The Walking Dead: World Beyond Revisits the Start of the Zombie Apocalypse

The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns to the onset of the zombie apocalypse in a sneak peek from The Walking Dead spinoff, taking place a decade after the outbreak of a mysterious virus that reanimates the freshly dead as flesh-eating "empties." In the series premiere, "Brave," a series of "really dark" and "intense" flashbacks bring traumatized sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) back to the start of the apocalypse, collectively known as "The Night the Sky Fell." According to showrunner Matt Negrete, who co-created World Beyond with Scott M. Gimple, this horrific event is "a night that changes the fate of everyone involved."

In a flashback to 2010, the Bennett family — father Leo (Joe Holt), mother Kari (Christina Marie Karis), and the younger Iris (Maliyah Monae Kellam) and Hope (Samantha Lorraine) — flee for safety on the chaotic streets of Omaha, Nebraska, the site of a zombie-filled plane crash that gives "The Night the Sky Fell" its name.

"There are actually two events that we talk about quite a bit in the pilot, and the first one is The Night the Sky Fell. We see flashbacks to that in the pilot," Negrete said during World Beyond's virtual Comic-Con panel in July. "It's this really dark, intense series of flashbacks that we're gonna see, and really bad things happen. It's called The Night the Sky Fell because bad things are literally falling from the sky during this."

He added, "It really is a night that changes the fate of everyone involved who went through this."

That night is "the last time our characters experienced fear in that way, experienced the real world," Negrete said, "because what they were doing during The Night the Sky Fell is going towards safety, and that's where they've spent their lives ever since for the most part."

The girls have spent the past ten years living inside the walls of the Campus Colony — previously Nebraska State University — home to 9,671 total survivors existing in relative comfort and safety. Their father, a renowned biochemist and geneticist, is off with the Civic Republic working to develop a potential cure to the zombie plague.

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Another event is "Monument Day," described by Negrete as a "solemn day of reflection, commemorating all the people that they've lost from the past."

The Walking Dead: World Beyond, also starring Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru, and Julia Ormond, premieres on AMC Sunday, October 4, at 10 pm ET/9c following The Walking Dead Season 10 finale. Read a spoiler-free review of the new series here.