'The Walking Dead's Scott Gimple Explains Lengthy New Time Jump

Fans of The Walking Dead got a serious surprise after Rick Grimes made his exit from the show on Sunday night, as it was revealed that the series has taken yet another leap forward in time. This one however, is much more substantial than the one in the Season 9 premiere.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Walking Dead! Continue reading at your own risk...

At the end of Sunday's new episode, "What Comes After," a new group of characters was seen trying to fight off some walkers six years after Rick was taken away by the helicopter. Although the group seems to have their backs against the wall, they're miraculously saved by a young girl shooting a rifle, who later introduces herself as Judith Grimes.

While speaking to EW about the series-changing events of the episode, executive producer Scott Gimple was asked why now was the right time to pull off yet another time jump.

"I don't know, that's fascinating," Gimple began. "For fans of the comic, the end of episode 905, they're like, 'Oh, this is The New Beginning,' meaning the storyline in the comic. I mean, we see Magna, and Yumiko, and their group, and that was the beginning of The New Beginning storyline in the comics.

"The last time jump was a jump, but it wasn't a huge amount of time. This jump is that quantum leap forward from the comic, and it's a whole new world. It was important to, especially after "All Out War," get some distance from that story, and be in a whole new reality for Rick and the group. But that was an incredibly dramatic overture to "The New Beginning" that we saw in the comic, which is one of the terrific arcs of the comic. And it was so surprising, and so intense, and so new. I loved that. I was so thrilled that Angela, Matt, and the writers came upon that for 9.05 — to see Rick's legacy, and even Carl's legacy in action in that episode. I think it was unexpected. When it was pitched to me, I was like, 'Holy crap. That is it. That is so definitely it.' It got me excited."

Whatever happens next on The Walking Dead, it's clear that the series is heading in a completely different direction, and we will get out first chance to see what this new world looks like next Sunday.

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The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.