Chris Regina of The Asylum joined Actors Keith Allan who is Murphy, Michael Welch who plays Mack,and show runner Karl Schaefer to discuss the first season of Z Nation at the SyFy Digital Press Tour in Orlando in 2014.
CHRIS REGINA: Baby zombies, the Liberty Bell tumbling down the streets of Philadelphia, crushing the undead, and a zombinado are three of the signature elements in Syfy’s action-packed series, Z Nation. This fun and zombie drama follows a team of unlikely heros as they attempt to bring a lone carrier of a potential cure for the zombie virus across the country to a lab in California. The show is off to a strong start, so much so that I am proud to announce that we have picked up season two.We are very excited to have this panel here today, so please give a warm welcome for Michael Welch, who plays charming all-American Mack Thompson.Executive producer and show writer, Karl Schaefer.And the only man to suffer eight
zombie bites and live to talk about it, Keith Allan, who plays Murphy.
CHRIS REGINA: Karl, in case any of us are not caught up on the season, do you want to give a little recap of where we are in the story right now?
KARL SCHAEFER: Well, we’ve killed a lot of zombies, and a lot of humans, too. Our team has made it as far — so far, we’re in Nebraska, I believe, and we’ve lost two key members of the team,Harold Perrineau, who played Hammond in the pilot,and just in Friday’s episode, we lost Tom Everett Scott, playing Garnett. And so the team finds itself in Episode 7 at a crossroads where they’re not really sure if they’re going to make it any farther and who is going to, you know, rise to the top as the new team leader.Murphy is hoping Warren, Kellita Smith, will step up and become the leader that he knows he can’t be at this point in the journey, but it’s really looking bad for our guys. We’re kind of at a low point dramatically for them.And Michael’s character, Mack, and Addy, are going to go their separate ways and be separated from the group going forward, and we’ll see if they can make it to California.
KEITH ALLAN: Yeah. Don’t ask for a bigger trailer.
MICHAEL WELCH: Now that we’ve been picked up
for a second season.
KARL SCHAEFER: I hope you guys make it.
KEITH ALLAN: I hope we make it, too.
CHRIS REGINA: Michael, Keith, have you worked in the genre before and what is the fan reaction like for you guys?
KEITH ALLAN: Well, the fan reaction has been amazing. We just did the zombie conference in Atlanta yesterday, and they were digging the show.They loved what we’re doing, as far as like the genre mix, bringing back some of the humor into, you know, death and destruction and killing and brains and guts. So they’re having a great time with it.And what’s surprising me is some of the like really young people, like eight-year-old girls, little kid fans.
KARL SCHAEFER: Yeah, a lot of little kid fans.
KEITH ALLEN: And they came up and they’re like, “So, does Murphy have a crush on anyone?” They were adorable. But really enthusiastic, just loving the show, and having a good time. And you can’t ask for more than that.
KARL SCHAEFER: We were a little worried. It was Walker Stalker, The Walking Dead, 30,000 Walking Dead fans, and we didn’t know how they would treat us when we got there, but they were very kind to us and seemed to be — believe that there was room for two zombie shows in the universe.
MICHAEL WELCH: I think people who are true fans of the genre really understand what this genre is and what it’s been all about, over the years, you know, know that of course there’s room for both. I mean, zombies have been around for a long time. A long time, there have been zombies, you know. Yeah, listen, I’ve been working in sci-fi programs for years. It’s just how my career has worked out. I was in a Star Trek movie as a kid,and then of course, you know, the Twilight movies over the past several years, and then in what ended up being a pretty popular,Stargate: SG-1. So I am somewhat familiar with this fan base, and I was in,you know, Day of the Dead, a Romero remake.