WASHINGTON, October 30, 2016 – The season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead was more horrific and depressing than anyone could have really imagined. Even within the constricts of The Walking Dead where horrific and horrible death are par for the course.
May viewers were left reeling from the premier, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be”, one of the most watched Walking Dead episodes drawing 17 million total viewers and an 8.4 rating (18-49 demo), just shy of the series records (17.3 mil/8.7) set by its Season 5 opener.
Director of the premier episode, and tonight’s “The Well” promises it will be a brighter light at the end of a very dark tunnel as the survivors world expands not only with Negan’s band of miscreants but tonight we meet King Ezikiel and The Kingdom where we know Carol and Morgan are already being sheltered.
“The Kingdom is a place of light,” says Nicotero. “It’s a place of life, a place where people seem to have figured it out and have been working together to build a thriving and vibrant community very, very different from anything our group has come upon in the past. And they’re led by a guy with a tiger. There’s an aspect of ‘I don’t get this place, but you’re doing it right and how’s that possible?’ But Lennie and Melissa are doing some amazing, amazing stuff coming up in this episode. And Khary Payton, who plays Ezekiel, is a freaking terminator. He showed up with pages and pages of dialogue to do and he never missed a line. He was so, so excited.”
Moving out of the oppressive stark darkness created by gruesome deaths of Glenn and Abraham, the Kingdom promises light. A sanctuary like Alexandria, but much more.
“The tone of it is probably the exact opposite of the first episode,” says Greg Nicotero — who directed both installments.
We have a complete new cast of characters for season seven – we have already met Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his band of evil. Tonight, through Carol and Morgan, we meet Ezikiel (Khary Payton) and start to understand the Kingdom.
Of course, not all the characters are new. Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James) will be entering the community and we will see it through their eyes and there will be a lot to see, including people who seem to have a very positive-looking outlook on their current situation… all things zombie apocalypse related considered.
Knowing what we know about the Kingdom, Ezekiel, and his pet tiger Shiva, we have a lot of The Walking Dead left – and it is no longer about the herd.
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