The background survivors, also sometimes classified as "redshirts" are the survivors who linger in the background during episodes while the main survivors are engaged in the story. These survivors usually have no part in the main storyline and perform normal, everyday, non-crucial actions, such as laundry and chores in the camp.
Background survivors are usually left unnamed, have no speaking roles, and are uncredited. They are ideal for being used as redshirts, characters used to "dramatize the dangerous situation experienced by the main characters", such as the zombie attack on the camp in Episode 4 (Vatos). Background survivors also debut in the nursing home protected by the Vatos gang, as they are the thugs, volunteer nurses, and elderly residents living in security from the undead.
A total of 34 survivors lived in the camp set up outside of Atlanta, 14 being nameless, background survivors. They seem detached from the main cast as they have no dialogue (except screaming when the walkers attack), and only participate during significant events. Perhaps the background survivors were a different group that linked up with the main cast outside of Atlanta. During the zombie attack on camp, all background survivors were killed in the attack. The following morning, Glenn insisted that they all be buried on the hillside, instead of being burned along with the rest of the zombie carcasses. you get to meet a lot of these characters in The Walking Dead Social Game.
- Jan - Blonde woman seen doing tasks in camp (Guts). See also: image from Guts
- Frances Cobb - Woman with glasses & hat seen listening to radio (Days Gone Bye & Guts) See also: image from Guts, image from Season 1 behind the scenes
- L. Stephanie Ray - Middle-aged black woman seen listening to radio (Days Gone Bye). See also: image from Season 1 behind the scenes
- Male survivor #1 - Older man with glasses carrying buckets, seen listening to radio (Days Gone Bye), sitting (Guts) See also: image from Guts
- Joe Hernandez - Man in yellow/white polo (changes into blue shirt later) loitering in background (Guts & Tell It to the Frogs) and watching confrontation with Jim (Vatos) See also: image and image from Guts, image from Season 1 behind the scenes
- Male survivor #2 - Man in plaid shirt seen doing tasks in camp (Guts)
- Female survivor #1 - Young woman with blonde hair seen listening to radio (Days Gone Bye) also in (Guts). See image (Days Gone Bye) and image from Season 1 behind the scenes
- Female survivor #2 - Young brunette watching confrontation with Daryl (Tell It to the Frogs), killed in attack (Vatos). Was fleeing from zombies but one managed to grab her and kill her. See also: image from Tell It to the Frogs
- Male survivor #3 - Man in black shirt (then wears gray shirt) standing around (Guts), watching fight with Daryl (Tell It to the Frogs) & confrontation with Jim (Vatos). Had two zombies grab ahold of him and he was killed. See also: image from Guts, image from Tell It to the Frogs & image and image from Wildfire
- Female survivor #3 - Woman in blue standing in front of RV (Days Gone Bye), watching fight with Daryl (Tell It to the Frogs) and confrontation with Jim (Vatos). She was seen lying dead next to another man. See also: image from Days Gone Bye, image from Vatos & image from Wildfire
- Mitch - Man in dark green shirt (who changes into yellow shirt later) walking around (Days Gone Bye), referred to as Mitch, watching fight with Daryl (Tell It to the Frogs) and confrontation with Jim (Vatos). Was seen already dead being eaten by a zombie. See also: image from Vatos
- Female Survivor #4 - Woman with short blond hair standing behind Amy when she says "is it them are they back" (Tell It To The Fogs) when Rick and the others return to the camp.
- Male Survivor #4 - Was seen standing in the background next to a woman (Tell It To The Frogs) when Rick and the others return to the camp.
- Male Survivors #5 - Was seen gathering firewood and listening to radio (Guts), and confrontation with Daryl (Tell it to the Frogs).
Even though Background Survivors are never shown talking, some of their voices can be heard in the episode "Tell It to the Frogs".
- "Hey, Dale, can you see what that is?" - said by a unknown background man when the group hear's the approtching car alarm.
- "Let him get a good look at it." - said by a unknown (possibly the same) man when the group asks what the sound is.
- "Morning." - said by the Background character Mitch as Rick leaves his tent early the next day.
- "It's over there!" - said by a unknown background man when the group hear's the screams of Carl and Sophia in the woods.
- "Over here! come on, come on!" - said by an unknown background man telling they group where the sounds came from.
At the nursing home are more than a dozen Vatos gang members, both thugs and nurses, and more than a dozen elderly residents that live in the well-protected compound that consists of a garage/workshop and the nursing home. All survivors are possibly alive and well.
Road to Atlanta
Hundreds of background survivors were seen standing and milling around their cars in the traffic jam outside of Atlanta during the flashback at the beginning of the episode, Chupacabra. They appeared to be a diverse group from all over the state, expecting to find sanctuary in Atlanta. They appeared to be conversing with other backgrounds. They also witnessed the Military's firebombing of the city. It is unknown what happened to all of the survivors. Since the inbound lane for the city was empty until the traffic snarle by Hershel's Farm, it is likely that most of the people on the roadway were able to drive away. If any are still alive, they are likely either holed up in their homes or hiding in camps around the state.
All though not seen yet they are expected to see during episodes.
- ↑ Redshirt is a slang term for a minor stock character of an adventure drama who dies violently soon after being introduced in order to dramatize the dangerous situation experienced by the main characters. The term originated with fans of the science fiction television series Star Trek, from the red shirts worn by Starfleet security officers and engineers, who frequently meet their demise during the episodes. Redshirt, Wikipedia.
- ↑ Interview with Frances Cobb
- ↑ Frances Cobb, IMDB
- ↑ L. Stephanie Ray, IMDB
- ↑ Interview with Frances Cobb
- Special thanks to Brian of MyMedia-Forum.com for several screencaps of the background survivors.
- Frances Cobb is a frequent background extra in many movies & TV shows, including as a campground survivor in The Walking Dead episodes Days Gone Bye and Guts. Taken from her November 7 Facebook status posting:
- Her status: Well, no luck in being seen in either Due Date or For Colored Girls, but I was seen for the second time in The Walking Dead. Last week, I was seen after about an hour. This time, I was at the beginning in the background preparing my tent and space in the campground. Looks like they will be using the campround a couple of more times. They filmed this all in one day.
- A comment from a friend: I think I saw you in last nights episode. Don't think you were wearing your straw hat?
- Her reply: Yes, you picked me out again. I was in the background arranging things for my tent. It was near the end of the day, so, they asked that I "lose the hat." I took it off, since I was finally in the shade! I think I will be in a couple of more episodes now because of the way they are inserting these scenes. Even though we were only there one day, it looks like we were there for weeks.
- Hello. Yes that is me. Thanks for the picture. I was also in the "Guts" episode in the distance preparing my tent. I was not consciously killed, but I have not seen myself except in the first two episodes. I could not believe how many scenes there are in the campground. I was only used one day perhaps due to my need of wearing a hat due to the sun. I'm glad it has been picked up for another season, but due to the ending of the last episode, they may have to change locations of the campground!
- L. Stephanie Ray is an actress who appears in minor or non-credited roles in many movies and TV shows, such as Madea's Family Reunion, The Glades, October Road, and more. She has appeared as a background survivor during The Walking Dead pilot Days Gone Bye, watching Amy and Shane attempt to respond to Rick on the radio.
- Background cast, Lostpedia.