So, there we have it. Scott M. Gimple has been announced as the new showrunner of The Walking Dead after Glen Mazzara and AMC parted ways in late December. Like many fans of The Walking Dead, I was devastated to hear about Mazzara’s departure, who had guided Rick Grimes and co. into arguably one of the consistently best seasons of television in recent years.
For someone who had bought into Mazzara’s vision and direction for the show, it feels a little bittersweet to already be talking about his successor. Scott M. Gimple has the unenvious task of following in Mazzrra’s footsteps, but here’s a couple of reasons why we fans need not panic, get angry and start sharpening their pitchforks.
Keeping it in the Family
AMC made the wise decision of promoting someone from within: Gimple has been with The Walking Dead since Season 2 and, like Mazzara before him, he is someone who is familiar with the world of the show and not some tirading yahoo from the outside, coming in to shake things up. The fact that the new creative captain of The Walking Dead is familiar with the show and its characters can allow us fans to relax a little. He knows the voice of the characters, the tone of the show, and the direction that it’s heading in. He knows the waters, and that’s something that makes me a little calmer about his appointment.
History With The Show
Let’s take a little look at Scott M.Gimple’s history with The Walking Dead. For starters, he’s credited as producer on 13 episodes of the show, and supervising producer of 8 episodes. So it’s clear that he’s been heavily involved with the show for a while now. Not only that, but the episodes that Gimple is credited as writer on are some of the best of the series. Episodes like ‘Save The Last One’, ‘Pretty Much Dead Already’ and ’18 Miles Out’ from Season 2, and so far the episode ‘Hounded’ from Season 3. Looking at these episodes alone, it’s pretty clear to see that we’re in the safe hands of a writer who knows how to write tense-filled action that moves the story forward as well as the emotional character drama that transcends this show above all others on television today.
No-One Man is Steering the Ship
One thing that is important to remember is that it is not just one person who is responsible for creating the show we watch week in week out. It is crafted by a group of writers and producers collectively. People like Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman, Greg Nicetoro and Scott M.Gimple. The fact of the matter is, as Mazzara has pointed out in interviews in the past, the showrunner is surrounded by a team of people who craft out the direction of the season. My hope is that the episodes since Mazarra took charge haven’t all been down to him singlehandedly, and that those stories will continue with the same group of people that were there while he was in charge.
Give Gimple A Chance
Remember when the news of Darabont’s exit came about? And how everyone was up in arms and questioning the appointment of Mazzara? Well, what happened when we tuned in to the first Darabont-free episode of The Walking Dead? We were completely blown away by an episode that contains potentially one of my favourite scenes in television; ‘Nebraska’.
I only say we give our new showrunner a chance, as we so rightly gave Mazzara. He may have a lot to prove, but the fact is he’s been part of The Walking Dead for some of its best episodes in the show’s short history. I have faith that the show will continue the high standard that we fans have grown to expect and that it will still remain the dark, twisted drama that we know and love. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.