We all know that Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, and the other producers and writers on AMC’s The Walking Dead like to take liberties with the comic. Lately it’s been fairly faithful, and Scott likes sticking pretty close, while Robert likes to play around with the story. Sometimes things are changed for budgetary reasons, sometimes for character reasons, sometimes logistics. We thought it might be fun to look at a few… challenging plot points coming up for the show (both short and long, long-term). Comic spoilers and potential show spoilers forthcoming, naturally. I would call these spoilers mild to mild-heavy. I won’t use specific names for the deaths, but God help you if you venture to the comments. Also, if you’re on social media I’m sure you’ve already heard the names, but I won’t use them here.
If you don’t know, and you should, Andrea is still alive and kicking in the comic ‘verse of TWD. In fact, she’s absolutely critical to the world. Hence, it was a little head-scratching when she met her tragic end on the TV series. So far, this hasn’t been a huge deal. In the comic Andrea has steadily built her importance over time, from sharp-shooter to Rick’s love interest and Carl’s mom. It’s these latter elements that will prove most interesting in the show. It’s pretty easy to have Sasha move into the role of the sniper, but have her and Rick even talked to each other? I think it’s likely that there won’t be a romantic link between Rick and Sasha, but then who will fill that void? This isn’t the first time we’ve pondered this. In fact, Lizzy wrote an entire article about how Sasha could possibly take Andrea’s place.
So how exactly do you write the TV-safe version of “Here I am, friendly as a fuckless fuck on free fuck day” anyway? We’re going to find out eventually. There are four options:
1) You make up some fake curse words. Battlestar Galactica did it with “frak” so there is a precedent. It never felt right to me, though, and its impact was always lessened. Can you imagine Negan saying, “Friendly as a farckless farck on free farck day?” It’s like when Sam Jackson complains about all the “monkey fightin’ snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane.”
2) Bleeps. COPS does it all the time. And it is BLEEPing annoying.
3) Audio drops. Instead of a distracting audio bleep, just drop the audio on the F-bombs. And S-bombs. And C-bombs, and Z-bombs, and Q-bombs and all the other awful words Negan might sprinkle through a casual chat. It’s better than bleeps and I think this is how AMC currently deals with the occasional Breaking Bad and Mad Men F-bomb.
4) Let it fly! This is 2015! We can show a man shove his gun inside a re-animated corpse’s head to blow its brains out but we can’t say a word?
First problem: Getting a tiger on screen. Either it’s a REAL tiger on set (problematic, expensive) or it’s CGI (looks fake, still expensive). I mean, Grodd looked pretty ok on The Flash, but that isn’t exactly a gritty, semi-realistic apocalypse show. Maybe a blend of the two?
Second problem: People believing a guy could have a pet tiger. It was hard enough for comic fans to swallow and I think that stuff goes over a lot better on the page. Actually seeing it is another thing. But maybe that will make it even more believable. I tell you what, if they pull it off, it’s going to be one damn lovable tiger.
Given the above is it possible they just lose the Shiva part? Will they give Ezekiel like a giant badass dog instead? Not quite the same thing but I’d cry for days when you-know-what happens.
THOSE Two Deaths
Two of the most heartbreaking deaths (in my opinion) are coming up, one via an arrow to the head, and one at the wrong end of Lucille. I don’t know why I’m being coy about this, but I am so, apologies. The arrow death I could very much still see happening. And it will be sad. Especially with more character development still to take place before it happens. But the show version of that character hasn’t outgrown his comic origins so I don’t see how/why things would change.
The OTHER death, the biggie from issue 100? Man, I don’t know. People will lose it if that happens. And the person it happens to? That’s my favorite character! But isn’t that kind of the point? It’s SUCH a big moment, and so well known that changing who dies, and teasing it out, would be an awesome way to toy with and surprise the audience. I’m just trying to keep hope alive, y’all.
The one thing that throws everything off is the Daryl variable (the Dariable?). I mean, he could sub in for any death at any time. Not that I think they will, but YOU JUST NEVER KNOW. He’s not in the comic! It’s chaos!
A couple thoughts. The first is that in the comic, Carl REALLY gets his eye shot out. Like his eye, his ear, a quarter of his brain. It’s gnarly. He heals up like a champ though. No second-to-second emotional swings, no crazy memory loss, no sudden British accent. So I don’t think the visual carnage will be as bad in the show. IF they do it. My second thought is, they already let Rick keep his hand but mostly because of how limiting NOT having a hand is (loading a gun, fighting, etc). Having one eye won’t stop Carl from doing really anything and they can go the sunglass route to save money on make up too. I hate to say it, but I think Carl might be losing his eye soon…
What do you guys think? Any predictions in regards to the above? What other big moments could they have a problem dealing with on the show? We’ll probably do more of these down the line, so let us know!