The Walking Dead will return with "bigger episodes" after a pared-down extended Season 10 limited by the coronavirus, says showrunner Angela Kang. The six all-new bonus episodes premiering on February 28 were the first to film with COVID-19 health and safety protocols, shooting over six weeks late last year on a pandemic-proofed set that spent most of 2020 shuttered by the virus. After the zombie-filled finale that was October's "A Certain Doom," which pit the survivors against a horde of walkers in the climax of the Whisperer War, Season 10 continues with smaller-scale episodes each designed for safe shooting during the pandemic.
"We got a mobile lab, we clean everything different ways, we have protocols in terms of testing and how close people can be to each other. So we started with episodes where people are in smaller groups, and fewer locations," Kang said during The Walking Dead Extended Season 10 Preview Special. "We shot everything on our backlot except one location which was just down the street. As we get into Season 11, we'll get into some bigger episodes, but we had this time to kind of figure out exactly what we needed to do and do it in a responsible way as producers."
The process is documented in The Walking Dead: Making the Extended 10th Season, a Making Of special now streaming exclusively on AMC+, which reveals how cast and crew made six episodes in six weeks during a global pandemic. Walker extras were intentionally limited for the bonus episodes, which take deep-dives into characters like Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Filming is now underway on the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead, where our survivors encounter an expansive new community that will signal a return to urban environments with a larger cast of characters.
"It was a little surreal because we had a lot of PPE, personal protective equipment, on pretty much at all times. The crew members couldn't be closer than ten feet to us, so there was kind of this strange invisible bubble around you," said Seth Gilliam, whose Father Gabriel reunites with Aaron (Ross Marquand) in the Robert Patrick guest-starring "One More." "As I walked, people would be backing up, backing away, trying to keep the ten-foot distance, so that was a little strange."
"But aside from that," Gilliam added, "once rolling was called and the equipment came off and you looked into your scene partner's eyes, it was kind of like working back before the world fell apart again."0comments
Read our spoiler-free review of The Walking Dead's extended Season 10 premiere, "Home Sweet Home."
Season 10 of The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 28, on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.