On the surface, Star Trek and The Walking Dead don’t have a lot in common. One is a hopeful, inspirational tale of exploration and diplomacy in deep space in the 23rd century, and the other is an almost nihilistic story about survivors of a zombie plague who constantly have to be as concerned about the living as they are about the dead. Still, someone is making the comparison, but it’s not based on any narrative similarities, but rather the series’ longevity. As Star Trek marks 50 years this year, the AMC bosses of The Walking Dead see just an equally as grand an opportunity ahead for Dead.
While attending the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference (via The Wrap) this week, AMC head Josh Sapan said he sees The Walking Dead going for infinity and beyond (just to confuse our franchises). [Star Trek] came and went three times. We do think that we have a franchise [in The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead] that is one of the rare franchises that you occasionally come across in what we do for a living,” said Sapan.
That’s ambitious when you consider the sheer volume of material that Star Trek has left in its wake these last 50 years; on TV alone, Star Trek has produced over 700 hours of stories. Ambition is one thing though, but it’s hard not to say that The Walking Dead may have the juice to do it. The show has already spun off once successfully, and going into season seven, the show promises to be just as popular as it’s eve been. That may all change if it turns out Daryl is the one killed by Neagan, but it’s difficult to that even that development would be a deal breaker for fans. The world of The Walking Dead is also versatile enough to accommodate all sorts of stories, and we’ve only seen a very small portion of that world so far in a small space in time. What’s going in Europe, Central America, or the U.S. Midwest? What will the world look like 10, 20, or even 50 years after the zombie apocalypse? Sounds like AMC’s got plans.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC; The Walking Dead returns Sundays this October.