The Walking Dead Season Nine picks up a year-and-a-half after the events of the Season Eight finale, Jesus actor Tom Payne confirmed on Talking Dead Sunday night.
New Season Nine showrunner Angela Kang previously confirmed the time jump during the Kick-Ass Women of AMC panel in June. The series will pick up with Alexandrian leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the neighboring communities — Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and the Sanctuary — forging a new civilization following the defeat of ousted Savior leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
“Everyone has to go back to basics. Farmers are really useful, and Hilltop, that was their whole deal. They were growing stuff and tending the farm animals, and so that community is maybe doing better than other communities,” Payne said.
The comic book underwent a similar time jump in The Walking Dead #127, with A New Beginning picking up roughly two years after the events of the conclusion of All Out War in #126. That issue saw Alexandrian leader Rick Grimes defeat and incapacitate Savior leader Negan, calling for peace on both sides.
Similar events occurred in The Walking Dead’s Season Eight finale, which concluded the long-running war and ended with Rick and the united communities committed to working towards “the new world.”
Issue #127 reintroduced a lush and thriving Alexandria — similar to the visions hoped for by a dying Carl Grimes in the television series — and introduced a slew of new survivors to its pages, including Magna, Yumiko, Connie, Luke, and Kelly, who will all be making the jump to the television show this season.
“There’s a fun Western vibe that has emerged,” Kang told EW in July. “We are going into a period where a lot of the things that we’ve seen in previous seasons have broken down, so they’ve got these horses and carriages that are being drawn around instead of cars. Things are lit with oil lamps. People are using different kinds of weaponry. There’s a real grittiness to it that I think will be fun and fresh for the viewers.”
The Walking Dead Season Nine premieres Sunday, October 7 on AMC.