‘The Walking Dead’ reaches 100th episode milestone

  • Lennie James portrays Morgan Jones (left) and Andrew Lincoln portrays Rick Grimes in a scene from “The Walking Dead.” The eighth season premieres on Oct. 22. AMC via AP

  • This image released by AMC shows Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, left, and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in a scene from, "The Walking Dead." The eighth season premieres on Oct. 22. (Gene Page/AMC via AP) Gene Page/AMC

  • This image released by AMC shows Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, left, and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in a scene from "The Walking Dead." The eighth season premieres on Oct. 22. (Gene Page/AMC via AP) Gene Page/AMC

Associated Press
Friday, September 29, 2017

For seven seasons, AMC’s The Walking Dead has explored a world where the dead roam the earth while the living seek safety – from other humans as much as from the zombies trying to tear into their flesh.

There are characters whose faith is tested but find their grit and fierceness. There are those who are kiss-ups and latch themselves onto leaders, their will to survive stronger than their pride. Then there are those who seize a newfound power to terrorize and bully. Through it all, it’s often difficult to discern the difference between who’s good and who’s evil, something that evolves and can change from moment to moment.

And now, as the show approaches its 100th episode – the kickoff to Season 8 that launches on Oct. 22 – the characters are on the verge of war, a battle pitting character Rick Grimes and his band of loyalists against Negan and the Saviors, mixed in with a few other communities whose allegiances sometimes shift without warning.

For a full day this spring, AMC invited a small group of journalists to the set to talk with the actors and crew involved in the show. Everyone took pains to avoid revealing what was in store in the next season.

The main filming location is on a sprawling lot tucked behind this small south Georgia town where most of this new world has sprouted: Raleigh Studios, a constantly evolving set on 140 acres where all sorts of imaginary communities have been created from scratch.

The Heap – an actual mound of trash filled with all sorts of debris and cars no newer than 2010 (the year the world is said to have died) – was created in just three weeks to serve as the domain for Jadis (played by Pollyanna McIntosh), who speaks in an odd clipped form of English and switches allegiances as fast as character Michonne can lop off a head with her Katana.

The first season was shot largely in Atlanta. By the second season, Raleigh Studios in Senoia – about an hour south of Atlanta – had been created in this town of about 4,000.