Skip to main content

Fear The Walking Dead Just Told Us When The Zombie Outbreak Started

Initially, the premise of a prequel to The Walking Dead sounded like it might reveal many of the series’ basic mysteries, but we seem to continually be left with more questions than answers. We may never know the why or the how of the zombie outbreak, but the eagle-eyed may have just figured out the when. Based on information in the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead, the zombie outbreak may have begun in the winter of 2012.

HitFix has put together the evidence found in the first episode of Fear The Walking Dead, and from where we stand, it looks to be fairly convincing. For the most part, the time period is being narrowed down based on what technology the characters are using when the outbreak begins. Nobody is carrying a smartphone by the time The Walking Dead gets going, as those things are already useless. However, in the period before the outbreak, everybody is using an iPhone or an iPad, just like today. By looking at what devices they’re using, the time period can be revealed.

The first piece of evidence comes when Curtis calls Chris and you get a clear look at the bottom of the phone. It’s an iPhone, with the original 30-pin connection. Combine that with the square shape, and you’re looking at either an iPhone 4 or 4S.


Later, we see Alicia’s phone. Her phone has the mute button in line with the top of the screen, which says it’s the 4S. So we’re definitely looking at outbreak after October 25, 2011, the release date of the iPhone 4S.

For back=up, when the teachers are watching the zombie footage on an iPad, the case clearly has holes cut out for a camera. Since the original iPad had no camera, we’re looking at least at the iPad 2, released March 25, 2011.


So the outbreak could take place anytime from late October 2011 onward. From here, the evidence gets a little less obvious. It’s not so much what you do see, but what you don’t see. The students are wearing hoodies and sweatshirts, so we’re certainly dealing with fall or winter - it IS LA, and that’s about as cold as it gets - but there’s no decorations around celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Nor New Year’s or Valentine’s Day. Based on the lack of holiday decoration, it appears that we’re looking at late February or early March of 2012. Still potentially chilly enough to need a hoodie in Los Angeles, but late enough that stores aren’t focused on holiday sales.

What do you think? Is the evidence convincing? If true, this would actually put the outbreak in the future from The Walking Dead’s perspective as it premiered in October of 2010.

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.