The rumour mill is in overdrive as we head into the highly-anticipated mid-season finalé of The Walking Dead.
Yes, that's right people, as if one thrilling finalé episode per season wasn't enough for you those lovely folk at TWD are giving you two. It seems they really are spoiling you!
So, what can we expect in the first of the season four finalés?
Episode 8 is intriguingly titled 'Too Far Gone' - which has already got people speculating - but we don't want to ruin things for you by giving too much away. So, here's what we can reveal…
Firstly, a familiar face makes a shocking return - we're not saying who, we're not saying why, but someone will be back with a bang and we can't wait for the repercussions to begin.
Secondly, there's going to be some serious action. Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, told Yahoo!: "The mid-season finale is the biggest thing we've attempted, I think, so far in our show. I think the crew, and Ernest Dickerson, who directed it, everybody busted their guts to do that episode. Darrell Pritchett, who does the special effects — he's the man with the dynamite, was the busiest man I've ever seen. It was thrilling. Just thrilling. It just felt like an incredibly exciting episode."
The thought of a busy man with dynamite running around behind the scenes sure has whet our appetite for some explosive scenes. Will the Governor's rumoured attack on the prison come to fruition? Or could something else be afoot?
Thirdly, have the tissues handy when you tune in on Friday night because we're bracing ourselves for some more heart-wrenching drama. The reason for our suspicion that it might be a bit of a tearjerker? It's that sneaky Andrew Lincoln again, who revealed to TVLine: "There's been one scene that was pretty painful to do…"
Could the return of one familiar face signal the departure of another?
And don't worry, fans won't have too long to wait for the concluding episodes of season four, which are due to hit our screens in February 2014.
Andrew Lincoln, Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead
It was thrilling. Just thrilling. It just felt like an incredibly exciting episode.
If you're a fan of The Walking Dead on FOX, you'll know three things. The zombie apocalypse is here and 'Walkers' (dead people who have reanimated), roam the earth. Secondly, Rick Grimes and his band of friends, or should we say 'co-survivors', are among the few living people who have managed to fend the 'walkers' off. And thirdly, The Governor, a man in charge of a prison that seemed to be a safe haven for the living, is a raving lunatic. As the fourth season gets underway on FOX we speak to the man himself in an exclusive interview...
So who would you have bet against? Rick or The Governor?
I would always have betted for The Governor, I can’t see past him. I mean if you’re going to be part of the zombie apocalypse you want to be in with him, not on the road with Rick. It’s a no brainer as far as I'm concerned and a no brainer is a good thing to have in the zombie apocalypse! (Laughs)
When will we see The Governor return? Soon or at the end?
It’s about watching them and finding out. I’m not giving anything away!
Poor Andrea… is The Governor becoming more and more inhuman?
Well The Governor didn’t kill Andrea, Milton killed Andrea, in a court of law he’d be alright. The thing about The Walking Dead is that no one is safe, that’s the great frisson about the show and the audience like the fact that everybody is up for grabs and that’s the danger. The danger in the show, we’re not like Star Trek where you know five guys beam down to the planet and four of them are regulars on the show and one guy you haven’t seen before and you know that he’s not going to make it back to the Enterprise. We are a show where we like our audience to have that sense that any character could go at any minute. That is a real interesting thing for me and for all of us as actors and Andrea, that was a really big, tough thing for us all because Laurie Holden is a fantastic woman and a great friend to all of the cast and suddenly you get that script and it’s there and it’s like “oh my god”, and its really tough, its tough for all of us. But it's what makes the show great I think, that it has this relationship with its audience that none of its characters are safe.
Do you think they could even get rid of Rick then?
I think everybody is up for grabs. We’re following the comic books but we’ve seen a lot that the TV show doesn’t necessarily follow the comic books in all instances so yes, I think everybody is. And look at Carl now emerging as a leader and a man and because of all those things, so who knows?
Would you say that you are playing The Governor true to form like the comic? Because he’s one of the worst characters encountered or do you think he is softer on TV?
I think the things he does are just as sickening as in the books. But I think the main difference is that in season three, we see The Governor early in his psychopathic journey, so we see him before he loses Penny and before he gets hell bent on revenge and therefore we have an understanding of the darkness that grows inside the man. Whereas in the comic books he’s right there off the bat, he does absolutely awful things right from the beginning. And I think there’s a sense that we’ve given him more complexity from season three. Even though he does terrible things, to Andrea and his own people, he turned one of his own people. But we’ve given him a bigger story to tell in those sixteen episodes. I don’t think he’s softer in anyway, I think he’s just as dangerous.
Who is more of a monster – The Governor or the walkers?
Oh the Governor, the walkers are a danger, they are a bigger danger on mass and that’s the tag line of the season, ‘fight the dead, fear the living’, and I think they should be afraid of the living because you know, the other human beings are in crisis and in that way they will turn on each other. The walkers are one threat but human beings are another. There’s a frenzy all round, a territory frenzy and I think that’s human nature in every desperate situation man has been in.
Do you think that’s more terrifying than a brainless thing coming towards you?
You’re never going to be seduced by a zombie, you’re never going to trust a zombie, you’re never going to let a zombie into your home, you’re not going to be blindsided by a zombie. Their threat is very obvious and very immediate and real but the idea of human nature, being drawn in by another human being, trusting that human being - its exactly like Andrea. Andrea could probably handle the idea of the zombies and escape them and sort of fight them but she needed sanctuary and some kind of emotional stability and The Governor offered that to her, by the time she’d realized it was a trap or a spiders web that she’d fallen into, it was too late for her by then. And that is a different thing. I don’t know if I would say it is more dangerous but it’s a different type of danger.
The show's creator, Rob Kirkman,said: "We're making everything look different, new and unique for this season [season four]. There's going to be some really cool new elements thrown in that will shock you." Can you elaborate?
No. I can only reiterate what he said. What I love about the show and working on the show, is that all the creatives push each other and it's crazy how popular the show is, but it's testament to the creatives. Because they want to challenge themselves and the audience. They’re not resting on their laurels. I read that we got 16 million viewers in the US when the first episode of the new season aired and I was so happy for all the people that work 14- 16 hour days. It’s a real testament to their work.
16 million is amazing for a fourth season, why do you think it's still so popular?
It has all the bells and whistles in the zombie genre, that sense of danger and how Greg Nicotero (Director) and his team create that never ceases to amaze me. It's wonderful. But also I think it's to do with the human race in danger, how do we survive something so bad where our very existence as a people is under threat? It’s a playground for us to explore really basic human nature. There are so many questions, 'what would you do when the chips are down?' 'Where would you run to?' 'How would you survive?' Those questions are very alive in our heads, 'how safe are we?', 'how safe are myself and my children in this world?' I think the zombie apocalypse is a great place to explore those big, big questions about human nature and human survival.
David Morrissey - The Governor (The Walking Dead)
On The Governor vs zombies: "You’re never going to be seduced by a zombie, you’re never going to trust a zombie, you’re never going to let a zombie into your home, you’re not going to be blindsided by a zombie."