The Walking Dead has cultivated an expansive cast over the course of its last few seasons, widening the world of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors to include multiple communities — Alexandria, the Hilltop, the Kingdom, Negan and the Saviors, and Jadis and the Scavengers — making for a show that has been able to kill more than 200 characters over the past year alone.
Worlds will collide when The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead crossover in the coming months, with Walking Dead vet Lennie James having left the series behind to join the ranks of Fear Season Four.
Morgan's departure from The Walking Dead leaves an open spot in a show that generally has no problem culling its list of survivors, while Fear is less crowded than its flagship counterpart — even with its still-growing cast.
Should either series want to free up more space without having to permanently axe its crop of characters, there's always potential in future spinoffs, even if those spinoffs aren't ongoing series but limited run mini-series airing, say, four to eight episodes every half season or so while Fear and The Walking Dead are off the air.
Long-time survivor Glenn, who made his in-person debut way back in 1x02, became a fan-favorite as a cap-sporting runner skilled at getting in and out of places quickly.
The former pizza boy carried an extensive knowledge of Atlanta's streets, and it was on those dilapidated streets where Glenn encountered an out-of-his-depth Rick Grimes, freshly awakened from a coma into a world gone bye.
A mini-series set just before Glenn's fateful encounter with Rick — focusing on Glenn's resourcefulness as he navigates and survives in an overrun Atlanta — would be a way to get back to the oft-missed eeriness found in the series' first season as well as give fans more of Glenn, who was brutally executed by newcomer villain Negan in 7x01.prevnext
He's as every bit as part of the foundation as leading man Andrew Lincoln, who also makes it hard to contemplate a Walking Dead without his Rick Grimes, unquestionably the one character that must survive until the very end.
This writer would never suggest Daryl be spun out from The Walking Dead into his own series — he plays too well as part of the ensemble he's been part of since 2010, and the loyal right-hand-man Daryl isn't quite lead material as a character — but Daryl's adventures before meeting Rick Grimes could make for a more fun than usual spin on the usual Walking Dead goings-on.
In his earliest appearances, Daryl was a hot tempered and smart mouthed redneck who was as sharp and quick with his smart-ass remarks as he was his beloved bow.
A short series highlighting the adventures of the Dixon brothers just before connecting with the group that would soon be lead by Rick Grimes — with the accompanying kick-ass zombie action and unscrupulous activities — is one way to change up the typical Walking Dead formula, and it would be fun to get another taste of the old Daryl Dixon.prevnext
Daryl's older brother Merle briefly disappeared during the show's first season, when he was handcuffed to a roof and unintentionally left behind after T-Dog (remember him?) dropped the key meant to free him. Merle sawed off his own hand and escaped, not resurfacing (in the flesh, anyway) until season 3.
Merle returned as one of the lieutenants of villain and Woodbury leader the Governor, who found a near-dead Merle and took him in — even equipping him with a gnarly hand-blade in lieu of the limb he self-amputated.
The Walking Dead is long past the era of Merle and the Governor, but seeing a rough-and-rumble and one-handed Merle escaping an overrun Atlanta is a story worth telling at least in some form.prevnext
Another deceased Walking Dead alum who passed before his time was Sergeant Abraham Ford, who was at one time considered likely to be the character at the center of the crossover between the two series.
A family man hailing from Houston, Texas, flashbacks showed us the devastating loss of Abraham's family following the redhead's slaughter of a pack of men who had assaulted his wife.
A disillusioned and ready to die Abe came across a helpless Eugene Porter, a supposed super-genius who claimed to wield the knowledge capable of saving humanity from its current reanimated corpses predicament.
Escorting Eugene to Washington, D.C. became Abe's sole mission, and their pack eventually grew to include Rosita Espinosa and several others. Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita's cross-country trek eventually landed them in Georgia, where they would soon integrate into Rick Grimes' tight-knit group.
Abraham met his end at the hands of Negan, but Big Red still has story left to tell: a mini-series starring Abraham and his cowardly mulleted companion and focusing on their earliest adventures together could be worth exploring.prevnext
Tobias was a Los Angeles high school student who had a surprising cache of survival knowledge.
He was aware of the mysterious virus before the outbreak happened, and he had a headstart on prepping for what would become the eventual apocalypse.
Such a character would make for an interesting vantage point to explore another corner of the Walking Dead universe, especially since Fear ultimately did little with its metropolitan California setting before its group of leads traded asphalt for the high seas.
Tobias isn't your typical protagonist, but the teen proved memorable enough that a spinoff — even a web-series or shorts aired in-between commercials — would be worth checking out, like Zombieland meets The Walking Dead.prevnext
Morales was part of the original Atlanta group that took refuge in the woods outside the decimated metropolis way back in season 1.
Following a disastrous fish fry that saw a pack of walkers feast on some of the group's members, Morales and his family — a wife and two kids, a son and a daughter — decided to go off on their own and head for Birmingham, Alabama in search of family.
They never made it.
A lone Morales would make his return early on in season 8 as one of the Saviors, loyal to Negan and ready to hand Alexandria leader Rick over at gunpoint.
It doesn't matter how important or unimportant Morales ultimately ended up being in the grand scheme of The Walking Dead: he was a supporting character whose return marked a brief twist more than seven seasons later, and he ended up being little more than just another enemy for Daryl Dixon to kill.
Still, a short series following Morales' dissension from good family man to crazed Negan loyalist could make for some compelling television and stand as a contrast to Rick Grimes: this is a man who, presumably, lead his family to their deaths, only to later lose his mind and who he used to be and pledge his allegiance to the Saviors.prevnext
The Walking Dead expressed exactly what we needed to know to understand the Governor, the eventually one-eyed leader of the Woodbury community.
The character even featured in his own bottle episodes that showed what he was up to following the loss of his people, proving he was interesting enough to follow even when our main troupe of heroes didn't make appearances.
You could say there's no point in going back and following the earliest steps of a character who has been dead in real time for quite a while, but it would have been interesting to see this man go from who he was at the very start of the outbreak to someone who wielded significant power by the time he came across Rick Grimes and his band of survivors.prevnext
Recovering addict Nick Clark is as unreliable as he is unpredictable.
He's left his family before, and what's left of it was seemingly blown to hell at the end of Fear's most recent season finale.
Nick is a lone wolf who is as comfortable among the living as he is the dead, disguised in bloody camouflage allowing him to move freely among the flesh-eating monsters — a feat he's done more than anyone else.
If the character were to ever forgo his ties to his mother Madison and sister Alicia, he could wind up practically anywhere. He's an adaptable wild card, and one who makes some interesting, if questionable, moves over in Fear The Walking Dead.
It would be keeping in line with Nick's character and his history if he ever peaced out and headed somewhere else, and a series centered on an always-on-the-move Nick would inject some uncertainty into this universe that often settles its survivors into one place.
It's understandable, of course — most of all because of budgetary and production reasons — but it's hard not to miss having characters never staying in one place for too long, forever wandering and trying to survive.prevnext
Fans often wonder aloud how the outbreak started and what lead to the deaths of all but a handful of humankind, and at least some answers were introduced by way of Dr. Edwin Jenner at the end of season 1.
The scientist had holed up in the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, and was the last surviving employee.
Jenner explained to the group a more scientific explanation — as much as he could — and broke the news to leader Rick that everyone is carrying the disease that sees corpses reanimate into cannibalistic monsters.
A series focused on the now-dead Jenner could go places the world of The Walking Dead has yet to explore on screen — namely outside of America — as such a series could incorporate scientists around the world who went dark one by one.
It doesn't matter if the origin of the zombie outbreak is ever explained, but following characters just attempting to understand its genesis could support a mini-series at the very least.prevnext
Creator Robert Kirkman's comic books already delved into Negan's origins with prime material just ripe for the picking and ready to eventually make its way onscreen.
While The Walking Dead season 8 won't show any of Negan's origin story — there's a "loose plan" in place to bring Negan's backstory to audiences in the show's future, according to former showrunner Scott M. Gimple — the current season will reveal more about the bat-wielding baddie.
Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is more than capable of carrying episodes putting the spotlight on Negan, and his comic book counterpart already starred in Here's Negan, a 16-part mini-series showing how the villain came to be.0comments
AMC adapting Here's Negan into its own four or eight-episode mini-series would be a way to circumvent the issues of embedding Negan flashbacks into a season that already has a surplus of story to tell, and the always charismatic and mesmerizing Negan is fun to watch in Morgan's capable hands — a solo origin series for the larger-than-life character should be a no-brainer.
The Walking Dead resumes its eighth season Sunday, February 25 on AMC.