The (ever-expanding) Walking Dead universe was rocked in December by the revelation that original Fear the Walking Dead series lead Kim Dickens would be reprising her role as Madison Clark and joining the cast for season 7, with a full series-regular status in season 8. And now we have our first look at this comeback.
The unveiling of Dickens’ return as Madison Clark (see below) was part of the show’s virtual Wondercon panel on Saturday, with Madison wearing the same (apparently flame-retardant) leather jacket she had on when we were led to believe she had perished in season 4. (She’s also got some impressive fingerless leather gloves to complete the outfit.)
In the trailer’s final moments, Madison is seen walking into what appears to be an interrogation area, holding an oxygen mask over her “Alicia” and “Nick” tattoos.
“What is your name?” a voice asks through a speaker box. “Madison,” she replies. “You will no longer be known as Madison,” the voice adds. Ooooh, intriguing!
In the midseason finale of season 4, “No One’s Gone,” Dickens was “killed” when she sacrificed herself by leading the zombies back into the stadium and then locking herself in so that her friends might escape.
However, in season 6’s “Mother,” the introduction of other presumed dead survivors from the baseball stadium attack — Cole (Sebastian Sozzi), Douglas (Kenneth Wayne Bradley), and Vivian (Rhoda Griffis) – raised questions as to whether Madison might still be alive out there… somewhere. And now we know she was!
Dickens was crestfallen when she was originally written off the show in season 4. “Well, it was shocking,” she told EW at the time. “It was heartbreaking. I have loved this character, I’ve loved playing this character, I’ve loved this show, and I’m so proud to be a strong female-empowered lead of a genre show…. I also thought there were so many more stories to tell and so many more places to go, so I was initially shocked and disappointed and heartbroken. But you know, it’s in the hands of the writers and the producers, and that’s the fate that befalls so many of the characters in this genre.”
Fear co-showrunner Ian Goldberg explained the decision then to EW as necessary to propel the action: “It really came down to the story that we wanted to tell. It’s an emotional decision. As fans of The Walking Dead universe, we understand how hard it is to lose a member of this family, and there’s a world in which beloved characters come and go. No one is ever safe, but yes, of course, losing Madison is a big one.”
And bringing her back is even bigger. “If there were a Mt. Deadmore, Kim Dickens’ face would be on it,” said Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of the Walking Dead universe, as part of the December reveal of the actresses’ return. “Madison Clark is a foundational character to TWDU — heroic, complex, an everyperson who becomes a warrior and then a force of benevolence. Kim Dickens’ raw talent, strength, and brilliance will electrify TWDU once more, and we couldn’t be luckier to have her back.”
Check out the trailer below!
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