The Big Picture

  • The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon honors the original series while creating an entirely new story, pleasing fans with a blend of nostalgia and fresh content.
  • The production team behind the spin-off put thought into making the show feel different but still familiar, hiring a director and cinematographer with a different aesthetic while respecting the original American show.
  • Fans are responding positively to the spin-off despite the bold move of placing Daryl Dixon in another country.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon has finally washed up on AMC and is already making waves (in a positive way) with fans. During his time on the original series, The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus’ motorcycle-riding character became a fan-favorite with one of the most impressive arcs. Now that the first episode of his off-shoot has aired, audiences are coming to better understand what they can expect from the Reedus-led spin-off, although there’s still plenty of mystery left. In a recent interview with Collider’s Christina Radish, executive producer Dan Percival opened up about how the team behind The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon managed to create an entirely new story while still honoring the past.

“We put a great deal of thought into that,” Percival said of the work that was poured into ensuring that the show “feels different” but at the same time keeps up a level of familiarity. “AMC and David Zabel, the showrunner, wanted a director and cinematographer who hadn’t shot The Walking Dead and who brought a different aesthetic to it, but who would also respect the original American show,” he explained. Of his own experience, Percival added, “I’ve worked both in Europe and America, so it was a nice hybrid for me to be able to let my more European filmmaking sensibilities free to play with a genre that is so distinctly American. It was a lot of fun to do that, and to find new visual language and new storytelling language to expand the scope of the series.”

When we last saw Daryl in The Walking Dead series finale, he was riding off into the apocalyptic sunset on a quest to find Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). So, when the network announced that the character would be receiving his own sequel series, many fans were stumped when they discovered that he would be in another country on the other side of the world. “That’s the biggest, boldest move, for sure,” Percival said, “It’s like, ‘Let’s wash Daryl Dixon up on the beach and see how he survives.’ You may as well have dropped him on Mars.” Still, fans are already responding positively to the show, meaning that the production team nailed their blend of nostalgia with a new story.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon and Louis Puech Scigliuzzi as Laurent in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
Image via AMC

Ghosts from Daryl Dixon’s Past Colliding with the Present

Outside of Reedus’ reprisal of Daryl Dixon, the fresh off-shoot features a cast of new-to-the-franchise faces. Included in the lineup are Clémence Poésy (the Harry Potter franchise), Adam Nagaitis (Chernobyl), Louis Puech Scigliuzzi, Romain Levi, Laika Blanc Francard, Eriq Ebouaney, and Anne Charrier. But, as of right now, we can anticipate at least one familiar face from Daryl’s old life in America to appear somewhere along the way. While the series was initially set to be a Daryl and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) spin-off, scheduling conflicts blew those dreams to pieces. However, an update from fellow The Walking Dead alum, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, teased fans that they would see the dynamic duo together again even if it’s just a cameo capacity for Carol.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon airs weekly on AMC and AMC+, with the second episode set to arrive on Sunday, September 17.

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By asm3a