Samantha Morton's Alpha is the first character from The Walking Dead to appear on Tales of the Walking Dead — but she may not be the last. The six-episode first season of the episodic anthology series focuses on new and established characters within the walker apocalypse, including Dee (Morton) and daughter Lydia (Scarlett Blum), set before their time with the Whisperers on The Walking Dead. In an interview with Deadline, series co-creator and showrunner Channing Powell confirmed the spinoff considered telling more Tales with returning characters from the flagship series that will conclude with its last eight episodes this fall on AMC.
"We entertained a couple [of] stories dealing with flagship show characters. [Alpha's episode] happened to be something that I had put a lot of thought into previous to beginning Tales, oddly enough," said Powell, who co-created the anthology spinoff with AMC's TWD Universe Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple.
Alpha's tale, which premieres August 28 on AMC, is one that "was already in my head," added Powell, a veteran writer-producer for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. (Powell's credits include The Walking Dead's Season 9 episode "Omega," which flashed back to the onset of the apocalypse to reveal Alpha's Whisperer origin story.)
"There was something that really appealed to me about Alpha personally. I just love a great villain. I love a great villain that's a woman and a mother, and you know, I'm a mother," Powell said. "Most of the time, I write about the apocalypse or watch anything on the apocalypse, I'm thinking, how would I handle this with my children? What would I do? Would, you know, would I ever become Alpha? So, it was really interesting to explore my own motherhood through hers."
While five of the show's first six episodes center on never-before-seen characters, Tales "stretches across the entire timeline of the flagship show and then goes beyond it," meaning characters who have already died on other Walking Dead shows can return in their own prequel episodes.
Michael Cudlitz, who played Abraham Ford, and Ryan Hurst, who starred on Seasons 9 and 10 of The Walking Dead as Alpha's second-in-command Beta, have hinted at returning to tell new stories fleshing out their characters in the years before their deaths.
Tales of the Walking Dead features a cast that includes Olivia Munn, Terry Crews, Parker Posey, Anthony Edwards, Poppy Liu, Jillian Bell, Loan Chabanol, Embeth Davidtz, Jessie T. Usher, Daniella Pineda, and Danny Ramirez, amongst others. New episodes premiere Sundays on AMC and AMC+.