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Nuclear-grade Fear The Walking Dead Comic-Con panel reveals season 7 premiere date, first details

It’s getting Chernobyl up in here.

It’s an apocalypse within an apocalypse on Fear The Walking Dead’s upcoming season 7 as the zombie series goes nuclear. The cast and crew gathered for a San Diego Comic-Con 2021 panel that teased how the Walking Dead spinoff series is reinventing itself yet again. There were also a few key announcements. First and foremost, season 7 will premiere on Sunday, Oct. 17. Episodes will be streaming early on AMC Plus, though the panelists did not specify exactly how early. Presumably those details will be made available closer to the premiere.

As far as casting goes, Gus Halper (Dickinson) is joining the series in an unknown role. Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg also confirmed that Sydney Lemmon (Helstrom) will be returning as Isabelle, CRM soldier and Althea’s love interest. Also returning is Omid Abtahi (American Gods), who played a historian named Howard in the season 6 finale. The panel also announced that Alycia Debnam-Carey, who plays Alicia Clark, will direct an episode this season!

But despite these celebratory reveals, season 7 looks grimmer than ever. Fear has distinguished itself from the flagship TWD in many ways over the years, taking on different terrains, other cultures, and other time periods in the apocalypse. But now that nuclear bombs are detonating all over the area, everything is different. It’s claustrophobic. Our characters need to go underground. The very air outside is dangerous to breath, something that will likely hit close to home for us as an audience living through a global pandemic.

The SDCC panel debuted two sneak peaks. In the first clip, we see Morgan and Grace living in the beached submarine where we last saw them in season 6. They’re living there with the baby they adopted, essentially, from a woman named Rachel. Outside, someone patrols in a gas mask. The yellowing landscape looks like something out of a Mad Max movie.

In the second clip, we see John Dorie and June living in the bunker that belonged to a cult leader and serial killer named Teddy (John Glover). They discover Teddy’s “kill room” where women were murdered in the 1970s. Yikes! So that’s something that the two of them will have to emotionally deal with, on top of the zombie apocalypse and the nuclear apocalypse.

As for information that will inform or connect this show to The Walking Dead and/or The World Beyond? “It’s possible,” said Gimple. “I know that’s super satisfying.”

Fear The Walking Dead is, at the end of the day, a more character-based show than a plot-based show. Don’t be fooled by the bombs going off. We may learn some things about the CRM, a military group that connects all three series together, but it’s in service to the love story between Althea and Isabelle rather than clues or Easter eggs. The series has crossed several characters over from The Walking Dead — Morgan, Daryl, and Sheri — so we know that it is in fact possible. It’s just never how you expect, and now that these characters have some seriously dangerous problems to deal with, it may not be when we expect either.