'Walking Dead' Dissection: Robert Kirkman on the Governor's Wicked Dark Side
'Walking Dead's' Greg Nicotero: 'We'll Probably End Our Season Minus a Cast Member or Two'
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the "Walk With Me" episode of The Walking Dead.]
The Governor -- and Merle! -- have arrived.
Sunday's The Walking Dead (finally!) delivered the long-awaited debut of David Morrissey's The Governor, one of the comic series' biggest and baddest villains in its more than 100 issues.
AMC's version, at first pass anyway, seemed to be the political figure that goes with a nickname like the Governor -- protective of the community, kind to strangers and willing to do what ever it takes to help rebuild society. But after spending some time with the head of Woodbury, he's revealed to be more of a seedy politician, with a collection of zombie heads (with some still appearing to have life left in them) preserved in tanks in a secret room in his home.
So it's smart that his "prisoners" Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Andrea (Laurie Holden) are instantly suspicious of his motives for bringing the duo back to Woodbury and setting them up with fresh clothes, a place to stay and medical care. That, however, changes with the more time Andrea spends in the gated community as she begins to take a liking to the leader who, unbeknown to her, has whacked the lone survivor of a helicopter crash and the seven remaining members of his squad.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with executive producer Robert Kirkman, who created the comics on which the AMC drama is based, to break down "Walk With Me," how Michonne's suspicious will hinder her relationship with Andrea, how long the duo will be in Woodbury and just what the Governor and his scientist cohort Milton (Dallas Roberts) are up to.
The Hollywood Reporter What a lasting impression with the wall of zombie heads. What's the message that you're sending about the Governor with that epic scene from the comics?
Robert Kirkman: It's supposed to be something jarring. He's got Michonne's walker pets in one of the fish tanks and the pilot from the helicopter added; it's something the Governor's been collecting. You should get a sense, and if you've read the comics you know that this is something he does from time to time. The reasons why he has these heads and what it is he's actually doing while he's just sitting there staring at them remains to be seen. It's part of the mystery surrounding the Governor. There's much more from where that came from and as the season continues to unfold, we'll discover more possibly horrific things about this guy.
Several of the heads looked like they're still "alive." Is that hope that there's still a little bit of who each person was still there?
That's a good segue in talking about Milton (Dallas Roberts). There is a question of how much of a person's personality is still contained within the zombies and that's something Milton will be dealing with. He's a curious character, he's someone who is saying, "This zombie threat isn't going away and we don't know anything about these things other than that they're dead people who are seemingly walking around for no reason." He's going to do everything in his power to get some answers. It's a fun plotline moving forward.
We thought you'd pan to reveal the Governor's zombie daughter, who was seen in a family photo in his home. Are you still leaving the door open for that by showing the family portrait?
His zombie daughter Penny is a big part of the comics. Whether or not she'll appear in the television show remains to be seen. But you may be on to something there (laughs).