At SDCC, a majority of the cast and creators of The Asylum’s Z Nation were in attendance to present their loyal Z-Whackers the latest news and peeks about season five. Last we saw the group, the world was pretty much going to Hell, which is saying a lot considering it was already in piss poor shape.
Thanks to Warren’s visions – which turned out to be Zona programming – the Black Rain she believed she was meant to prevent was released with marginal success. Zombie and humankind weren’t burned off the face of the planet however things are even more worse for wear. Furthermore, it appears the pathogen had an unintended side effect that completely changes the dynamics of the show. In any case, here are five highlights about Z Nation‘s upcoming season!
Getting By with a Little Help From My Friends
During the panel, only one new character was mentioned and briefly screened, a survivor played by Mario Van Peebles. Whether he rescued Warren from the wreckage of the drone isn’t known however the pair of them managed to take out a whole mess of zombies in the sneak peek. Clearly they’ll be a formidable duo, as Kellita Smith attested.
He was fantastic! What a great energy of testosterone that was. [laughs] He was beautiful to look at and an excellent, excellent actor as well as a director. But as an actor, he was delicious to work with. And I mean that! I don’t know, whatchu wanna know? What? We kept our clothes on, what!
Up Close and As Personal As You Can Get
Ironically enough, the good news kept pouring in for this slice of the zombie apocalypse as DJ Qualls confirmed Simon Cruller aka Citizen Z will no longer be hiding out in the wilderness. The former private and comforting voice on the airwaves for those few humans remaining will finally get his hands dirty with the rest of the group. “I left the North Pole! Part of my deal this year coming back to the show was “Get me out of the damn North Pole and with the guys”. One of the things that draws you to TV is that you want to feel like you’re in a family, right? Unlike a movie it’s open-ended, it could go on forever and ever, or for a very long time. I was really missing that sense that I was on a show. This is a camaraderie that’s been great to really work with the cast.”
Qualls’ inclusion in the main group does make one wonder… will he survive the season? Given Cruller’s amazingly inexperienced level of z-whacking, can he learn enough on the fly to hold his own? He is a fan favorite and the improved dynamic between Simon and his friends should provide a lot more humor and heart… yet Z Nation, a show known to offing folks at random moments, hasn’t killed off a lead in quite a while.
A New Breed of Z
It was bad enough to deal with swarms of stumbling, groaning undead flesh-eaters but our intrepid has dealt with a number of zombie variants over the seasons. So what’s one more?! Season five will introduce another breed to the ever expanding catalog of Zs, one that co-creator and executive producer Karl Schaefer claimed will greatly affect the group in regards to their individual perspectives and mission success. “The Black Rain caused a side effect and gave all the zombies a level of consciousness. So this season we have Talkers… talking zombies that are problematic for our characters. And zombies can think and plan, and cause various trouble unlike they have in previous seasons. So this is going to be a very different season of Z Nation.”
A New Mission for a New World?
Another exciting announcement was the return of Addison Carver, played by Anastasia Baranova. “Aunt Addy” suddenly left the gang early on in season four’s “Escape From Zona” to search for Lucy on her own. The journey obviously didn’t turn out as Addy planned, however according to Baranova, Addy found a new purpose whilst wandering the frontier.
Assuming you guys know what happens to Lucy, Addy finds herself alone in the world and looking for a mission. And [she] has a soft spot for these Talkers… you know, people zombie type things, just real emotional as she usually is. So she starts kind of helping them out!
It’ll be intriguing to see where (or if) lines are drawn between Addy, her friends and the Talkers she feels compelled to protect. Surely they’ll be some conflict within the team as nothing about the situation can be clear cut.
The Enemy of My Enemy… May Still Be My Enemy?
In the midst of this newfound chaos lies an enigmatic Talker named Pandora, portrayed by Lydia Hearst. Next to nothing was revealed about Pandora’s role in the coming season or which side of the fight she’s on. Yet it was alluded that this character may take on the world at large considering how it’s treated her kind since the Black Summer.
She already is a resident of NewMerica, and I don’t think we’ve determined yet whether or not she’s good or bad,” Hearst remarked. “I just saw what I looked like for the first time because I don’t really see myself outside the hair and makeup chair… I look really creepy! I am a sort of human-zombie hybrid, I’m this new breed of Talker and we’re not really sure what side Pandora falls on.
Some Things Never Change…
As for Alvin Bernard Murphy? It’s the same ol’ same ol’ no matter his skin tone (it’s red now, in case you forgot). Somehow, someway, according to Keith Allan the grifter formerly known as Smurphy has found another silver lining within a smouldering world.
Murphy, the opportunist that he is, is always figuring out “How do I work this apocalypse angle”, y’know? So Murphy kind of goes off and his blends have been creating basically the new Las Vegas of the apocalypse, which is called Limbo. Basically, Murphy’s the Hugh Hefner of Limbo [laughs] … Oh my god we had so much fun because it’s sort of like every crazy thing you would bet on if it was legal. Like ‘Punch a Lawyer’, ‘Who’s a puker?’, Whack-A-Zombie, which was sort of like Whack-A-Mole… Zombie Roulette, where they hit the zombie’s head and its eyeball pops out and goes around the roulette wheel. So it’s like this crazy fun apocalypse town! I’m like rocking the apocalypse in Las Vegas!
Because of course he is! Classic Murphy…
The fifth season of Z Nation will premiere in October on Syfy!