If you’re still standing there like a slack-jawed zombie after watching The Walking Dead’s long-awaited “finale” episode, titled A Certain Doom (S10, episode 16), which airs on Monday 5 October on FOX (DStv 125), you’re not alone.
Shockingly, while this episode was previously labelled as the season finale – and originally put on pause by the onslaught of COVID-19, then to air as a once-off special on Monday, 5 October – it’s not the final episode that fans were led to believe. “There are 6 more episodes coming in 2021,” reveals executive producer Angela Kang. “These extra episodes will be a bridge between S10 and the final season, S11, coming later next year. We were asked to add extra episodes as the waiting time between S10 and the start of S11 will just be too long. And I’m so happy for the extension, because now we are given an opportunity to explore more stories in the new episodes,” says Angela.
COVID-19 had already impacted the series when episode 16 of S10 was pushed out and turned into a special episode. “We filmed that episode in November 2019 but were halted with production when lockdown happened. It took us months to edit and do post-production on episode 16. Finally, we could air the episode, and I saw it as a little early Christmas gift to our fans who had been so patient waiting for it,” explains Angela.
Angela notes that it was a good thing that post-production was halted on A Certain Doom. “The pandemic gave us new opportunities to look at The Walking Dead and how we are going to film episodes going forward. The next batch of episodes for season 10 will have a different feel to it,” she reveals. “Due to social distancing, expect less hordes of zombies, and more personalised stories of the characters, and exploring new communities. I think it’s safe to say that episode 16 was the beginning of a new chapter for The Walking Dead, and we will continue this journey going into S11.”
Lauren Cohan, who returned to play Maggie Greene in A Certain Doom, is also excited about her character's future. "Maggie left the series at the end of S9 to explore other communities, and she made a comeback in the last few minutes of episode 15 of S10. She was back in full action, helping her friends fight the Whisperers and their Walker hoard in episode 16, and it was a nice surprise for her friends, who welcomed her with open arms,” says Lauren. “The next batch of episodes and the new season will reveal where Maggie has been all this time and what she has been doing. I wish I could tell you what is in store for her.”
If there is one person who needs a break from political backbiting and gnashing Walker teeth, it’s Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus. Daryl has had a tough journey on the series, and Norman likens his character to that of a disgruntled teenager who thinks everybody hates him. “He’s been through hell and back, and has lost so many dear friends close to him. The only way to protect himself is putting up the hard façade of someone who is a loner and minding his own business,” says Norman
The only true friend Daryl has is Carol (Melissa McBride). “After his BFF Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) left early in S9, Daryl was kind of lost, but he bonded with Carol. Their friendship has been tested. Daryl spent most of last season chasing her, and she kind of lied to him, and he’s forgiven her over and over. They have a strange platonic friendship that runs deep. I don’t think it will ever develop into something romantic. They are just two friends who have each other’s backs,” says Norman.
Looking to the future, Norman is excited for the Daryl-Carol spin-off coming in 2023 when The Walking Dead ends its final season. “I always said that Daryl mustn’t be one of the big characters who gets killed off. He should just climb on his bike, tell Carol to get on, and they ride off into the sunset,” jokes Norman. The spin-off (which is not a joke) will also have a different feel. “It won’t be as serious as The Walking Dead. It will be a series of hope, where Daryl and Carol go into the world to explore what is left of humanity. They travel from town to town, getting to know the people, help them and then leave to their next adventure,” reveals Norman.
Make a night of it
You can catch up on all the S10 action leading up to E16 with a special catch up session on FOX (DStv 125), starting with episode 1 of S10 on Sunday, 4 October at 21:20.
Watch The Walking Dead S10 finale, episode 16, on Monday, 5 October on FOX (DStv 125) at 20:45