'Walking Dead' executive producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's action-packed episode 'Walk With Me'

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The heads in the tanks we saw at the end of the show are alive, right? Or “zombie alive.”
Yeah. I mean, they’re waterlogged zombie heads that are in a severe state of decay. But they’re looking around, you know. If you watch those eyes, they’re moving, their mouths are moving. They’re live zombie heads.

One of my colleagues, who shall remain nameless, had difficulty understanding how a decapitated zombie head could still be alive.
If you don’t destroy the brain, you don’t destroy the zombie. We had a severed zombie head in season 1 that Daryl had to stab an arrow into so we’ve firmly established that severed heads are alive and well in the zombie anatomy.

Now, are any of the zombie noggins reused George W. Bush heads? I believe some of your cable colleagues on Game of Thrones got into a bit of trouble for doing something like that.
We don’t need to stoop to those tactics to get ratings. We’re above that!

Speaking of ratings I believe the Walking Dead is now just behind the moon landing and the finale of MASH in terms of audience figures.
[Laughs] I don’t know if we’re quite up there. But we’re pretty happy with where we are at.

You shot the Woodbury sequences in an actual town where people actually live?
Yeah, yeah. I don’t know if I should say it but… Hell, it’s Senoia, Georgia. It’s a fantastic little town. It’s a very nice slice of America. And we make it this horrible place that you’d never want to visit!

What do the local folks think about you shooting there?
I think they really like it. When we shoot the Woodbury scenes, it’s kind of cool because all of the local restaurants and shops and everything are still open, they just use the back doors. So a lot of people will come into the stores and shop and then they can peek into the windows and watch filming to a certain extent. We block out spoilery stuff but I think the town is having a good time being part of the Walking Dead.

One of the other new characters, Milton, is a scientist-type who’s investigating the zombie phenomenon. Clearly some people would start doing that in a real undead apocalypse but, for zombie movie fans such as myself, that plotline can’t help but call to mind George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead and the experiments that film’s scientists conduct. Did that give you pause for thought?
We try to avoid anything like that that can be directly referenced into another zombie movie. I think that Milton, as a character, is vastly different from Dr Frankenstein in Day of the Dead. It’s just one of those things where it’s logical that would be happening in that situation. Now, we’re not necessarily going to get into dissections and a lot of the crazy scientific things that Dr Frankenstein did in Day of the Dead but Milton is a very smart individual who is saying, “Hey, look, why aren’t we trying to learn more about these things’ behavior? They’re something that we’re going to be dealing with for a long time, let’s do our due diligence and learn everything that we can possibly learn about this to help us survive.” So, throughout this season, you’ll see him doing experiments from time to time and various things that will hopefully give him the information that he’s looking for. To us, that seems like a really interesting plot point.

How long will we have to wait to find out the identity of Michonne’s jawless zombies?
Well, look, I’m not going to reveal that. I will say that there is definitely a story there and people who have read the comic book series, they’re aware of what that story is. Now, whether it plays out exactly like it did in the comic book series, that remains to be seen and that’s kind of the fun of the television show. So peo0le are just going to have to stay tuned!

Finally, what was up with all the tea drinking this episode?
It’s in David Morrissey’s contract.

Read more:
What ‘The Walking Dead’ can teach broadcast TV
‘Walking Dead’ exec producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight’s show: ‘People have to die!’
‘The Walking Dead': Showrunner Glen Mazzara gives the real life backstory to that moving scene between Maggie and Hershel — EXCLUSIVE

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