The latest episode of the Undead Walking Podcast features host Sarabeth Pollock and guest Adam B. Carlson talking about the first two bonus episodes of The Walking Dead with zero spoilers. Since Adam hasn’t seen the episodes, he represented fans as he asked Sarabeth for information about episodes 1017 and 1018 and she provided as much insight as she could without revealing too much.
The Walking Dead is set to return on February 28 with six “bonus” episodes that not only serve as a way to hold fans over until season 11 can film, but they also allowed the cast and crew to learn the ropes of filming in the middle of a pandemic. Between carefully placed actors and creative camera angles there’s no question that these episodes were experimental.
One thing that stands out is that these episodes really have a different feel to them. Scott M. Gimple revealed in an interview that they would have an “intimate” vibe to them and it’s absolutely true. Since each episode focuses on a couple of characters, the story allows for more conversation and dialogue in both episodes that just isn’t possible during the normal season.
As Sarabeth notes in the podcast, these episodes feel like they’d be in the middle of the season. They don’t pack the kind of punch you’d find in a premiere or finale, but it doesn’t seem like they’re supposed to. They’re meant to tell stories, and they do just that.
Listen: Undead Walking Podcast previewing The Walking Dead 1017,1018
Episode 1017, “Home Sweet Home”, dives deep into Maggie’s return and the challenges she’s facing when confronted by her past. It’s a solid episode, with great acting and some really good conversations that guide the story and help to fill in the blanks. There are some action sequences, too, and they’re impressive. (You’ll definitely see some “COVID filming” in the action sequences…which we’ll talk about when the episodes have aired) Seeing Maggie back in action is a lot of fun, and the scenes where she’s talking with Daryl about her life are powerful.
1018, “Find Me”, explores what Daryl was doing during the time jump, framed by a present-day recon mission he takes with Dog and Carol. It’s an interesting episode because it arrives out of left field with a complex and beautiful story…but it’s unclear where the story would fit in season 11. It definitely introduces some game-changing details about Daryl and Carol – and Dog – that will shift the way these characters are viewed in the future.
Between the two episodes, 1017 clearly fits in the story and would have made sense in season 11 because fans needed to know where Maggie had been. 1018 is a bit more complicated. It doesn’t have a natural “fit” and while it does explain a lot about Dog and what Daryl was up to during the time jump, it’s unclear if this episode would have existed if not for the pandemic and the idea to create bonus episodes.
Both of the episodes are stylistically beautiful. The camera shots that director David Boyd was able to incorporate pair well with the fact the episodes were shot digitally instead of on film, which is a nice touch and something we hope to see in the future.
Stay tuned as the Undead Walking Podcast explores all of the upcoming 10C episodes and all of the other news from around the TWD Universe, and be sure to watch when The Walking Dead returns on February 28 on AMC.