Why are we so fascinated by the idea of a zombie takeover?
The obsession with the undead has always been popular on the silver screen, but recently has translated onto the small screen as well. The Walking Dead is one of the highest-rated cable programs on television today and AMC recently announced that a spin-off for the series is currently in development.
Tonight, Space and Syfy debut Z Nation… the newest zombie drama. The post-apocalyptic series follows a group of ordinary citizens, three years after a mysterious virus has gutted the country. This rag-tag crew task themselves with the responsibility of transporting the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California where the last functioning lab in the world awaits his blood so that they can try and find a way to stop the attack. While the cure that he carries is the world’s last hope at finding a vaccine, the man also holds a dangerous secret that threatens everyone who is still alive. The 13-episode series also features an all-star cast including Harold Perrineau (Lost), DJ Qualls (Road Trip), and Tom Everett Scott (Southland).
While comparisons to The Walking Dead will undoubtedly shadow the series as it continues its run, Z Nation has worked hard to differentiate itself from the show that put zombies on the map.
For one thing, it is much darker than its predecessor. While The Walking Dead often focuses on its characters and their dynamics, Z Nation is strictly about zombies.
One of the most noteworthy moments of tonight’s premiere illustrates this idea perfectly. The episode features the group’s discovery of an abandoned baby. While this immediately will make Walking Dead fans think of Judith, let’s just say that Z Nation treats their infant a little differently and this serves as a great example for how the two shows are couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the spectrum if they tried.
The series works primarily because it keeps the action moving. There aren’t any lulls for character development because the focus is almost always on the action and task at hand. This makes Z Nation feel like a fast-paced movie with a new sequel debuting every week. This ensures that viewers never drift.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to catch up with Z Nation‘s Tom Everett Scott at Fan Expo Canada.
We chatted about a variety of topics including how different the show was for him considering his usual body of work, and if he has been hiding his inner bad ass for all these years (as audiences are used to seeing him predominantly play the good guy). He also broke down his character on the series for me. I asked him about the comparisons to The Walking Dead and if the two shows will manage to differentiate themselves from each other because of the material that seems so similar at first glance. The actor openly chatted about the lack of job security on shows like Z Nation where it is conceivable that any character could die at anytime and what it was like to work under these parameters. We also discussed the show’s star-studded cast and what their chemistry was like on set. Finally, I asked him to give me some tips on how to survive a zombie attack.
Check out the video above!
Z Nation premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on Space and Syfy
Tags: murtz, Murtz Jaffer, Tom Everett Scott, Z Nation