With Season 3 of The Walking Dead, the Zombie Apocalypse Continues to Rage

The Walking Dead returns for a third season of zombies, blood, and gore, but will the show improve after a middling second season?

Credit: AMC

Fans of the Walking Dead comic books are excited for Michonne’s role in season 3

After a middling second season that saw a mixed reaction from critics and fans, The Walking Dead looks to pick up the pace in season 3

Despite being an out-of-the-box hit, AMC’s The Walking Dead, the show (about a ragtag group of people banding together to survive a plague of flesh-eating zombies) experienced some major changes after its first season — none of them good.

Among these: a massive reduction in budget (reportedly to free up money so AMC could afford Mad Men salary increases) and the departure of exec producer Frank Darabont (director of such films as The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption). 

As a result, season two felt smaller, more claustrophobic and less epic in scope, with most of the action taking place at a farmhouse. Fans griped that the story was moving too slowly, it wasn’t as good as before — and there weren’t nearly enough zombies! 

Producers are hoping to remedy that in season three, which throws the story wide open and introduces several new characters — as well as an old one we haven’t seen in awhile. 

Where Will The Walking Dead Season 3 Go?

This time out, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the survivors leave Herschel’s (Scott Wilson) farm in search of a new home and find the perfect place — a prison. Not only will it offer protection from the walkers, it also contains ample supplies of weapons, medicine and food. Unfortunately, it’s also crawling with zombie convicts, and they must battle their way in, fighting hand-to-hand to seize control of the facility. 

In the meantime, they come across the fortified zombie-free town of Woodbury, which is run by a mysterious guy calling himself the Governor (British actor David Morrissey of Blackpool), who thinks the prison should belong to him.

The survivors also hook up with a young African-American woman named Michonne (Danai Gurira). Introduced briefly at the end of last season, Michonne is a sword-wielding zombie-killing machine who’s trailed by a pair of armless walkers on chains like macabre pets. 

There’s also a callback to the first season with the return of Merle (Michael Rooker), last seen handcuffed to a railing atop a building full of the undead; the fact that he now has a knife blade where he used to have a hand probably gives you some insight into how he made his grisly escape. 

Put these pieces together and it looks like all systems are go for a bigger, badder, more thrilling third season.

The Walking Dead premieres Sunday, October 13 on AMC at 6 pm, 7:01 pm, 9 pm, and 11 pm on AMC.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.