Two weeks ago we saw the return of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, a companion series to the highly successful The Walking Dead. In Fear, we’ve watched our new group of characters experience the beginning of the zombie apocalypse and the bloody months that follow after. While Fear doesn’t seem to be going anywhere quickly, the show is giving us a new narrative angle and building upon a world we already know and love from the original show.
As a companion series, Fear is free to explore a different part of the nation and take us on a ride where we won’t know what’s happening next. And it may not be the last companion series to do so. When asked if there would be more companion series that would explore TWD universe, AMC network executive Charlie Collier said that “if Robert [Kirkman] had a world he wanted to explore, you can bet that we are not just leaning into that conversation, but we’re actively engaging in it.” So what could come next? We’ve listed our 15 favorite places we’d like to see after the dead came back to life. After all, it’s a big world out there...
15 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
What stories could unfold in the City of Sin when basic survival is the only way of life? We’ve seen apocalyptic versions of Las Vegas in various forms of media, such as Fallout: New Vegas and Stephen King’s The Stand. There’s something very appealing about seeing the entertainment capital of the world becoming a bastion of survival when the dead rise to walk once more.
14 Tokyo Metropolis, Japan
So far, our closest thing to seeing survivors battle their way out of a really big city was the cast of Fear as they fought their way to the shore in the Season 1 finale. Even then, their escape from LA culminated at a hospital, not really the shoreline. Season one of the original show did a great job of showing the journey to escape Atlanta but, by this point, the apocalypse was months on and most of the characters had a full understanding of the dead and how they operated in their newfound resurrection. The Walking Dead hasn’t really spent much time focusing on characters having to fight out of a densely populated area from the first days of the infection. It’s something the fans would love to see. And why not make it happen in the largest metropolitan area on Earth?
13 Long Island, New York, USA
Riffing off of our last entry, what happens when we’re already outside a major city, but salvation is only reached by going through it? Long Island could provide the setting for that story. The island itself lies just east of New York City, the western tip of which contains the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs with Manhattan itself just visible across the East River. The Eastern end of Long Island, you have townships and hamlets like the Hamptons. Some of the most expensive houses in the world are found in this area. As the rest of the world burns, some might abscond to the East End until the military can quell the minor biological attack.
But what happens if there is no all-clear as the survivors of the boroughs begin to crawl their way east with an army of the dead following soon after? How do the haves and have-nots come to terms with each other? On a peninsula encapsulated by the biggest flesh factory in America, where is there to go?
12 Antarctica, Antarctica
I know, it may be a little contrived for a story like this to take place in the Antarctic. John Carpenter did it with The Thing in 1982 (and again in 2011) and the SyFy Channel’s own taste of the apocalypse, Z Nation, has a story arc that’s been in the North Pole for two seasons (come on, same thing). But there’s a reason that the vast, white nothingness works so well for these narrative environments. It allows a great setting for which isolation can begin to weigh on characters and the way that they behave.
11 The Atlantic Ocean
The ocean, like a blank canvas waiting to be painted upon is in need of a good zombie story. Both the Atlantic and Pacific have been minor settings in the Walking Dead universe. Fear’s season 2 opener saw our characters leaving California for Mexico by means of a yacht named Abigail. In the Walking Dead comics, Michonne hangs up the katana (temporarily) to join a group of survivors aboard a sailboat traveling the east coast. The Telltale video game series of the same name have explored Michonne’s sea-dog years a little further, even showing us a flotilla colony.
10 New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
In the city that dances with Louisiana Voodoo, The Big Easy is a place already intertwined with death. New Orleans has seen its fair share of hardship, but it grew stronger because of it. In a place prepared for the worst - coupled with some very lax gun laws - New Orleans could become a stronghold against the flesh-eaters. Oh and did I mention stilted buildings?
9 Mackinac Island, Michigan, USA
While I’ve mentioned how the oceans have played a minor part in the Walking Dead universe, there have been almost no islands to speak of. Early this season, Fear’s survivors found themselves on an island called Catrina Island, a fictional version of California’s Catalina Island. Catrina island was isolated, there was a hamlet that could’ve been cleared and fortified… I’m not going to dig deeper into how much of a missed opportunity this was, but just know that the characters left without looking back.
Islands that once sustained a small population like this should be thriving in the Walking Dead universe. Seriously, they should be the bastions that everyone bolted to as soon as the dead started to re-open their eyes after, you know, dying.
Mackinaw Island sits where Lake Michigan becomes Lake Huron in a small straight that separates Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. While less than 500 people live there permanently, the island supports up to 15,00 tourists per day during its busy season. This place is just calling to survivors.
8 Vatican City
The fact that the city itself is a fortified enclave within the larger city of Rome, the outward appearance gives a sense of it’s survivability. The fact that it would be a place that almost every devout Catholic would turn to in a time of need, now that could cause some problems. What is the city that represents an entire faith supposed to do when they must close their doors to their people?
7 Alaskan Wilderness, USA
Alaska is already a daunting place for those of us who can’t go twenty minutes without Twitter. But there’s one thing that’ll ring true for many of those who live there; they’re already survivors. Some have chosen to follow our primitive instincts and live from the land in the Alaskan wilderness. Why not see how they’d fair in an apocalypse?
6 Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
The Twin Cities has a lot going on for it and the same could be said once the world begins to crumble. From the months of November until March, the northern Midwest freezes over. Believe me when I say that it’s pretty close to the apocalypse. But, because of the harsh conditions, the cities have adapted. One of the ways this is done is through sky bridges that connect one building to another. In Minneapolis along, there’s over 11 miles of elevated walkway that connects more than 80 blocks. Why worry about the dead in the streets if you don’t even have to leave the skies?
5 (Return to) Los Angeles, USA
If you haven’t figured out that I’m not too happy with the way that Fear the Walking Dead has handled their storytelling, let me reiterate what opportunities were left behind in Los Angeles.
4 North Korea, North Korea
Imagine the apocalypse from the point of view of a citizen who views their leader as a god. As nations crumble around them, many would live completely oblivious within the confines of their guarded borders. North Korea gives us an excellent opportunity to see what happens when the dead may force their way into a walled society and what actions must be taken by the government to keep its image upstanding. When it comes to North Korea, You couldn’t say they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves, but how long could that last? What happens when the citizens get wind of what’s going on?
3 Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, USA
Deep within Cheyenne Mountain is an underground city that serves as the operation center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command - better known as NORAD. Built during the Cold War, the headquarters is as much a reconnaissance center as it is a fortress. Not only does it have the resources and structure to repel massive hordes, it’s also most likely where our American leadership would center themselves in a nation-wide catastrophe.
2 Kenny’s Continued Journey
This isn’t so much a specific place but a continuation of a character beloved to many. Kenny is a husband and father first introduced in TellTale’s The Walking Dead, the acclaimed video game series. While his fate is left ambiguous at the end of Season 1, he returns in season 2, a grizzled and rougher version of his old self. At the end of season 2, you’re given a series of choices, some of which can end in Kenny’s death, but all that end with Kenny parting from the protagonist, Clementine.
Thanks to the fine people at SourceFedNerd, we can estimate that about 1.3 million people are still kicking when the undead virus takes the planet. Of those people, we’ve seen less than 500 through all the different forms of media. There’s a whole world out there left to explore and an anthology series could be just the way to do it. Give us a series that depicts survivors stuck on the Brooklyn Bridge one episode, then neighbors killing each other for supplies in Cleveland the next. Small portals into those still alive in the dead world would be a great way to continually world-build without it ever seeming like the creators are just stuffing information down our throat. It’d also be a great way to keep things fresh in the downtime of our two current series!
Well, there you have it. We've seen the east coast and the west coast, but there are plenty of stories still to be told. Who knows if we’ll ever get to see some of these places, but let’s just hope that, whatever next instalment comes to the Walking Dead world, it keeps us always wanting for more.
Sources: BloodyDisgusting, Metrocosm, YouTube.
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