22 Interesting Facts About ‘The Walking Dead’ That Every Fan Must Know
The sense of adventure and the eerie but irresistible nature of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic shows are something that one could easily find in The Walking Dead. Despite having dead people walking about and killing and feasting on the living, the fact that show is about humanity, survival and the journey of the characters makes it relatable and enjoyable. So, here are some facts about The Walking Dead that we have gathered from IMDB and other sources that we are sure you would love reading about.
1. HBO passed up The Walking Dead because the executives thought it was too violent.
Before AMC green-lighted the show in March 2010, the producer Gale Anne Hurd approached NBC and HBO. Interestingly enough, they passed the show because of the show’s violent drama. Despite the discouragement, the producers refused to deviate from the original story and declined the offer when NBC and HBO said they would accept it if the graphic comic’s violence and gore was toned down.(source)
2. Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, also made the origin story of Michonne, which was published in Playboy magazine. The story explains who the two chained up walkers are that Michonne kept as pets.
Michonne is a former attorney who saves the life of Otis wielding a long katana sword and she also travels with a pair of chained up walkers. She plays a prominent role in the conflict between the town of Woodbury led by the Governor and the Prison crew. Her past, until now, has been a mystery and in a six page story published in Playboy magazine, Kirkman reveals one of the iconic characters’ origin story.(source)
3. During the lunch breaks while filming, all the zombie cast would eat together separately from all the human cast who ate together.
4. In The Walking Dead universe, zombies do not appear in fiction. None of the films of George Romero, famous for his zombie apocalypse movies, including Night of the Living Dead, were ever made.
Robert Kirkman drew inspiration for the walkers from the zombies depicted in George Romero’s films and said that his works were never made in the world of The Walking Dead. Hence his movies do not appear in the show. He also stated that the walkers also run at the same pace as the zombies in the films of Romero.(source)
5. The creators have made a series of webisodes called “Torn Apart” revealing the backstory of the “bicycle girl/walker” that Rick kills in the episode “Days Gone By”.
The web series tells the origin story of a woman named Hannah also named “bicycle girl” and a mother of two children. The story tells how Hannah gets infected while trying to reach to a concession stand where they are evacuating refugees. In the first episode “Days Gone By”, Rick Grimes goes back to find Hannah before he sets out to Atlanta. When he finds out that she was infected, he shoots her saying “sorry this happened to you”.(source)
6. In an interview, Robert Kirkman said that Norman Reedus (who plays Daryl) originally auditioned for the part of Merle Dixon. Though he was rejected for that part, the show-runners were so intrigued by his performance that they created the part of Daryl just for him.
7. In the season 2 episode “Bloodletting”, Blue Sky, the blue meth manufactured by Walt and Jesse in Breaking Bad, can be briefly seen in Merle Dixon’s drug stash.
In the show Breaking Bad, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman manufacture 99 percent pure crystal methamphetamine. The drug has a distinctive light blue color as a result of the chemical formula Walt used to get around sales restrictions pseudoephedrine, hence the name Blue Sky. The drug also makes an appearance in The Walking Dead in Merle Dixon’s drug stash along with other medicine. Both these shows are from AMC network.(source)
8. It took about two months to build the set for the prison, West Georgia Correctional Facility, which provided residence for many of the characters.
9. The walker that bit Amy on the neck in the first season was the show’s production designer Greg Nicotero.
The death of Amy was a very important scene of The Walking Dead, as it establishes the gravity of the situation the characters are in as well as setting the tone of the entire show. According to Emma Bell, the actress who played Amy, Nicotero placed a skin colored prosthetic filled with viscous red liquid and a hose on her neck which would burst when bitten and look like severed flesh. For the scene, Nicotero himself enacted the walker who attacks and bites Amy.(source)
10. There is a special walker school for the actors who play walkers where they are required to learn how to walk and move like the walkers.
11. Despite being aired for more than 5 years, it has only been a little over one and a half year since the outbreak.
The timeline of the show is a very slow one as the infection spreads rapidly and the human characters have to deal with the consequences and fight for survival on an everyday basis. In the season 1 episode “Wildfire”, Dr. Edwin Jenner says that it has been 194 days since the virus initially arose and only 63 days since it became a global contagion relative to the time of events of that episode. There is also a time skip of 8 months between the seasons 2 and 3, another time skip of 6 months between the seasons 3 and 4, and none between the season 4 and 5.(source)
12. One of the three severed heads see in season 6 episode “Who Will Save Your Soul” was made from a mold of Johnny Depp’s head.
In the scene where Andy, Jesus and Nick are trying to decide which of the three severed heads they should take to pass off as Gregory’s in order to gain access to the Savior’s compound, the head on the right was actually made from the mold of Johnny Depp’s head. The head is an emaciated and old version of Johnny Depp’s face with a gaping expression, bearded and half balded head.(source)
13. The name of the doctor at CDC, Edwin Jenner, was a reference to Edward Jenner who developed the first vaccine for smallpox.
14. The car Dodge Challenger, which Glen steals in season 1, is the same car that Walter White bought his son in Breaking Bad.
The Walking Dead has Easter eggs scattered here and there giving the viewers pleasant surprises, recalling other TV shows from AMC, especially Breaking Bad. If Blue Sky Easter egg was one, then Dodge Challenger was another such nostalgic reminiscence. The name of the general manager of the dealership to whom Walt returns his shiny red car so as not to draw attention to their family business in season 4 of Breaking Bad was Glen. In season 1 of The Walking Dead, Glen is seen driving the same car.(source)
15. On the day of filming death scenes, all of the principal actors have a “Last Supper”.
16. In one of the scenes of season 1 episode “Guts” when Merle Dixon starts shooting off his gun on the rooftop, some people who did not know they were filming thought he was a real sniper and called the police. A real SWAT team actually arrived, but of course, no one was arrested.
17. In the show Michonne hates The Governor because of a hunch and he only loses an eye. But, in the graphic novels, he brutally rapes her for days, and he loses his eye, arm and testicle when she takes her revenge.
18. Steven Yeun’s parents, who emigrated from Korea, watch the show faithfully with Korean subtitles and asked him to thank Melissa McBride for saving his character’s life in the show. Even though Yeun reminded his father that it was only a show, Mr. Yeun insisted upon expressing gratitude, which Yeun then did.
19. There is an actual mental illness called the Walking Corpse Syndrome, the sufferers of which believe that they are dead and do not exist.
Also known as Cotard’s Syndrome or Cotard’s Delusion, the Walking Corpse Syndrome is a rare delusional psychosis in which the sufferers often describe loss of blood or organs and/or body parts, imagining themselves to be decomposing dead or non-existent. The syndrome was named after a French neurologist, Jules Cotard, who first described the condition.(source)
20. In Season 3, the make up team had used darker skin tones for the walkers to show that they decayed further as the time progressed.
21. The Walking Dead was actually shot on 16 mm film to give it a natural gritty look and to allow the zombie makeup effects to be most effective on screen.
According to the director of photography, David Boyd, at first they thought they would RED, some other digital camera or even 35 mm for shooting. But someone had brought a few rolls of 16 mm, which when they tried gave them a certain texture and grain that allowed them to film the zombie make-up effects more effectively making them look very believable. Boyd, who shot another series completely with just 16 mm, also did the same with The Walking Dead and was also responsible for making the show on time, under budget and yet looking great.(source)
22. The word “zombie” is never used in the show. They are instead categorized into different groups – “Walkers”, “Lamebrains”, “Biters”, “Rotters”, “Lurkers”, “Roamers” and “Geeks”.