10 Facts About The Walking Dead
#1) There's a Walking Dead Beer – and It's Brewed With Brains
There's no better way to kick off Season Five than with a bottle of Walking Dead beer. Pioneered by the Philadelphia-based Dock Street Brewing Company, the aptly named “Dock Street Walker” isn't your ordinary craft stout. This 7.2% ABV Pale Ale Stout is brewed with malted oats, fresh barley, organic cranberry, and last but not least – roasted goat brains (no, we're not kidding). The brains reportedly add a unique flavor to the brew, and it's certainly a fitting ingredient given the fact that zombies love brains.
Dock Street Brewing Company will sell the brain-infused beer both online and at its brewery (Dock Street Brewery, 701 So. 50th St.). This is the second time the craft brewery has released this exotic-flavored beer, and it's expecting an even higher demand this time around. If you want to get your hands on a bottle of Dock Street Walker, show up early; otherwise, you may have to wait until next year.
#2) It's The Most-Watched Drama Series In Cable History
The Walking Dead currently holds the title of being the most-watched drama series in basic cable history, and the most-watched show of any genre among adults aged 18-49.
Season one opened with 5.35 million viewers, attesting to the power of zombie-loving fans. Viewership continued to grow, however, with 7.26 million people watching the season two opener, and 10.87 million people watching season three's opener. But it was season four that really shook up the TV ratings, with a whopping 16.11 million people tuning in to find out what happened to Rick and to the gang.
AMC's President expressed his gratitude to the fans for generating such high ratings.
“Sincere thanks to the fans, who have welcomed The Walking Dead back for its fourth season with the highest-rated episode in the show's history,” said AMC President Charlie Collier. “We could not be more proud of this show and everyone on both sides of the camera who work so hard to give life to this story of character, leadership and survival.”
#3) 349 Walker Deaths on Screen
According to an infographic published at CheezBurger.com, there have been 349 walker deaths depicted on The Walking Dead. It should come as no surprise that Rick tops the list with the most walker kills at 86; Daryl came in second with 41 kills; and Andrea came in third with 22 kills. Of course, these numbers will continue to grow as we enter season five.
#4) The Walking Dead Spinoff Receives Greenlight
It's official: a new show centered around the zombie-filled Walking Dead universe is in currently in the early stages of production. We've heard rumors of a possible Walking Dead spinoff, but we now have official confirmation. According to Entertainment Weekly, AMC has already ordered a pilot episode. Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert from the original Walking Dead series have all signed up to produce then new show.
The upcoming new show isn't technically a spinoff since it will run in parallel with the original Walking Dead. The show, which remains unnamed at this time, will feature a new cast of “survivors” in a new location. Producers have yet to reveal any details regarding the show's plot, but we do know it will center around the following six characters:
- Sean Cabrera – Middle-aged Latino man (possibly a Rick-like leader?).
- Cody Cabrera – Rebellious teenage son of Sean (sounds like Carl).
- Nancy Tompkins – Middle-age single mom.
- Nick Tompkins – Son of Nancy.
- Ashley Tompkins – Daughter of Nancy.
- Andrea Chapman – 40-something divorcee who recently left the city.
#5) Zombies Gone Green
In an effort to reduce waste and overall environmental impact of filing, The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd proposed a series of new Eco-friendly initiates to the cast, crew, suppliers and production members. Among these initiatives was a transition from standard pen and paper to the Doddle app. This app allows team members to create notes, directions, menus, schedules and more, without using paper.
Hurd also encourages the cast and production team to carpool, use EcoUsable water bottles, invest in energy-efficiency compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, and to reuse their set pieces. “If you use vehicles that get better gas mileage, that are electric or hybrids, you're going to pay a lot less in fuel. If you use compact fluorescent bulbs, you're going to save a lot of money in utilities. If you recycle even your own sets, and use them again, that's going to save money. You don't have to buy new lumber. So there are cost savings, absolutely,” said Hurd.
#6) You Can Buy Daryl's Crossbow For Three Benjamins
Norman Reedus, who plays the good ol' country boy Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead, prefers the crossbow as his choice of weapon in the zombie collapse. He carries this weapon around in nearly every scene, using it to quickly – and silently – dispatch walkers. While most other survivors choose traditional firearms, such as Rick's .357 Colt Python, Daryl remains true to his crossbow.
Daryl's crossbow is actually a Horton Scout HD, which typically sells for about $300 at most retail outlets – just in case you ever feel the need to buy one. When the crew is finished filming for the day, Reedus takes it home to ensure it's safe and in good hands.
#7) Walkers Must Go To 'Zombie School'
Playing a walker on The Walking Dead is a tough job, but hey somebody's gotta do it. In an interview with CNN, special effects expert, director and co-executive producer Greg Nicotero discussed the zombie school all walkers must pass.
At the start of each season, Nicotero and his crew hold a massive audition (or school) of some 150-200 zombies. The zombies are graded on two primary criteria: performance and appearance. In the interview, Nicotero says that he prefers thinner people with defined bone structures, as it's easier to place prosthetic on them. But looks alone isn't going to cut it on The Walking Dead. Walkers must convince crew members that they are able to walk and physically carry themselves like a zombie; otherwise, they will be cut from school.
#8) Rick Loses His Hand In The Comic
In The Walking Dead comics, Rick Grimes loses his hand to the Governor in issue 28 (which is pretty early on). Rick makes a full recovery, however, thanks to the medical attention he receives from Stevens and Alive.
Robert Kirkman, one of the writers for The Walking Dead comics, said he was annoyed that Rick lost his hand so early in the comics. According to Kirkman, it was far more difficult to write action scenes for a one-handed Rick. Not surprisingly, this is the same reason why Rick kept his hand in the TV version. Producers felt that cutting off his hand would require too much CGI and restrict their action shots. If Rick were to lose a hand (in the show), producers would have to edit it out using CGI on each and every scene shot with Rick. This would be both time-consuming and expensive, which is why they allowed Rick to keep his hands in the show.
#9) The Walking Dead Videogame(s)
Telltale Games released a five-episode video game series on The Walking Dead. Rather than basing the game around traditional shooting-and-survive elements, it focuses more on character emotion. This is certainly a bold step in a new direction for zombie games, but it's paid off well for Talltale Games. The Walking Dead episode series has received phenomenal reviews across all gaming platforms. It may not have the same point-and-shoot principles as most zombie games, but it's a fun way to experience The Walking Dead universe nonetheless.
In case you prefer the traditional shoot-em' up style video game, Overkill Software announced plans to produce a first-person shooter based on The Walking Dead. The video game software company first announced these plans to the public back in August, 2014, saying the projected date completion of 2016.
#10) Wait, Daryl Isn't In The Comics?
Die-hard fans of The Walking Dead are probably well aware that Daryl Dixon isn't in the comics. In fact, Daryl is one of the few the c characters that doesn't have a counterpart depicted in the comics. This has led many fans (myself included) to speculate over his background and origins.
Producers had originally intended for Daryl to be a recurring character, coming in and out and various episodes. Due to the popularity of his character, however, they transitioned him up the main case in season 2. His popularity continued to grow, with Daryl reaching the 2nd place for top billing in The Walking Dead Season four.
During the early stages of production, Reedus asked producers if he could get a dog. Producers denied his request, offering him a crossbow instead
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