It is hard to believe that The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman can have any regrets about his massively successful franchise. However, there is one thing from way back in Season 1 that still seems to gnaw at the prolific creator even all these years later. The zombie faithful may remember that at the end of the freshman season, Rick and company arrive at the CDC in Atlanta and meet Doctor Edwin Jenner, who is tirelessly working on a cure for the plague. Well it's Jenner's big reveals that stand out in Kirkman's rear view mirror.
Here's what Kirkman told THR about that shift in the storyline.
If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have done the CDC episode [at the end of season one]. It possibly gave away too much information and was such a big change very early on in the series. I feel like there might have been a better way to wrap up the first season. But there were things in that episode that I think seem very much not of The Walking Dead world.”
It is a fair point considering that pivotal event did not happen in the comic books, making fans wonder if the TV series was being taken into a completely different direction than expected. Most did not seem to mind, but purists of the comic series were most likely taken aback at the decision to have that scene included. The choice to film the scene and add it to the finale appeared to be a gut check for the freshman series to see if they could maybe go “off book” a bit to flesh out some of the smaller details not addressed in the comics. Clearly though, the very secretive Kirkman is a perfectionist that wants his opus to be played out exactly like his vision.
With the AMC juggernaut series standing as TV’s number one show amongst the coveted 18-49 demographic, one might think that Kirkman could forgive himself, but the prolific creator knows that The Walking Dead is his baby and he wants it all to be pretty much perfect. There was one specific thing that Kirkman pointed out about the scene in question that he was disappointed with, involving the reveal that France possibly had some promising leads on how to eradicate the plague.
“I've been careful in the comic series to not say what's happening in other parts of the world. It's something that's going to be fun to explore in the spinoff series. But the fact that France is mentioned in that episode and other things like that, I probably would have steered away from that stuff if I had to do it all over again.”
Now with casting already underway for a Walking Dead prequel-type spinoff, fans may get some more backstory about the days leading up to the plague and which countries have some solid leads on how to destroy the deadly virus. Still, it sounds like Kirkman is done tipping his hands in any way, making sure that his loyal viewers will continue to be surprised and wowed by the AMC smash.