The long-awaited reveal of the title that The Walking Dead spinoff show will carry has been revealed and it is…well, let’s just say it fancies the idea of doubling down. According to the franchise’s creator, Robert Kirkman, the new series will be called, Fear the Walking Dead. However, what it brings in the department of redundancy, it could make up for in a possibly poetic nature. We’ll just have to wait and see. Here's Kirkman's jubilant announcement.
As the show is reportedly ready to screen its very first trailer after Sunday's finale of The Walking Dead finishes its destructive denouement, it was probably important that the public already have the title on the tips of their tongues, lest they get distracted by immediate incredulity as the footage would air. That’s a good thing, since there should be a lot to digest as the show introduces an entirely new group of zombie apocalypse survivors in Los Angeles, completely on the other side of the country from the flagship show’s settings. In essence, this will be entirely new territory for both the TV show AND the comics on which it is quasi-based.
While “Fear the Walking Dead,” along with “Cobalt,” was one the early working titles for the series, no one ever expected that the show would brandish either this unimaginatively similar-sounding name or that other one which sounds like expensive, pretentious beer. Yet, if one were to guess their intentions, the idea seems motivated by the idea of making it perfectly clear to the casual TV viewing public that this show takes place in the same continuity as the franchise’s mega-successful mothership. Seeing as the visionaries who conceived the title simply added the word, “Fear” to the traditional The Walking Dead branding, ambiguity will most definitely not be an issue.
Putting the show’s possibly uninspired title aside, we should also examine its meaning. Watchers of The Walking Dead will know that the show recently paid homage to an important speech made by Rick Grimes in the comics, revealing the etymology of the title. With Rick’s declaration that “we are the walking dead,” it was clear that the franchise’s heading was never a reference the myriad of street-scraping shamblers. Rather, it referred to the survivors themselves, who regularly do morally reprehensible things just to live on what is essentially borrowed time in a terrible world.
Thus, the title Fear the Walking Dead could just as well be indicative of the show’s unifying theme. Will this show focus more on the human element - two families learning how to survive together - as it is corrupted by the West Coast Theater of the zombie apocalypse? Or might we even speculate further that the title intentionally foreshadows an eventual meeting of destiny with Rick’s group of “the walking dead” who are currently over in Alexandria, VA?
Personally, I’m sticking with the tinfoil hat speculation because, frankly, SOME aspect of the show has to redeem this title. A slow-burn storyline leading to an eventual cross-continental convergence of our survivors would certainly be an epic payoff, even if Kirkman & Co. are saying it won't happen at this point. Regardless, Fear the Walking Dead will air its debut trailer after the Sunday, 9 p.m. E.T. 90 minute finale of The Walking Dead, and will air its six-episode first season this summer.