Walking Dead exec explains why S4's unseen baddie could be scariest yet

After duking it out with evil incarnate via the Governor last season, The Walking Dead is mixing things up with a new Big Bad unlike anything we’ve ever seen this year — and it could be the scariest foe yet.

As anyone who has seen the first two episodes can attest, the prison group has its hands full with a freaky new virus that is rapidly spreading through the community. Plus, as quickly as it kills, it can turn anyone with the sniffles into a walker in less than 24 hours. Uh oh.

New showrunner Scott Gimple opened up with The Hollywood Reporter about the new angle, and noted how an unseen killer can bring a new type of fear to a group that has become so accustomed to facing its enemies head-on. Hey, you can stab a zombie in the head — but that doesn’t exactly work against the flu.

Here are some excerpts from Gimple’s chat:

“One thing I really dug about this story when we were talking about it [in the writers' room] is that because of the third-world situation that they're in -- it's almost medieval -- they don't get to know; they don't have a lab to take samples and look at stuff under microscopes. They need to roll with it and figure it out in a really difficult situation to do so. And the audience has to, too.

The council is getting broken up, and all stability at the prison -- all these things that they built -- are being challenged and compromised. The momentum to this is not good for them holding on to what they have ... They're going to be tested. The thing I love is that you find safety in this world. You find these walls, and then those walls start closing in on you. And what the hell do you then?”

As for who the hell has been feeding the walkers at the fence with rats? Or the mystery fire-starter who torched those two bodies? Gimple’s playing mum, but we’re dying to find out how all this weirdness starts to intersect.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. What do you think of the new season?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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