Former showrunner of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Frank Darabont, recently revealed that a “Black Hawk Down”-type of episode was originally planned from the very first season. However, the network rejected Darabont’s brilliant idea and eventually fired the man who amazingly captured individuals trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse.
SyFy’s Sam Witwer of “Being Human” recently told HorrorHound that he was originally in the pilot episode of “The Walking Dead” as the zombie Rick meets in the tank at the end of the episode. His initial appearance was meant to be a set up for a future episode that Darabont had planned for the premiere of the second season. Witwer explained that Darabont’s plan was to showcase how Atlanta originally became overrun by zombies and fell, in a prequel episode to start off season two.
Darabont confirmed the unseen storyline with Aint it Cool News, detailing that the episode was going to follow an Army Ranger squad who is sent to Atlanta to diffuse the situation but instead get trapped by the zombies.
The director stated, “The idea was to do this with a very focused “you are there” documentary feel. Not going all shaky-cam, but still making it a bit rawer and grainier than the rest of the show. We’d start with a squad of maybe seven or eight soldiers being dropped into the city by chopper…Our squad gets blocked at every turn and are soon just trying to survive. I wanted to do a really tense, character-driven ensemble story as communications break down, supply lines are lost, escape routes are cut off, morale falls apart, leadership unravels, mutinies heat up, etc.”
Darabont continued to tell AICN, “After the soldier dies this squalid, lonely death…and after a quiet lapse of time…we do a shot-for-shot reprise from the first episode of the first season: Rick comes scrambling into the tank to escape the horde…blows that zombie soldier’s brains out…now Rick’s trapped…fade out…the end.”
The director also explained that he wanted to bring the story back further and show how Andrea and Amy first met up with Dale and show how the man initially saved their lives. He also detailed that he had many of these “wild card” episodes planned for the series with intentions of giving the show a feeling of being an anthology.
Uh, first of all, AMC sucks for firing Darabont because the atmosphere that he created and set up for The Walking Dead was amazing and it worked so well. The man clearly knew what he was doing with the series and this unaired episode sounds like it would have been awesome to see. I do love The Walking Dead and I will continue to watch, despite Darabont’s departure, however, I have a feeling that the series will only go downhill without him on board.