Fear the Walking Dead is not a prequel to The Walking Dead

Elena (Karen Bethzabe) and Victor Strand (Colman Domingo)Photo by Michael Desmond/AMC
Elena (Karen Bethzabe) and Victor Strand (Colman Domingo)Photo by Michael Desmond/AMC /

There’s an understandably common misconception that Fear the Walking Dead is a prequel to The Walking Dead, but that’s not the case.

It has been a big day for the good people involved with the production of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Fear the Walking Dead just received the green light for a fourth season, and Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg will be signing on as former FTWD showrunner Dave Erickson moves on to new AMC projects. The Walking Dead’s Scott M. Gimple will also step up and join the show as an executive producer ahead of the show’s third season premiere.

One thing that can be a bit confusing is whether or not Fear the Walking Dead is a prequel to The Walking Dead.

In short, no, it’s not.

Fear the Walking Dead is a companion series to The Walking Dead. What that means is that they’re the same show, but whereas The Walking Dead began the moment Rick woke up in the hospital, Fear the Walking Dead began before the zombie outbreak began. This perspective offered fans a glimpse at how the world (or at least Southern California) reacted to the dead rising from the grave and chasing after people.

The shows are, essentially, the same, with the main difference being the starting point and the geographic region. Fear the Walking Dead started out in Los Angeles, then moved to a boat that traveled down the Southern California coast after Los Angeles and San Diego were firebombed, and the group eventually arrived in Mexico, where they spent Season 2 and will begin in Season 3.

The idea that both shows are companion shows to each other might seem strange considering how different they are, but they are the same show. Fear the Walking Dead is hitting its stride coming out of the second season now that the Clark-Manawa families are on the run in Mexico looking for Nick at the border, with Strand choosing to stay behind at the resort and Ofelia somewhere out there.

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With Fear the Walking Dead we get to see another group of survivors navigate the early days of the apocalypse, and as the show moves into its third season it’s clear that this survival adventure is just beginning.