By Denise Warner
July 19, 2013 at 10:48 PM EDT
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

The Project: The Walking Dead

The Panel: Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Dave Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson, Chad Coleman, David Morrissey, and Norman Reedus.

Footage screened: Near the beginning of the panel, AMC debuted the trailer for season 4. (Watch it below.) The prison is now well-populated with the Grimes gang and leftover Woodbury folk. Tyreese (Coleman) wants to affirm his place among the new group. Carol leads a class on knife safety for the children. Daryl (Reedus) continues being a badass. As always, Rick looks conflicted. Maggie (Cohan) and Glen (Yeun) find plenty of moments for some sexy times, despite the lack of showers. We see a lot of Lawrence Gilliard Jr.’s Bob Stookey. Plus, someone — human — attacks their compound, and is probably feeding the zombies dead rats. Oh yeah, speaking of the walkers. There are a lot more of them. Almost more than the survivors can handle.

Snap judgment: The new footage makes up for the slow-paced nothingness of last season. And since the Governor wasn’t featured in the trailer, but Morrissey did appear at the panel, it will be interesting to see when they re-introduce the former leader of Woodbury.

The big revelations: First — the season will premiere on Oct. 13. Second — Rick has given up his leadership role. According to Lincoln, Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) transformation into a cold-blooded killer last season kick-started Rick’s quest to be a better father. “I think the relationship with Carl is integral to the beginning of this season, certainly for Rick. [Carl] turning into a sociopath at the end of the season definitely woke him up to his parenting duties,” he said. “He’s renounced responsibilities and leadership for the sake of his children.”

Most incisive audience question: A slightly nervous fan asked Lincoln and Gurira about the possibility of a Rick-Michonne romance. “We’re playing footsie right now,” Lincoln joked, since the two actors were seated next to each other. When the next question came about how Daryl and Michonne will both deal with losing someone so close to them, Reedus responded thusly: “I think it will bring [Michonne and Daryl] closer together, and then we’ll get together. Maybe Rick can join? You never know.”

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.
  • TV Show
  • 10
  • TV-14
  • 10/31/10
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