Note: mild spoilers to follow for people who have not read Season Two.
Dead Days is returning this August, and Season 3 promises to ramp up the tension for each of the survivors. The groups are split up, stuck in horrible situations, and emotionally damaged from the events of the Season 2 finale. Add on the fact that a new threat is lurking, and Season 3 promises to be the scariest yet. Ryan Casey (me, who’s doing as good a job as possible to speak in third person right now) gives us some perspective on Season 3 and what to expect going forward…
Imaginary Interviewer: Season 2 left our survivors in a pretty precarious position, to say the least. How does Season 3 pick up from that?
Ryan Casey: Season 3 picks up right from that. Dead Days Season 2 had a little time jump from the Season 1 finale just due to the nature of the way it ended, but there’s absolute no way I could’ve got away with that this time. Those revelations at the end of Season 2, they need elaborating on. Like, now. So I’m going to do what I can to pick things up in the most tense, dramatic way possible.
II: Season 2 constantly teased us with the prospect of reunion only to snatch it away in the cruellest way possible. How does Dead Days move forward from here? It seems like Riley has been the main protagonist from the beginning, but are we going to see more of the other survivors in Season 3?
RC: There is going to be a lot more of the other survivors, yes. When I talk about Season 2, I always refer to the plot as a “big shrink” kind of plot, in terms of the universe. We had the huge explosion at the start of the season which scattered everyone into little fragments. Those characters spent the whole season trying to get together, getting closer and closer… only to completely explode again, casting them wider apart than ever. So yes, we’re going to see a lot more of the other characters. Riley is still very much our focal point, our “hero”, but the sheer scale of the Dead Days world is going to grow with Season 3.
II: Can you tell us anything about those separate stories?
RC: Not a lot, no. (grin) I can say that each set of characters have huge, massive challenges to overcome. Actual, physical challenges, of course, but also emotional ones too. These characters are out of their comfort zone for one reason or another, every one of them. And sometimes the readers are going to find themselves out of their comfort zones reading Season 3, too. I’d say it’s the most unpredictable season of the books so far, absolutely.
II: Uh oh. Unpredictable doesn’t sound good, not in the Dead Days universe…
RC: No-one is safe, of course. But no, that’s something else I’m trying to do this season — avoid formula. We’ve had two pretty momentous episode fives with big, shocking deaths. I’m not saying whether that’ll happen again or not, or whether the big shocks will come earlier or later this season. Just to expect the unexpected, whatever the unexpected may be.
II: That was such a non-answer.
II: Season 2 ended with a few of the characters heading in a particular direction. A weirdly hopeful direction, despite all the surrounding grimness. Are these directions going to be explored in Season 3?
RC: Oh of course. Those seeds were planted for a reason. But whether they get to their destinations, well. It’s a big wide world, with a lot of dangerous people out there. And hungry creatures, of course. So best of luck to the characters — fingers crossed for them.
II: Season 2 actually teased a potential ending for the entire book series. Do you have a clear ending in mind? And how long can Dead Days last for?
RC: I have had a clear ending in mind since I wrote the prologue of the first episode. But the journey itself, how we get to that ending, that’s always changing. I can safely say that Season 3 is not the final Dead Days season, if that’s what you’re asking. We’re still in the early days of the apocalypse. There’s a lot more story to tell.
II: Have you considered doing any Dead Days spin-off novels? There’s a few popular characters out there, like Jordanna from Episode 1, Rodrigo, Mike, Ivan, who all have potentially interesting backstories. Anything worth exploring?
RC: I’ve thought about spin-off books, yeah, but they would have to be about the right characters and at the right point. I still feel I’ve got a lot of developing of the current cast to do, and I’m still having fun with them. When I’m not, I’ll take a break and explore another part of the zombie world.
II: You’ve talked a few times about a “new threat” in Season 3. As if the survivors need another. What could this be?
RC: Vampires. Haha. No, really, it’s a subtle but very dangerous threat. The zombies are always the main antagonists, as are the nasty humans, but there’s a few more complications to deal with this season. I liked how The Walking Dead brought in the sickness storyline, but that’s been done by TWD, so I’m not going that route. It’s something else. Something subtle, understated, but absolutely terrifying.
II: I’m scared already. Finally, who’s your favourite character in Season 3? And is there any episode in particular we should all look out for?
RC: EVERY ONE OF THEM. Haha. But in all seriousness, Episode 2. There’s some pretty amazing stuff in that episode. Same with Episode 3. And Episode 6 is pretty special too. Okay, okay… all of them. As for my favourite character, Chloë. 100% Chloë.
Dead Days: Season 3 will launch in August 2014. To be notified as soon as Season 3 is available to buy, click here. To purchase the earlier seasons and download the first episode for free, head over here.
End of August! That’s ages!
Promise there’ll be some more previews to make the wait a bit easier!