As "The Walking Dead" returns for Season 4, fans are in for an innovative wild ride. New show runner, Scott Gimple has amped up this of the post-apocalyptic zombie world and has given fans new insight into prison life and even new threats other than the walkers! The group has settled into life in the prison, but instead of constantly battling zombies every day in order to survive the now larger group will experience some politics, conflicts, and battles of their own. "We're taking the greatest hits approach of all the things I loved that we've done and grabbing from all the different seasons and working it up. There are a lot of characters that are dead on the show that aren't dead in the books. There are a lot of characters on the show that aren't in the book," Gimple said during a chat with The Hollywood Reporter. "You'll also see stories that are totally outside of the comic that have never been seen before. But the basis for those stories are totally from the spirit of the stories told in the comics."
With the surviving residents of Woodbury joining Rick's group in the prison, conflict resolution is hard to come by. The group's tension is palpable, and no longer is Rick the lone ruler. The prison has installed a governing body of a council to oversee life, however, it may have just been easier when Rick was the judge, jury and executioner. "The focus really is on characters, the conflicts," said executive producer Gale Anne Hurd. "It's a larger group and it's harder. We're integrating a group that when we ended last season was at war and shooting each other."
Other members of the group are also adjusting to the new populated prison life, Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, stated, "The community is growing and that mixes with the fact that there's less of a dictatorship than there has been." And while Rick has given up his post as "Ric-tator" that doesn't mean he is back to the man he was before encountering walkers. Andrew Lincoln discussed his character, Rick Grimes' journey throughout Season 4. "He's trying to suppress the brutality for the sake of both of his children and trying to be a parent in an apocalypse and trying to return to the man he once was." He has lost his wife, and he nearly lost his mind, Rick is now attempting to put the pieces of his life back together, however to little avail. "He's trying to find a way to add value and help and try to find a place for himself inside the community where he can do that without having to be the alpha male making all the decisions," said executive producer Dave Alpert. "This is a very different Rick. How long that can last, however, is another question.
More exciting Rick news is a bit of a spoiler, according to the comics, Rick and Herhsel will share even more in common. The Sheriff will reportedly lose a hand to The Governor, leaving two of the show's main leaders without vital appendages. However, it is not a guarantee that Rick will lose his hand in an eventual fight with Woodbury's now shamed Governor in the AMC series, "It was one of those things where, given all the other things going on [in season 3], we decided it was too much to put on. That's not to say we're not going to do it later, but there's too much of a burden."
As for the new threat that will make life for the group even harder? Its apparently terrifying, more terrifying than the walkers! "It's someone we haven't seen before. Someone unusual. You can't stab them in the face, you can't reason with it," said Gimple. "It's a force that would be dangerous in this world and in the world of 'The Walking Dead,' it's terrifying."
“The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on October 13. Check out the trailer for Season 4 below: