So far AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has been everything I wanted it to be and more. My only real issue with the series is that there is only one episode left. Seriously, I expect that from a British show, but man, six episodes is pretty brief. At least they’re really good episodes. The good news is that AMC has already ordered a full, 13-episode season two.
In an interesting move, especially considering the critical and popular success of “The Walking Dead”, writer/director/producer Frank Darabont has let go of the entire writing staff, including his second in command, Charles “Chic” Eglee. Furthermore, he is considering not having a writing staff at all for the second season.
According to Deadline,
Darabont is looking to forgo having a writing staff for the second season of “Walking Dead” altogether and assign scripts to freelancers. Darabont, who hails from the feature world with “The Young Indiana Jones” as the only series credit before “Walking Dead”, ended up writing two of the first season’s six episodes. . . the pilot and the second episode—and co-writing/rewriting the other four. Two of those four were written by non-staff writers, one by executive producer Robert Kirkman, on whose comics the series is based, and one by Glen Mazzara.
This may sound like a drastic move, but there is some precedent. The Starz/BBC series “Torchwood” uses a similar model, employing only freelancers. Apparently this is fairly common practice in the UK, though as a US-based series, “The Walking Dead” could run into legal problems with the Writer’s Guild. This is just the latest, and there has been no final decision, so AMC could ultimately go with in this direction, choose to have a staff of writers, or go with a multi-pronged approach, using some unholy, many headed amalgamation of staff writers and freelancers.
This might not prove to be a horrible idea, but at the very least it does sound like it could be problematic. A core staff of writers can create an overarching cohesion within a series that freelancers might not be able to pull off. They’ve seen it all go down, and have a grasp on the subtle nuances, minutia, and internal mythology that really make a show come together. Who knows, maybe I’m just freaking out over nothing, but it is concerning for the time being. What do you all think?