15 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Walking Dead

With a 6th season already being picked up and a spinoff series on the horizon, anticipation is building as the season premiere of The Walking Dead's 5th season nears. In the meantime, here are some lesser known facts about the show to tide you over. Warning: Possible spoilers for the comics and TV show lie ahead.

1. The Walking Dead is based on a comic book series of the same name, created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore.

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First issued in 2003 by publisher Image Comics, the comic is written by Kirkman with art by Moore (issues # 1 to #6) and Charlie Adlard (issue #7 onward).

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2. In the comics, Rick Grimes' hand gets chopped off by ruthless villain The Governor pretty early on (issue #28).

Rick Grimes' hand is cut off in Issue 28 of The Walking Dead comics.

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However, Rick's hand wasn't cut off on the TV show because it would require too much CGI and complicate action scenes.

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3. Before AMC picked it up for production, NBC and HBO passed on the show because they thought it was too violent. Ironically, HBO has a track record of producing violent shows, such as True Blood and Game of Thrones.

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According to executive producer Greg Nicotero, both companies wanted to tone down the gore and violence, a condition that producer Gale Anne Hurd refused to accept.

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4. The word 'zombie' is not mentioned once in the show's first four seasons. Instead, they are mostly referred to as 'walkers'. They have also been called 'biters', 'roamers', 'lurkers', 'floaters', and collectively as 'the herd'.

Creator Robert Kirkman made a conscious decision to avoid the word ‘zombie’ as he wanted to portray a world where movies like Night of the Living Dead don’t exist, so that his characters had no concept of what they were facing. This deliberate omission also helps set The Walking Dead apart from the many zombie movies which specifically use the word ‘zombie’ on a regular basis.

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5. In the Walking Dead universe, walkers outnumber humans about 5000 to 1.

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6. Actors cast as walkers have to go through 'zombie school' to learn how to walk, move and sound like a one. Apparently, the key to being a walker is to act like they’re coming out of a bar at 2 a.m.

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7. Ever wondered how the actors playing walkers can bring themselves to "sample" their human victims? Turns out, the organs are actually made from hams soaked in vinegar. Yum.

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8. Walkers grunt and groan and drag their feet around, generally making a lot of noise. But did you know that these noises are only added in during post-production? Also, walkers aren't supposed to blink, so any blinking will be edited out during post-production.

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9. There have been 349 on-screen walker deaths. The 3 characters with the most kill-counts are:

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10. Fan favourite Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus) is not a character in the original comics. Older brother, Merle (Michael Rooker) does not have a comic book counterpart either.

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11. Norman Reedus originally auditioned for Merle. He didn't get the job, but the showrunners were so impressed with his audition, they created a character (Daryl) just for him. He is now one of the most popular members of the cast.

Daryl's weapon of choice is a Horton Scout HD 125 Crossbow and retails for about $320 (approximately RM1042) at Wal-Mart.

12. A scene in Season 1 when Merle (Michael Rooker) was shooting from a rooftop caused somewhat of a real-life chaos. During filming, some people believed Rooker was a sniper and called the police. A real SWAT team actually showed up, but fortunately, no one was arrested.

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13. When Michonne was first introduced in the Season 2 finale, Danai Gurira had not been cast yet. The woman under the hood is actually an extra.

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Fun fact: The missing arms on Michonne’s walkers were made with “green screen gloves.”

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14. The show has apparently made a few references to Breaking Bad, which was also produced by AMC. Fans have speculated that both shows may be set in the same universe.

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Way back in the second episode of season one, Glenn steals a Dodge Challenger that should be instantly recognizable to fans of Breaking Bad.

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In the episode ‘Bloodletting’ from season two, Daryl explains that his brother was a drug dealer before the walker epidemic occurred. The viewers are then shown a bag of drugs that Merle carried around with him and at the bottom of the bag, you can clearly see a stash of Blue Sky.

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15. Before their characters are killed off, principal actors receive a 'last supper' on the day they film their death scenes, where they are also given mementos from the show.

Excited yet? Catch the Season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead on 13 October 2014 (Monday) at 9pm, only on FOX (ASTRO Channel 710).

In other TV-related news, Breaking Bad went out with a bang as its final season made a clean sweep in the 2014 Primetime Emmys. Read all about it HERE:

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