Angela Kang, showrunner of AMC’s The Walking Dead, explains the reason why original Savior Dwight wasn’t in the season 10 finale, “Here’s Negan.”
Angela Kang, showrunner of The Walking Dead, explains the reason why original savior Dwight wasn’t in the show’s season 10 finale, “Here’s Negan.” The television show, inspired by Robert Kirkman’s comic book series of the same name, is the first TV program to successfully explore the zombie apocalypse in a long-form episodic format. Season 10 aired its finale on Sunday, April 4. Season 11 will be its final season.
The story that played out in The Walking Dead‘s season 10 finale gave viewers Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) back story, as he ventured out on a mission to find chemotherapy drugs for his dying wife, Lucille (Hilarie Burton). Instead of showing the future leader of the Saviors’ first run-in with Dwight (Austin Amelio), as the character does in the comic book, in the issue also titled, “Here’s Negan,” the show deviated from that path and put him face-to-face with Savior-turned-Alexandrian, Laura (Lindsley Register). Dwight, who audiences last saw being banished from Virginia by Daryl (Norman Reedus) after Rick (Andrew Lincoln) took down Negan, continues his journey in spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead.
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Given Negan’s history with Dwight on The Walking Dead, fans were surprised when they didn’t see the former Savior in Sunday’s episode. According to Kang in an interview with EW, it was the creative team’s “original desire” to bring him back to the show. Due to the collective set-back inflicted on the entertainment industry because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kang explains to EW, “The scheduling did not work.” And since the productions of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, where Amelio’s character currently appears, were both delayed, Kang reveals: “It wouldn’t have worked to bring him over.”
Instead of adding Dwight into the mix, bringing Laura back to The Walking Dead was an interesting move. The character was killed off by Beta (Ryan Hurst) earlier this season. Giving Negan’s backstory this new component altered Laura’s story, and changed the trajectory in Lucille’s death adding an empathetic, yet edgy, element to the season’s final episode. And given the fact that the idea of doing a backstory episode devoted to Negan has been swirling for some time, switching things up added a welcome energy to the season, which has already brought back some exciting Walking Dead feels, and took away some of the predictability that has plagued the long-running show’s formula.
It’s certainly understandable the disappointment die-hard The Walking Dead fans may have experienced upon viewing “Here’s Negan.” But one thing the AMC series has made a reputation of over the past decade is the openness the writers and producers have in taking creative liberties with the subject matter the show is based on. While the landmark series that sparked the network’s growing undead universe is coming to an end, it’s fair to speculate that, in leaving certain benchmark moments from the comic untouched, there’s a possibility future spin-off projects, like those highly-anticipated Rick Grimes movies, could take these proverbial batons and run with them, resuscitating the ancillary characters’ storylines that were originally left to simply parish at the hands of The Walking Dead on Kirkman’s paneled page.
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