‘The Walking Dead’ Showrunner on Finding ‘Parallel Universe’ Series Finale, How It Compares to Comics

When The Walking Dead comes back to AMC on February 20, it’s the start of the end of an era for the horror series.

Getting back to the second season of the show, fans have been used to looking over the mid-February release of the series which sorted out the seasonal angles. But with this eleventh and last season for the show on the pipeline, the conclusion of the long-running horror show putting to a close this fall is turning into more realistic.

Even as viewers expect the eleventh season stories to pick back up this Sunday, Angela Kang who is the current showrunner/executive producer and her writers are creating the very end of the series, and she tells SYFY WIRE that it’s already been difficult to get into a way to meet everyone’s expectation with the few hours they have left to pen.

The Walking Dead Characters

Kang speaks of upkeeping the large ensemble of old-timers such as Lauren Cohan (played by Maggie Greene) and Christian Serratos (played by Rosita Espinosa) to the newbies like Paola Lázaro (played by Juanita “Princess” Sanchez) and Josh Hamilton (played by Lance Hornsby) “Without getting into too many specifics, for us it is important to try to give [all] these characters moments to shine,” adding further “Not everybody’s gonna have the same amount of screen time and that’s even just on the level of everybody’s actor deal is very different.

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It makes it like a mathematical puzzle to figure out how to work things out.”

Kang notes that they have made it a part of the series to try and enable actors to go to work on other projects such as Cohan’s departure for the ABC series Whiskey Cavalier (2019) or even Marvel Studios projects filmed near their home base in Georgia.

She said, “It’s always been a juggle on our show because we want all of our actors to just do great because we are so fond of them.”

Season 11 Not Adapted From the Comic Series?

With the eleventh season split into 3 blocks of 8 episodes, Kang and her writers call this the B block but acknowledge that in reality these episodes going into the C block which will air in the fall are depicting one large angle to the finale.

She says that fans should anticipate events on the way now that will keep going to be severe from B to C and there won’t be as pronounced a distinction between them as featured in earlier seasons. She laughs “It’s not like we go to C Block, and all of a sudden it’s a musical comedy,” adding “But there are some shifts that happen of importance.”

As with most series based on the source material, The Walking Dead Television show has left Robert Kirkman’s comic book series in several ways.

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The Walking Dead

Characters who lost their lives in the books are still alive, and vice versa. Angles have transformed dramatically and consequences have changed for several causes. Due to that, the question is how much Kang has considered about matching or bringing any of the angles back to how the comics ended?

She says thoughtfully “We always start with the comic as our basis,” adding further “But there’s a fair amount of just riffing off of that too because we have a different array of characters that are in the books at the end. We’ve got different directions that the story has gone so we’re definitely in a parallel universe from the comics.

But we’ve thought a lot about what we think the story from the comics was about and what the show has been trying to say. There are elements of theme and intention that we’re trying to honor even if not in a literal way to what the source material did.”

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When she was questioned if it’s hit her yet that she’s tasked with ending one of the most well-known dramas in contemporary TV, Kang sighs while admitting. She accepts “It’s a tricky prospect,” regarding the odds that are on her plate right now.

She says “We can only make it and then put it out in the world and hope that at least emotionally people find some resonance in it. That’s the best any creator can do because, at a certain point, it belongs to the audience.”

The Walking Dead Season 11 is set to return to AMC and AMC plus on Sundays.



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