AMC’s [email protected] panel for Fear the Walking Dead revealed the series’ seventh season will premiere on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 9pm ET/PT. Cast members Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lennie James, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Jenna Elfman, Karen David, Mo Collins, and Christine Evangelista joined The Walking Dead Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple and showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg for the packed panel promoting the upcoming seventh season.
Season six added an additional apocalypse to the existing zombie apocalypse with the launch of a nuclear missile. “We were looking for a way to reinvent the show and we’re gonna, I think, kind of reset everyone in terms of apocalypse survival. Everyone’s kind of going back to zero, having to learn how to do it all over again,” explained Andrew Chambliss.
“We’re dealing with multiple nuclear warheads that have detonated across the landscape. It’s going to change everything. It’s going to change the walkers; it’ll change how our characters navigate the world outside where a lot of cases the air is not breathable unless through a gas mask. Resources are going to be more scarce. We’ll also see that it’s going to, as with any apocalypse, bring about a whole new brand of human adversary that will challenge our group.” said Ian Goldberg. “It’s a whole new world in a lot of ways.”
The panel included the reveal that Alycia Debnam-Carey will be directing a season seven episode, something she’s wanted to do for a few years. “Just before season seven started I was like, ‘I just have to throw my hat in the ring and see if Ian and Andrew will let me do it.’ Everyone was just so supportive and encouraging. They were like, ‘Of course, that would be amazing and we would love for you to do that.'”
“I’d seen Lennie and Colman do it and how it had changed their perspectives as an actor, as someone in the film and TV industry. It was another creative layer that I wanted to explore for a long time,” explained Debnam-Carey.
As for her character, Alicia, last we saw her she was being held captive by Teddy (John Glover) and declaring she won’t help him shape the world the way he wants it.
“She’s this pawn in his game and I think Alicia’s so against being forced to do anything that isn’t authentically her or herself. And here’s this madman, essentially, who’s betting on her being able to lead a group of people in a situation that never intended for herself to be in.
I think what really is becoming a defining trait of Alicia is that she’s a reluctant leader,” explained Debnam-Carey. “I think she’s never wanted to be in that position. I don’t think she’s ever really seen herself as a leader. I think she’s fiercely protective of the people she’s with and an amazing warrior as well. But she doesn’t see herself in that position so it’s sort of a defiant proclamation of ‘I’m not going to do what you want me to do’ because she doesn’t believe that that’s the person she is.”
Colman Domingo believes the end of season six set up that it’s time for Victor Strand to double down on his instincts and to accept that everything he’s done to this point has let him continue to survive against all odds. “At some point, he’s like, ‘Okay, maybe I wasn’t wrong.’ Everyone keeps telling me I’m wrong. ‘Maybe you shouldn’t do that or you’re too harsh or too pragmatic.’ And he’s like, ‘F that! It’s time for me to double down on Strand and see what that journey is,'” said Domingo.
He added, “That’s what I think is exciting about this next chapter for Victor Strand because we haven’t seen Victor Strand double down on fully being Victor Strand. We’ve seen him always challenged with his moral compass. And now I think he’s going to see what the world is like when he rebuilds the world that he believes it can be – not falling into anyone’s ideology. That’s what I think is exciting about the characters, especially after six seasons.”
On of the questions on the minds of TWD and FTWD fans is whether the timelines will ever meet up. Scott M. Gimple answered a fan’s question, saying, “They’re pretty far away from each other right now. We’ve talked about things on this show and we’ve talked about things on other shows… You know, I’ll give you one of those standard ‘it’s possible.’ (Laughing) I know that’s super satisfying.”
Watch the full panel embedded above for more on what’s in store Fear the Walking Dead season seven.