The Walking Dead’s upcoming 11th season has been confirmed as its last. But, like the zombies who terrorise the survivors of that world, the long-running franchise will not be dying out completely. In addition to current spin-off Fear The Walking Dead and three planned films, new companion series The Walking Dead: World Beyond is about to become your next post-apocalyptic binge-watch.
Set 10 years after the initial events of The Walking Dead, World Beyond serves up an all new cast of characters with a distinctly Young Adult tone. Our new teen heroes have grown up in their ‘new normal’ – a safely locked-down school compound where the threat of Walkers (or Empties, as they are known in this show) are held at bay. That is, until four kids set off on an ill-advised adventure across the country to save a parent in peril. What follows is a story of friendship and coming of age that’s stuffed with gore-splattered action.
As showrunner Matthew Negrete, tells NME: “I think the thing that makes this show different from The Walking Dead is that we’re exploring the apocalypse through the eyes of the first generation to come of age In the apocalypse.
“They come from a place of shelter. Someone that they care about very much is in danger, and so they decide to leave this place of comfort and take their lives into their own hands to travel a great distance to try to save them,” Negrete explains. “They have a very specific goal, and they have a very interesting outlook in terms of the world around them.”
We sat down with the cast and showrunner to get clued up on the Amazon Prime Video drama. In their own words, here’s what you need to know about the latest edition to The Walking Dead family.
Plays: Iris, runaway teen and sister of Hope
“Iris is a very loyal friend. She’s very sweet and will take on any role that anyone needs her to take on. She leaves this community in the hope of finding someone that she’s lost, as well as to find herself… and she becomes a total badass along the way.”
Plays: Hope, sister of Iris
“Hope is just the definition of an angsty teen. She has absolutely no respect for authority. She’ll do whatever she wants, and sometimes that lands her behind big bars of steel. She just loves to have fun, because she doesn’t really care. She thinks that if the world is doomed, then she might as well just enjoy it while she can, instead of stressing out about it all the time. She puts out this really tough exterior, but inside she is the biggest scaredy cat and softie you’ll ever meet.”
Plays: Silas, fellow escaped student and loner
“Silas is a bit of an outcast. He doesn’t have a lot to live for within the current situation they’re in: They’ve got everything they technically need to survive within that university, but he’s got a bad name for himself there. He’s got a bit of a past, and was moved there from a different city due to what happened there. He doesn’t have a lot of friends going on, and because of his childhood isn’t exactly, socially, on fire. That’s a long way of explaining that he’s got social anxiety.”
Plays: Elton, escaped teen and karate kid
“Elton’s this very intellectual, curious 14-year-old. He’s lived behind ‘The Walls’ [the survivors’ nickname for their sheltered community] for a long, long time, and he’s an orphan of the apocalypse: both of his parents are sadly dead. He’s a black belt in karate, and he loves teaching the kids in the community how to defend themselves in the apocalypse. He’s in for a ride when he exits ‘The Walls’ – he’s going to learn a lot about himself, and I’m keen for everybody to see it.”
Plays: Huck, military-grade security guard
“Huck is an independent thinker, and she is a good friend… sometimes. She really came from really hard times, as you can see by the scar on her cheek – you’ll learn more about that as the show progresses – but she’s very grateful to be alive and will do anything to stay alive. And she loves a good pair of sunglasses.”
Plays: Felix, colony survival instructor
“Felix, is a badass, loyal-to-a-fault protector. He is the head of security detail in this enclosed community that we all start off in – but he wears a lot of hats, and does a lot of jobs. He teaches classes too, and as the series progresses, really, he is the father figure of this group. He will take care of the people around him, no matter what.”
Plays: Elizabeth Kublek, sinister lieutenant of the Civic Republic Military
“She is a somewhat intimidating leader, who is from a mysterious and powerful other community. The Walking Dead has a tradition of these communities, which go from families to groups to communities that survive, she comes in as part of an alliance they’ve formed. I think much of this is about the journey of asking, what’s the moral compass of this new entity? That also resonates with story threads that have come from the original Walking Dead.”