"I feel like we constantly try to outdo ourselves in terms of hope on the show and love on the show and what you'll do to survive and explosions and fun things, and I feel like this season, it does the same thing," Serratos said at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta when asked about the fan-favorite comic book bad guys, who serve as the driving threat of the back half of the season.
"When we're trying to outdo everything we've done [it's] to please you guys and to make sure that it's constantly staying fresh and exciting, and I think especially with Angela [Kang] being our new showrunner, we have a new fresh female perspective on the show.
"All the women are really shown in a great way this season. So I think it's just going to bring a whole new flavor to the show and I think it's going to keep everyone as excited as they should be and want to be."
That increased female perspective sees upped leadership roles for Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carol (Melissa McBride), and will soon bring with it vicious and unforgiving Whisperer leader Alpha (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them's Samantha Morton), whose bald-headed villainess was first unveiled in the trailer for the remaining half of Season Nine.
Also debuting in the back eight is Alpha's daughter, Lydia (Castle Rock's Cassady McClincy) — who is teed up for a romantic entanglement with Carol's son Henry (Matt Lintz), taking over a story arc that originally belonged to Carl Grimes in the comic books — and Beta (Sons of Anarchy's Ryan Hurst), Alpha's merciless and ferociously loyal number two.
The Whisperers had their big reveal in 908, "Evolution," when one of their members stabbed and killed Jesus (Tom Payne) while posing as a walker.
Kang recently previewed the "scary group" who are "unlike any group that we've encountered before" with ComicBook.com, warning the twist-filled storyline will unleash this new threat that will quickly prove to be "the most formidable group that we've come across."
Daryl Dixon star Norman Reedus said previously the long-running series "got better" despite having to navigate the loss of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who will resurface in a series of television movies backed by AMC.
"We're making the show that we want to make right now and you can feel it on set, you can feel it all over the place," Reedus told Deadline.
"I really feel the scripts and the stories and the episodes are even better in the back eight, I really do. They're f—ing epic, you know, and they're just crushing and they're severe, all of them. The show's morphing into something else but it's got the heart and the feel of the original show, there's just new life breathing through it."
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with new episodes Sunday, February 10.