Just as Episode 8 of The Walking Dead Season 11 wrapped up the first half of the show’s final run this week, US cable network AMC has rolled out a new anthology show set in this universe of infinite zombies and character death. Tales from the Walking Dead will air in the US on AMC+ as well as on AMC, and it’s coming out in the summer of 2022 (so mid-next year).
The show will consist of six episodes of one hour that tell completely standalone stories – the show will feature a mix of old and new characters. It is the fourth spin-off of the main series since its debut in 2010, preceded by Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond – and it will be preceded by another spin-off centered on Carol and Daryl from the main series. , comes along after season 11 ends.
The Walking Dead universe’s longtime creator, Channing Powell, will lead the writing of this new series. Interestingly, AMC enlisted Netflix’s popular anthology show Black Mirror to describe the project.
“We see enormous potential in this world for a wide range of rich and compelling storytelling, and the episodic anthology format of Tales of the Walking Dead will give us the flexibility to entertain existing fans and be an entry point for new audiences.” especially on streaming platforms,” says Dan McDermott of AMC.
“We’ve seen the appeal of this format in television classics like The Twilight Zone and most recently, Black Mirror, and are excited to engage with fans in this new way, against the backdrop of this very unique and entertaining world.”
It is unclear how the show will release internationally – The Walking Dead will release on Disney Plus in the UK and Foxtel in Australia. Both by-products, Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, are available on Prime Video in the UK.
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Analysis: The Walking Dead needs fresh blood
The anthology format is a good fit for streaming services, as AMC points out. In recent years, we’ve enjoyed the likes of Black Mirror and the just-as-good British series Inside No. 9 in this genre. With Disney Plus launching both Marvel’s What If…, streamers are doubling down too? And Star Wars: Visions this year.
The show American Horror Stories has also given FX’s popular horror series the episodic standalone treatment, while Amazon’s Solos launched earlier this year. We’ve also seen services like HBO Max’s Love Life with season-long anthologies.
Their appeal in the modern age is clear: TV streaming has become inundated with time-wasting, hour-long series that can take forever to deliver a story. It’s become the blueprint for so many dramas—and waiting two hours to find out if you really like a series before you continue isn’t ideal, especially where there’s always so much to watch. There is more stuff.
Even for The Walking Dead, which has received considerable criticism over the years for declining in quality at various points, and which already has two spin-offs set in the same universe, a new approach was needed. An anthology enables writers to think in a specific way about the raw mechanics of storytelling. Sometimes it can take an entire season to resolve a plot in one episode of the main show. Here, the story needs to finish within an hour.
“This series, more than any other in the Walking Dead Universe, draws on new voices, perspectives and ideas – bringing stories to life,” says franchise overseer Scott Gimple. Let’s hope he is right.
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