From the moment we watched with eyebrow-arched curiosity as Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) opened his eyes in his Atlanta hospital bed to the moment only months ago when we found ourselves pumping our fists at the screen out of a renewed sense of hope as our heroes got the band back together to wage "all-out war" on Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and The Saviors, The Walking Dead is the kind of show fans bond with quickly and take very personally.
In honor of that fan commitment and as a reminder of what long, strange trip it's been, AMC has released a recap video of the first 99 episodes ahead of the show's 100th episode (and Season 8 premiere):
While reaching 100 episodes is always an impressive one for any series, what makes The Walking Dead's milestone even more impressive is that it crossed that finish line during a time when the rules of television are dramatically different than they used to be. To put it in perspective? The first two seasons of The X-Files consisted of 49 episodes, while The Walking Dead's first two seasons consisted of only 19 episodes (settling on 16 episode seasons after the second season). When you add that into the equation along with the increased amount of competition there is now for viewers' ever-decreasing attention spans, The Walking Dead's ability to cross that goal line is even more impressive.
For the show's writer and executive producer Scott M. Gimple, it's about remembering and respecting the triumphs and tragedies that our heroes faced, endured and survived to get them (and us) to where they are now. But for the creative behind the show, "100" isn't a finish line as much as it's a distance marker reminding all of us that there's still much more story potential left to come:
"The way we plan ahead is to live in abject terror and anxiety. It isn't about necessarily planning the 100th episode, it is sort of about planning the next 100 episodes. In a lot of ways, we've planned out this show into many seasons from now. The comic book affords us that and then the inspiration we get from the comic and things we want to see more of. What I'm hoping for the season premiere to be next year is the kick off of the next 100 episodes. The promise of more story and another future. Every eight episodes we try to reinvent ourselves and we're gonna try and do it again."
The Walking Dead returns for Season 8 with its 100th episode on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
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