The first episode of 'Fear the Walking Dead', the new spin-off series that prequelizes 'The Walking Dead', premiered last night on AMC. I caught a bit of it--it wasn't bad, a bit light on both fear and walking dead but it's the first episode--but what I found interesting was just how long it took Robert Kirkman and AMC to figure out what they wanted to do for a spin-off. It turns out they bounced around a lot of ideas before finally settling on the opening days of the zombie apocalypse. To wit:
1. Love the Walking Dead. This reportedly centered on a group of people who put cuddly mittens and hoods with pictures of cute animals on them over their zombified friends so they couldn't scratch or bite, and proceeded to hang out with them and have adorable adventures. It was vetoed as "too creepy, even for us."
2. Ignore the Walking Dead. This series would have focused on a group of people in a well-stocked, reinforced house in a secluded location who just decided to stay indoors until the whole thing blew over. Most of the mid-season arc revolved around a Monopoly game that causes a lot of arguments, interspersed with shots of zombies looking forlornly through the window.
3. Envy the Walking Dead. This spin-off would have centered on a group of goth teens who think that being a zombie would be "so romantic", and deliberately make efforts to get bitten. But in a wacky comedy mix-up, it turns out that the patchouli oil they're wearing is the zombie repellent that the government is desperately looking for! Apparently they scratched it because it created continuity problems with the original series, where Merle wore it constantly.
4, Loathe the Walking Dead. The story of a germophobic and his constant quest for Purell set against the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse, this spin-off was canceled when the product placement deal fell through.
5. Accept the Walking Dead. This "fast-forward" spin-off would have taken place after civilization had been rebuilt and everyone had gone through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief and come to terms with the fact that they just have to shoot their loved ones in the head minutes after they die, as a natural part of the healing process. Turned out to be a little "low-key" compared to fan expectations.
6. Desire the Walking Dead. Never even made it past the announcement of the title at the pitch meeting.