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With the dust barely settled from The Walking Dead’s midseason finale last night, AMC isn’t wasting any time in shifting some focus to the upcoming Walking Dead spinoff pilot. (Which is nicknamed Cobalt for the time being, because that’s just fun.) The project has landed its first cast members in the young actors Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Storm). Thankfully, these guys are old enough that we don’t have to worry about Carl-sized levels of obnoxiousness.
Though Deadline tosses out a few character descriptions, it’s only when we combine them with the info unveiled a while back that we have a more rounded perception of who these two actors will be playing. Let’s look at each one separately, while picturing them in a walker-filled setting that could be anywhere except the Southeast U.S. Go ahead and imagine a nice waterfall full of guts and bones.
Carey will take on the role of Ashley Tompkins, the level-headed daughter of Nancy Tompkins, a beautiful-but-edgy guidance counselor. Ashley is the ambitious younger child who is looking to escape her mother’s immediate presence, though she still loves her dearly. I’m really not sure if this describes her intentions before or after the zombie apocalypse. It doesn’t seem like she’d have anywhere else to go at this point.
Dillane will play Ashley’s polar opposite older brother Nick. He’s too old to still be living with his mother, but he’s battled a drug problem (among other wrongdoings) and doesn’t have the skills required to live on his own, though he also wants to leave. Maybe this spinoff starts off inside of a single location, in the same way that Walking Dead spends parts of each season. We’ve already been to a prison, a hospital and a school, so we might not see those locations used. Really though, there’s certainly room for overlapping involving giant buildings that are in every city and town.
Aside from these three characters, Code Name: Cobalt will also be about a divorced gym teacher named Sean Cabrera and his rage-filled son Cody. There’s also another hippie-ish woman named Andrea involved. Not the same one, thankfully, but that leads one to ask the most obvious question: will this spinoff take place somewhere that can eventually lead to a crossover episode with The Walking Dead? Assuming it makes it to series, anyway.
Last night’s killer ratings are a sure sign to AMC that American audiences want all the horror drama they can get. So let’s hope a few more awesome actors sign on to this pilot and create something wonderful with director Adam Davidson (Hell on Wheels), and that The Walking Dead keeps pushing its story forward when it comes back from winter hiatus on February 8, 2015.