Following last night's big premiere episode of "Fear the Walking Dead" on AMC, showrunner Dave Erickson opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the pilot's plot and discussed why they chose to call the zombies "the infected" as opposed to, well, zombies.
"Right now, playing off of the idea that they think this is viral and something you can catch that's transmitted, they start to call them "the infected," which is a nod to '28 Days Later,'" said Erickson, referencing the 2002 zombie film. "We don't get into a place in the story where they're going to start throwing names. Whether it's biters, roamers or walkers, our characters in season one still think these people are human and sick for a big chunk of time. 'Infected' made story sense for us, and as things evolve, we'll come up with new names."
Erickson also looked forward to the rest of the season, speaking to the themes he and executive producer Robert Kirkman will explore in the coming episodes, specifically where Frank Dillane's heroin-addicted Nick is concerned.
"Madness is a theme we'll continue to explore as the show progresses," explained Erickson. "What will be challenging for Nick is waiting for people to catch up with him. He's been living on the fringes and in his own apocalypse, and now the real apocalypse has arrived. Initially, it's about trying to protect the people they care about most. Alicia is not with them when the pilot ends. She's been looking for Matt, who failed to meet her. They'll try to wrangle her and bring her back in. From Travis' perspective, he's going to want to find his resentful son, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), and his ex-wife, Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez). They know something terrible is wrong, but they don't realize this is the apocalypse or that the dead are rising. For Travis, there has to be an explanation and it becomes a process of hacking away at the expectation that there will be salvation and things will be made well. It's going to be very challenging for Travis, specifically. For Madison, going into the second episode and beyond, she needs to protect Alicia and Nick, and that will manifest in different ways because they both have very specific problems that they're dealing with."
"Fear the Walking Dead" airs on Sundays on AMC.