By Dalton Ross
August 01, 2017 at 09:15 AM EDT

If you like big epic battle scenes, then you have a lot to look forward to when season 8 of The Walking Dead premieres on Oct 22.

If the fact that we are headed into the All Out War arc from the comics was not a sign of what’s to come, showrunner Scott M. Gimple assures EW that the intensity will come early and come often in season 8. “It’s massively heavy on the action,” says Gimple of the Rick vs. Negan face-off. “I really wanted to push into different ways than we’ve done things in a long time, just by virtue of we’re a show going into its eighth year and I really don’t want to do what we’ve done before, even if we’ve done it really well. If we’re super satisfied with it, that’s why we shouldn’t do the same thing. And because of that and really mostly because of the narrative itself, I had us embrace a really action-heavy story for several episodes in a row.”

You read right. Gimple promises that it will not just be an action-packed premiere that then settles back into quieter, more introspective material. He says that the first four episodes are all bursting at the seams. “And even what I would call the quieter episode, which is episode 5, even looking at that, it still doesn’t feel chill and introspective,” says Gimple.

The heavy emphasis on high-octane output will help give season 8 is own distinct feel, while also raising the stakes on a weekly basis. “We’re pushing ourselves to structure the stories in different ways, or at least, different ways than we’ve done in a long time,” hints the showrunner. “It’s action on action on action.”

So prepare yourself for a non-stop scrum that could at times carry the energy of what feels like a football game, but with much bigger stakes. Says Gimple: “It’s like Hamlet, but with shoulder pads.”

For more Walking Dead news, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Episode Recaps


The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

  • TV Show
  • 10
  • TV-14
  • Frank Darabont
  • AMC
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