While traditional Western movies are not as prevalent as they used to be, Neo-Western TV shows are among some of the most popular and acclaimed dramas on the small screen — such as Paramount Network’s Yellowstone or The CW’s Walker. However, it looks like the the old school Western genre is starting to make a comeback on television in the form of spin-off series set in the past, such as Yellowstone’s two prequels — 1883 and the upcoming 1923 — and the upcoming prequel, Walker Independence.
Actually, this new series has the unique distinction of being a prequel to a reboot, as the show — which stars former Supernatural cast member Jared Padalecki as the titular lawman — is loosely inspired by the long-running ‘90s crime procedural which starred Chuck Norris and his famous roundhouse kicks. Will Walker Independence live up to this TV classic’s enduring legacy, how will it connect to The CW’s current iteration, and just when can fans expect to see it? The latter is the first question we answer in our following breakdown of all we know about the series so far.
Walker Independence Premieres On The CW In October 2022
The 2022 Fall TV schedule is chock full of exciting premieres to look forward to, including the Season 3 debut of Walker on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 8 p.m. ET. That same night, viewers will also be treated to the next chapter in the series’ legacy…or, perhaps we should say, “the first chapter.”
According to Deadline, the prequel will also premiere on October 6 and will air immediately after its modern predecessor at 9 p.m. ET. Then, fans of the show will learn previously unknown secrets about the title character’s historical lineage.
Walker Independence Follows Cordell Walker’s Ancestor In The 19th Century
We all know and love widowed Texas Ranger Cordell Walker, as well as his family members — his mother, Abeline (Molly Hagan), father, Bonham (Mitch Pileggi), younger brother, Liam (Keegan Allen), and his children, Stella (Violet Brinson) and August (Kale Culley). However, we do not know much about his family tree beyond that, but that is all about to change.
The series — which is set in the late 1800s, according to Deadline — follows a Boston, Massachusetts native named Abigail “Abby” Walker, who finds herself in the quaint Texas town of Independence on a quest to avenge her murdered husband. The filmmakers behind the new series have not yet revealed exactly how Abby is related to Jared Padalecki’s Cordell Walker and we may have to wait late into the season for that discovery. However, I cannot imagine that will test viewers’ patience too much, because the idea of an old school Western TV show with a main female protagonist his exciting enough on its own.
Katherine McNamara Leads The Walker Independence Cast
Playing the title role of Abigail Walker is Katherine McNamara, who is best known from YA novel adaptations like the Freeform original series, Shadowhunters, and the Maze Runner movies, as well as multiple installments of The CW’s Arrowverse as Oliver Queen’s daughter from an alternate reality, Mia Smoak. The cast also boasts a veteran of Walker — Hoyt Rawlins actor Matt Barr as a supposed ancestor of his deceased character of the same name.
Others joining this Old West ensemble include Katie Findlay of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist fame, Brandon Sklenar (no stranger to this genre after appearing on Westworld Season 4 and the aforementioned Yellowstone prequel, 1923), and Lawrence Kao (no stranger to CW spin-offs following his recurring role on the Vampire Diaries sequel, The Originals). Philemon Chambers from Netflix’s 2021 holiday romance, Single All the Way, also has a role along with Justin Johnson Cortez — best known for guest spots on he likes of Netflix’s Lucifer or Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star — and Gabriela Quezada, who, coincidentally, guest-starred on the original 9-1-1 and played Rosa Muñoz on both the The Goldbergs and on its spin-off, Schooled in 2019.
Jared Padalecki Executive Produces Walker Independence With Walker Showrunner Seamus Fahey
Matt Barr is not the only veteran from CW’s Walker cast coming back for the spin-off series, but this one is from behind the camera instead. Cordell Walker actor Jared Padalecki serves as executive producer on Walker Independence, which is actually not the only prequel to one of his TV shows that is coming out this fall. The actor’s onscreen brother, Jensen Ackles, is producing and starring in The Winchesters, which tells the story of how the mother and father of Dean and Sam from Supernatural first met in the early 1970s.
Also executive producing is the reboot's original developer — Seamus Fahey, who — according to Deadline — wrote the story for the spin-off with Anna Fricke, who also executive produces this new series. Laura Terry, who previously worked with Fricke on The CW’s 4400 reboot, also has an executive producer’s credit, along with fellow Walker EPs Dan Lin — who also has an impressive cinematic resume that includes the LEGO Movies franchise and the It movies — and Lindsey Liberatore, who is also working on Netflix’s upcoming live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender with Lin.
The Walker Independence Trailer Introduces Abby Walker And The Early Days Of The Titular Town
If the information above is not enough to pique your interest, one viewing of the trailer ought to do it. Take a look at the series’ exciting official teaser below:
There are some movie trailer that do not even come close to being as compelling as the one above, which takes you through a range of emotions from beginning to end. We start off on a heartbreaking note with Abby witnessing her husband’s murder, then transition to a more optimistic tone as our hero becomes acquainted with the folk of Independence — including Matt Barr as Hoyt Rawlins — until she discovers that her husband’s killer has usurped his position as the town sheriff, setting off a montage of irresistibly intense Wild West action. The strength of Katherine McNamara’s performance in the clips presented here hint that this could be the defining role of her career.
Prequels to Neo-Western series may be becoming a relatively common trend, but with winning results so far. We shall see if Walker Independence continues that hot streak when it premieres on The CW on Thursday, October 6, 2022.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.