We’re only a MONTH away from the Season 2 Premiere of Fear the Walking Dead! This season will follow our characters as they try to flee the zombie apocalypse on sea, but will learn fear pervades any terrain. Executive Producer David Erickson recently sat down with Variety to discuss what you can expect from the new season:
Variety: We know we’re heading out into open water at the start of the run, but how much of the season will be set at sea, and how frequently will we be returning to land?
Erickson: We make it to the yacht and our big question is “what is our final destination now?” It’s one thing to have escaped land, it’s another to think “where do we [go]”…The good thing about The Abigail is that as a boat, it’s a vessel we can live on for quite some time, which has its advantages but is also something that others might potentially envy. And what we will learn is we weren’t the only people with the bright idea to go to the water. You’ve got thousands of miles of coastline, and I think one of the interesting themes for us in the first several episodes is this question of displacement; we’ve literally watched our home be destroyed and we know we can’t go back – there’s no going home again, so where do we go?
And now we’re stuck on this boat with Victor Strand who we don’t know very well, and somebody who is a bit of an enigma, so I think slowly we’ll peel that onion and get a better sense of who he is. And you also have the dynamic between the Salazars, between Ofelia and Daniel, and the Clark-Manawas, where they’re closer to each other — I think they have bonded over the past couple of weeks — but we will be playing with that question that Exner (Sandrine Holt) posed last season, “What is family? Is it blood or is it bond?” And I think that question will be tested over the course of the season stuck on the boat.
What I can tell you it is not: It is not gonna be “The Love Boat” with zombies; we’re not gonna be stopping at different ports of call. We will have a mixture of land and sea, but it will be a while before we land on a specific destination, and that’ll be part of the tension at the beginning part of the season. And the other thing is, The Abigail with a full tank of gas – which it has – can go a considerable distance. So the reality is, we could go back to Vancouver if we wanted to – or we could go to Hawaii or South America; it really opens things up in an interesting way.
Variety: How much of a time jump should we expect when we kick off?
Erickson: It’s not a terribly big time jump and that’s primarily because I felt it was important… all the characters have gone through incredible losses in the last episode, and on top of that, they’re also seeing the loss of their homes, so I thought it was important not to brush past that too quickly, and to let that be part of what they’re dealing with as we move forward. And also, I wanted to make sure we had their introduction to the boat — I didn’t want to jump too far down the road and have it become pat by the time we got there, that they’re tying knots and they’ve become seamen. I thought that would be a little too abrupt. So there will be a time cut, but it will not be a dramatic one.
Variety: Can you preview any of the new characters we might meet in the upcoming episodes?
Erickson: I could, but I won’t. [Laughs.] I think the answer to those questions lend themselves to the larger arc of where do we go, and I want to let that be a surprise. But there will be new faces – I think one of the things we will quickly realize in the premiere and beyond is, it’s no safer at sea than it was on land, and we will find opposition and obstacles on the water that will drive us back to the coast, and then we will find problems that are equally dangerous there. We’ll be caught in a vise between land and sea as the season develops.
Variety: “Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462,” the interconnected web series, is still going on, with the promise that someone from that series will eventually be joining “Fear” in Season 2. Anything you can say about integrating that project into the show and how it’s been working out as a supplemental stopgap between seasons?
Erickson: In terms of a stopgap and the design of it, I have to give credit to AMC, I think it’s been great, because it’s kept the story alive over the hiatus and I think that’s incredibly helpful. And I think there are characters on that plane that I’ve found really riveting and really interesting and it remains to be seen…I can’t tell you that we’re never gonna see any of them again, but I think it’ll be exciting to see how and when we might integrate them.