Zombie fans across the globe are rejoicing at the news that Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman is currently involved in developing a Walking Dead spin-off series. The series will be set in the same universe, but will introduce a host of new characters. While it seems likely that the series will continue to deal with zombie-infested back waters, it would be nice to see New York overrun with walkers. The thing is, do we really need a spin-off? If we want zombies in cities, can’t we go watch WWZ or Dawn of the Dead? Don’t we love The Walking Dead because it’s unique and different? Won’t a spin-off just be the same, but again?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a dystopian, post apocalyptic landscape (I even wrote a book about it), but I’m not sure The Walking Dead spin-off is entirely needed. Here’s why:
1. The beauty of The Walking Dead is that it’s deals with a microcosm of the post-apocalyptic world. While we’re aware other zombie landscapes exist within pop-culture, the world of The Walking Dead has so far been limited to the countryside around Atlanta, and that’s fantastic because it really feeds into the idea of an isolated band of survivors. Opening this world up will detract from this and will mean that we’ll know more than the characters of both shows, which is something we don’t want.
2. It won’t follow a comic book story, which is fair enough as it isn’t The Walking Dead, it’s something new entirely. Having said that, the Walking Dead hasn’t exactly remained entirely faithful to the comics and it became a new and exciting entity because of it. But will Kirkman pouring new ideas into the new show mean we won’t see these cool things on the original show. Does Kirkman splitting his attention mean splitting the quality?
3. There just doesn’t seem to be any need for it. There’s plenty of scope in The Walking Dead for exploration and with 115 comic books to pick from, Kirkman obviously has a lot more material to draw from, so why digress and go off at a tangent with new characters in a new location? If Kirkman has new characters/places he wants to explore, why not just introduce them into the pre-existing, already successful, Walking Dead?
4. Is it just an attempt to grab quick cash? J K Rowling is doing another Potter-related film to squeeze the last bit of cash out of a series I’d happily see put to bed, and the team behind Breaking Bad are planning a spin-off show for lawyer Saul Goodman. Neither of these things will be as good as the original. Unless you’re talking Frasier/Cheers, spin-offs don’t usually do too well.
5. Before Kirkman even thinks about a spin off he needs to devise a horrible, overly-gruesome death for Carl the Kid.
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