The Walking Dead universe is set to expand with the upcoming premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Initially delayed due to the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown, World Beyond is the third show to grow out of The Walking Dead.
Set in an undetermined period in the main TWD timeline, World Beyond chronicles the struggles of sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) who are dealing, in decidedly different ways, with the loss of their mother ten years earlier during the fall of civilization. An odd couple due to their shared tragedy, Hope has become a troublemaking rebel while Iris strives be the responsible one in her mother’s absence.
Mainly told through the eyes of the young sisters, World Beyond exists in a world significantly more advanced and organized than the one depicted in the other two TWD universe shows. There are two large pockets of civilization, one in Portland and the other in Nebraska, which has a campus colony liked to it. Sandwiched between those two outposts is the Civil Republic, a shadowy outfit led by Elizabeth, portrayed by Julia Ormond. Fans of TWD and Fear TWD will recognize the Civil Republic as the mysterious and well-armed group whose three-ringed logo appeared on helicopters and vehicles.
When a cryptic message from Hope and Iris’ dad comes through the girls make plans to leave the colony to find out what happened to him. Before leaving for New York State, they are joined by Elton (Nicholas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston) in search of the truth.
World Beyond is familiar enough and yet fresh enough to keep viewers’ interest. There is plenty of gore and walker mayhem, including a new take on them but this time with a young, engaging cast that exudes chemistry on and off screen.
“I’m enjoying this TV universe with the amount of scale that there is with something like The Walking Dead,” said Nicholas Cantu, who plays Elton the resident genius. “The original show has been going for ten years and since then it’s branched off into many different stories that you can tell in this one world. I feel like our new show is a great new look into this world that we’ve all grown to love over the past ten years (but) with a new set of eyes. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
It’s been a decade since The Walking Dead first ambled across television screens and became a cultural phenomenon. With any show that’s been on the air that long it’s inevitable that as it ages so will its audience. To combat that, the TWD universe has reinvented itself a bit in a bid to change the demographic of its audience with The Walking Dead: World Beyond.
“It actually relates to the youth and adults on different levels,” said Aliyah Royale. “In terms of the youth, The World Beyond is an incredible example just because you’re watching these young adults make decisions for themselves. There are split decisions (made) in the heat of the moment without needing an adult to tell them this is what they should do. We (the characters) have a strong sense of direction. I don’t think we know what to expect on the road and all of the dangers that lie ahead but we know that we are going to get through it. We make a choice very early on that regardless of what happens (we’d) rather be out in the field than back in the sheltered community. In regards to the adult audience you’re dealing with a lot of trauma and a lot of secrets. There is heartbreak, there’s confusion and also family, love and togetherness. I think anybody of any age range is going to be able to relate to the World Beyond.”
The Walking Dead: World Beyond premieres October 4th, 2020 at 10 pm EST on AMC.