walking Dead comics. Issue #151 sees the genius fiddle with a radio won from a trade at the inter-community fair, using it to make contact outside Virginia.
“This is Eugene Porter calling out on the open air. Anyone out there?” Eugene asks. “This is Eugene Porter calling out live on the open air. Is anyone out there?”
Eugene is surprised when he reaches who is later revealed to be Stephanie from the Commonwealth in Ohio, a sprawling network of more than 50,000 survivors. The brainy Stephanie then emerges as the primary love interest for comic book Eugene.
The Commonwealth goes on to become the driving force of TWD comics and may be the mysterious community where Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is assisting Georgie (Jayne Atkinson).
The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres its first trailer at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday. Season 10 premieres Sunday, October 6 on AMC.