‘The Walking Dead’ star explains axed serial killer plot deemed too “dark” to air

Beware of spoilers

The Walking Dead actor Lew Temple has spoken of the abandoned storyline that saw his character Axel become a serial killer.

On Skybound‘s Talk Dead to Me podcast, Temple explained how his expectations were curbed due to the show’s tone.

“I showed up with the idea that I was going to be serial killer and foreboding, and then the day of, got a note to switch that,” Temple began. “‘No no, we’ve gotta lighten things up a bit, we’ve been pretty dark.'”


The actor explained the show’s writers giving requests to leave the character somewhat open – as some scripts that ended up being dropped saw Axel abducting and murdering Hershel Greene’s daughter Beth.

“There were some episodes that were written where I do take Beth out into the woods and slaughter her. And so we didn’t get to any of those,” Temple said.

“That was why I kept buttoned up, he was gonna come undone and be totally Henry Rollins tattooed. The whole thing about being a drug addict was all a facade, the thing about the squirt gun and pistol is all bullshit.”

Other dropped scripts included scenes of Axel beating Carol, who was recovering from her abusive relationship with her husband Ed in season one.

“I mean, just these really dark things that the writers were talking about,” Temple said. “And then all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Oh, we painted ourselves in the corner, the Governor is showing up and he’s gotta draw blood or he’ll be impotent. He’s gotta draw first blood. And it’s looking like you’re gonna get the short straw.'”


The Walking Dead will air the season 10 finale later this year.