Thematically speaking, The Walking Dead can best be described as a series about a group of survivors trying to find meaning and hope in their lives beyond day-to-day survival. Fear the Walking Dead, meanwhile, goes back to the beginning of the zombie apocalypse and then explores, um, the “preciousness of life” as those survivors try to hang on in Texas?
It is fair to say, however, that The Walking Dead: World Beyond is a spin-off series about cleaning up the mess left by the survivors of Rick and Morgan’s generations. The Walking Dead characters were thrust in a new, unpredictable apocalyptic universe and did their best simply to survive. Meanwhile, several communities have sprung up around the country — The Commonwealth, Monument, etc. — each with their own governing philosophy. That philosophy seems to be: Do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of the human race in the future, even if that means killing a few people today.
The Walking Dead and Fear generation have managed to maintain the human race, but it’ll be up to the younger generation of The World Beyond to clean up their messes and make a better future for the next generation, as Julia Ormond states.
“What I love about World Beyond is that it starts with a younger group and people who were really young when this all started,” Ormond told the AMC Blog. “For them, it’s like ‘OK, boomers. You guys messed up. It’s up to us to save the world.’ It’s definitely got that vibe.”
Ormond plays one of those “Boomers,” Elizabeth, who is described as a pragmatic leader of one of the CRM civilizations. She has devoted herself to the future of, not the planet, but of the human race. I suspect that she’s engaged in some overreaching the teen cast of The World Beyond will have to correct. We’ll find out more when the series debuts in the Spring after the back half of The Walking Dead tenth season.