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DAVID ALPERT, Executive Producer

What was the genesis of Fear? Who is the team putting it all together?

Fear came together with a very basic premise which was that The Walking Dead itself has really evolved from where it started. There is a base level thrill that comes from any zombie movies that comes from that moment when you see society begin to fray and disintegrate and that is really the primary point of entry for us into the world of the apocalypse. While The Walking Dead does an amazing job of creating the characters and the universe and story that has us incredibly invested—it’s evolved, which is one of the reasons why we love it, it’s evolved to become an entirely new set of threats and problems and situations for our characters go through. And while that’s awesome, we sort of wanted to get back to that base level thrill and we thought, how can we recreate that joy that came from watching that first season of The Walking Dead, but in an entirely different way and how could we examine it from a different angle and we realized there are a couple of stories that haven’t been told. There was the story of what happened during the fall as the apocalypse unfolded because we never saw that since Rick was in a coma and we wanted to see that from an entirely different point of view. So that was the very basic idea, we wanted to find a way to tell the story of the apocalypse happening with entirely new characters and in an entirely new way so that we could see it from the most successful entry point as possible. The team we’ve put together is great, we have from the Mother Ship (The Walking Dead) as we like to call it, the fantastic Robert Kirkman, myself, Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero, and we partnered up with an amazing writer who co-created the show with Robert, Dave Erickson. Dave is someone that Robert and I have worked with for years and tried to get into the zombie world for almost as long as The Walking Dead has been on air.

Explain how the world of Fear will be a distinct show, from The Walking Dead? What are differences/similarities?

In addition to the timeline and location, one of the major distinctions between The Walking Dead and Fear is that Fear has the most successful point of entry that I’ve ever seen. When you look at Rick Grimes, he is sort of the archetype. He’s a lawman, a sheriff, he knows how to gun and he’s a natural born leader. There’s a lot of reasons why that’s a great entry point into the apocalypse, but we thought—what about me? What about the average person who doesn’t know how to use a gun, who isn’t an authority figure or a law and order person; someone who is a little more stretched by these things. Travis and Madison are basically at their wits end before the apocalypse happens. They’re trying to blend their families together and make ends meet and they’re living in an incredibly expensive city. They’re trying to figure out their relationship, they’re very much in love but it’s a new love and it’s complicated by the fact that both have families. Madison is trying to figure out what to do with her drug-addicted son, Nick. So these people are at wits end, they’re stretched thin already and one of the great things about what Dave and Robert have created is that this is a show that I would watch even without the zombies. I’m curious as to where Travis and Madison’s relationship is going to go, so when you add the pressure of zombies into the mix, this is an amazing opportunity. If we think of these people as coal, some of them are going to harden and turn into diamonds and some are going to turn into dust and blow away in the wind.

LA is the backdrop for this series, can you tell us why that decision was made and how it impacts the season?

There are a couple of things about LA that we think of as really American. Atlanta is a very specific region. We wanted Fear to be very different from that, so there’s the obvious physical differences which is Atlanta is lush, green, wet, humid and hot, whereas LA is dry and arid. We’ve jokingly gone through the debate about how does lack of humidity in the air affect zombies, right? Just like classic cars do better on the West coast than the East coast because of the dryness; so would dead skin do the same? Does the prevalence of plastic surgery mean that people would be better preserved in the apocalypse? I don’t know, but we’ll find out in seasons to come. LA is also a really interesting melting pot. You have an entirely different ethnic and socioeconomic make up out here. You have these amazing little pockets of communities that you go a mile away and really see the different socioeconomic groups. The notion of what does it mean to know your neighbor and be a part of the community I think is as defined here as it is in the rest of the world. A lot of cities have a great transportation system, but LA really doesn’t so you have the notion of people going from their home in private with their families, to their car by themselves, to their work place with their colleagues and never really interacting with anyone outside of that world. What happens when those things go away? Where there are no roads being paved, your car doesn’t have gas, you’re forced to confront your neighbors and actually have relationships with them. How well do you actually know these people? We feel like these specifically are really interesting things to look at here in Los Angeles and we think, again, looking at it as the city of rebirth we think that’s one of the most interesting things about it.

What's the most exciting element from your perspective for season 1? What is the most challenging aspect of the show?

The most exciting aspect is trying to tell this story in a way that honors what Robert and Dave have created. They’ve created amazing characters with these amazingly complex sets of issues that really work well even if there were no zombies. It’s a fantastic, compelling human drama to examine what happens with a blended family where the son is dealing with drug addiction, an ex-wife who perhaps knows you better than your current love does, and how do you bring your children into the mix? All these things make for an incredible drama so as we introduce zombies and those genre elements, how do we make sure that the drama in the relationship between families stays as compelling and interesting and grounded as possible. I feel like the biggest challenge and the moments where we have the greatest success are when we treat everything in here as entirely real and the characters interact in a way that is both believable and honest.

What are fans going to resonate with in Fear? What should they expect? What are you hoping they take away?

What I’m hoping fans take away from Fear is a very accessible place into the world of The Walking Dead and that the world of The Walking Dead is a world. This is the world we live in, it’s not just our much beloved gang in Georgia; that this is happening all over the place and that the base level of what happens in the apocalypse would essentially be something that touches us all. The thing we hear from the fans the most is ‘I would have done it like this’ or ‘I would have handled that situation differently.’ We think that that level of identification is the thing that makes The Walking Dead so successful and we feel that we’ve created such an amazing and interesting, robust set of characters here in Fear that we’re hoping the fans identify the same way.
Interviews
Cast Interviews Interview - Kim DickensInterview - Cliff CurtisInterview - Frank DillaneInterview - Alycia Debnam-CareyInterview - Lorenzo James HenrieInterview - Elizabeth RodriguezInterview - Ruben BladesInterview - Mercedes MasonSeason 1 Cast InterviewsCliff Curtis - The New Frontier
Crew Interviews Interview - Dave EricksonInterview - Robert KirkmanInterview - Gale Anne HurdInterview - Greg NicoteroInterview - David AlpertInterview - Adam Davidson
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