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One of the highlights of the Season 4 trailer was seeing Tyreese surrounded by zombies, trying to fight his way out with a hammer. What can you tell our readers about that scene?
Chad L. Coleman: It was an awesome experience. It was a total homage to the comic book, so that was amazing and I know our fans are going to really appreciate it. That’s huge and I know they’re going to see it and say “yeah… that’s Tyreese!” They’ve been looking forward to things like that, so it’s going to be wonderful for them.
How would you describe Season 4, compared the first three seasons?
Gale Anne Hurd: I think it’s a hybrid. It’s very character driven, but there will be seminal moments of horror. There is scope and action, as you can see if you watched the trailer, but it’s all in service of the characters and how the world is affecting them.
Andrew Lincoln: I think all action comes from character. The first episode feels, tonally, like a mixture of the pilot episode’s pacing and character development with some of the best action sequences of Season 3. Hopefully, it will be the best of both worlds.
Andrew, can you comment on Rick’s mental state in Season 4?
Andrew Lincoln: The writers have done a very smart thing in reeling him back in. It’s a man trying to reclaim what he once was. We find him battling the brutality that’s inherent in him, and we see him relinquishing responsibilities in leadership for the sake of his family. We see a man trying to be a single dad in the apocalypse and it’s challenging. The death of Andrea, along with Carl becoming a murderer, were two huge turning points in making him attempt to return to the man he once was.
We saw Rick doing a bit of detective work in the Season 4 trailer. Will we see more of the police officer side of Rick this season?
Andrew Lincoln: You did get a little sense of the old sheriff, somewhat… at some point…
How has Rick’s relationship with Carl changed in the new season?
Andrew Lincoln: The last shot you see of Carl in Season 3 is him shocked that Rick is bringing in the people from Woodbury. They are very much at odds.
How much do you feel that Tyreese has changed or will change now that he’s a core member of the group?
Chad L. Coleman: He seems to have a profound belief in conflict resolution and non-violence. How does that really fit in a claustrophobic world? I believe you’ll see him tested and no one goes unscathed.
Andrew Lincoln: [Talking to Gale Anne Hurd] Am I allowed to say that Episode 3 is one of my favorites? He did some of the most magnificent work… Well, I’ve said it already… [laughs]
Gale, previously, you’ve spoken about the fact that zombies will not be a manageable threat in Season 4. For all of you, what are your thoughts on that and what has your experience been with zombies this season?
Andrew Lincoln: They’re behaving in different ways.
Gale Anne Hurd: Last season, we said it was “Fight the Dead, Fear the Living.” This season, there are threats from within, threats from without, and walkers in both worlds.
Andrew Lincoln: There are moments I find horrifying that have nothing to do with conflict or zombies. They’re incredibly frightening and horrifying. The writers have been very witty in adding that horror element back into the show, which I think is great.
Gale Anne Hurd: You referenced that shot of Tyreese from the promo. He’s surrounded and they are not manageable. We never really got there last season, but that wasn’t the point of the last season. This season, there’s no safety in the world of the humans or the world of the dead.
David Alpert: It’s easy to be away from the zombies when you’re moving. You’ve seen Michonne do that when she’s on her own, but you can’t put down roots. You can’t have any form of a life. There’s this constant tension between wanting to stay ahead of the zombies and trying to re-establish civilization and have a normal life.
As you start to build up that normalcy, you become a bigger target for the zombies. I think that’s going to be one of the core cruxes this season.