A new location, a new friend and an old antagonist are on tap for season three of THE WALKING DEAD — but that’s about all we know so far. Oh, and there will be a new Big Bad. A beloved fan favorite from the comics: The Governor.
David Morrissey, a British actor who was so remarkable as Jackson Lake in the 2008 DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special, “The Next Doctor,” has taken on the decidedly sinister role of the Governor. I won’t spoil things for TV fans who haven’t read the comics, but I will say that the Guv is a mondo important character.
The West Central Prison, glimpsed in the last shot of season two, will be the major setting for season three. Readers of the comic book series know Rick and crew spent quite a while hunkered down in the prison (Issues 13-48, as a matter of fact) after abandoning Hershel’s farm, so this is a welcome appearance of comics continuity.
I am a little concerned, however, if the TV producers plan to tinker with the comics continuity even more and shorten their stay at the prison, fearing that viewers might not sit still for the characters spending another long stretch camping in one spot. But I hope that’s not the case, because the prison has a lot of potential. (Especially in light of the casting of the Governor.)
Also filled with potential? Michonne, the katana-wielding zombie-tamer who rescued Andrea (Laurie Holden) from undeath at the end of season two. Comics fans know her and love her and her fencing bad-assery.
Finally, Michael Rooker let it slip that he will be returning as the racist Merle — last seen alive when he was handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of an Atlanta building (in “Tell It to the Frogs.”) Merle escaped by cutting off his own hand, so who knows what sort of state he will be in? Rooker says he “dropped about 20 pounds for the role, so Merle has not been living high on the hog.”) Daryl (Norman Reedus) hallucinated his brother (with two hands) in this season’s “Chupacabra” episode, so the real guy has been MIA for months. Maybe he’s in the prison?
How will Daryl react to the return of his brother, especially now that he’s found his place among the survivors? Would Merle approve of Daryl hanging with the people who trussed him up as zombie bait? I wouldn’t bank on Merle’s good will.