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August 23, 2015

The Brainerd Dispatch - Today's Entertainment Magazine

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2 August 23 - 29, 2015 Br ainerd Dispatch By Cassie Dresch TV Media I f you're one of the almost 16 million people who tuned into the season 5 finale of "The Walking Dead" back in March, you're probably itching for a new episode of the wildly successful horror drama (I know I am). While we're still a couple months out from the premiere of season 6 — Oct. 11, for those keeping track! — fans of the AMC thriller are in for a treat. "Fear the Walking Dead," the much- anticipated companion series to "The Walking Dead," premieres on Sun- day, Aug. 23, on AMC. It's difficult not to be excited when talking about this companion series, as it hails from many of the same minds behind the original TV series. "The Walking Dead" franchise cre- ator Robert Kirkman is also helming this version, which starts off as a pre- quel, along with executive producers Greg Nicotero, David Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd — who all have worked on "The Walking Dead" — and new- comer to the franchise Dave Erickson, who serves as showrunner. It's important to note that while "Fear the Walking Dead" takes place in the same universe as its counter- part, the two shows will be vastly dif- ferent. Where "The Walking Dead" sees main character Rick Grimes (An- drew Lincoln, "Love Actually," 2003) awaken from a coma long after the zombie apocalypse has begun, this series showcases the very beginnings of the worldwide catastrophe. "I think more than anything else, 'Fear the Walking Dead' will get to show people coming to grips with so- ciety crumbling around them in a way we mostly skipped over on 'The Walk- ing Dead,'" Kirkman said in an inter- view with the "New York Times." One thing that was skipped over in the original series that Erickson calls "jarring" is just how little the zom- bies look like the classic, half-decayed monstrosities they later become, and it's something that will play into the early parts of the season. "Your first impulse is to help them, and then short of that, to run," he said in the "NYT" piece. "It isn't to pick up a handy weapon and blud- geon them to death and crush their skull." Another key difference between both series is where, specifically, they take place. "The Walking Dead" sees Rick and company travel through a great deal of Ameri- can southeast- ern wilderness on the road to survival, while "Fear" is set somewhere decidedly more urban — Los Angeles. "Los Angeles is such an interest- ing city in and of itself, just because of the vast melting pot of diversity that California has become," said Kirkman in an interview with "Enter- tainment Weekly." "The urban sprawl — it covers a tremendous amount of land, and it's got an extremely dense population, so there are a lot of things about that that lend itself well to good storytelling in the zombie apocalypse. ... We'll defi- nitely be spending a lot less time in the woods." Not only will good storytelling be key to making "Fear the Walking Dead" live up to its predecessor, the acting will also have to be top notch, and the cast for the companion series boasts some strong talent. New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis ("Live Free or Die Hard," 2007) stars as Travis Manawa, a high school Eng- lish teacher whose son, Chris (Loren- zo James Henrie, "Almost Kings," 2010), resents him for divorcing his mother, Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez, "Miami Vice," 2006). Curtis has won quite a few awards in his native country, including four New Zealand Film and TV Awards. Kim Dickens of "Sons of Anarchy," "House of Cards" and "Treme" fame stars as Madison Clark, Travis's fian- cée and single mom to Nick (Frank Dillane, "Sense8") and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey, "The 100"). Madison is the guidance counselor at the same school where Travis teaches, and she struggles to connect with her chil- dren. Dickens has received accolades for her roles in the TV series "Dead- wood" as well as the 2014 psycho- logical thriller "Gone Girl." Two-time Emmy-nominated actor Rubén Blades ("Crazy from the Heart," 1991, "Safe House," 2012) and Swedish-American actress Mer- cedes Mason ("666 Park Avenue") round out the cast as father-daughter duo Daniel and Ofelia Salazar. Ofelia is protective of her immigrant par- ents, and Daniel mostly keeps to him- self. With the apocalypse looming, however, they start to undergo iden- tity shifts. On top of all of the excitement of this new series premiering is the fact that AMC has already shown Kirk- man, Erickson and the rest of the "Fear" crew that they're all in for this spinoff. Back in March AMC an- nounced it had picked up "Fear" for two seasons, and last month, it add- ed to the hype by announcing that season 2 will consist of 15 episodes and will air next year. We're still a ways out from the re- turn of the critically acclaimed horror goliath "The Walking Dead," but fans of the comic book and TV franchises are in for a treat courtesy of AMC. "Fear the Walking Dead," the much- anticipated companion series to the original, is set to introduce the first of six episodes when it premieres Sun- day, Aug. 23, on AMC. Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens as seen in "Fear the Walking Dead" Dead come walking Much-anticipated 'Fear the Walking Dead' kicks off on AMC Cover Story this week 001288392r1 "Your One-Stop, Locally-Owned Medical Supply Company." 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