The cast and EPs of AMC’s The Walking Dead came together Friday at San Diego Comic-Con — sans zombies, thankfully — for several major Season 5 announcements, including the premiere date: Sunday, Oct. 12, at 9/8c.
Leading out of that will be the season premieres for Talking Dead (at 10 pm) and then Comic Book Men (at midnight). TWD‘s season will again be split into two halves, with the second eight episodes dropping in February 2015.
But first thing’s first: The gang will get out of the train car eventually, though showrunner Scott Gimple isn’t quite ready to say when. He screened a fake (albeit hilarious) clip from “Episode 515,” which found Rick and his fellow train riders feasting on each other. (It becomes “Cheers mixed with Terminus,” Gimple joked.)
“Once they lost the prison, all bets were off,” Gimple said, getting serious. “They did find out that you can’t come back from the things that you’ve done. … This season is going to define these characters. … We’re going to see the story of Terminus. We’re going to see how it happened.”
“We’ll probably revisit a few places you’ll recognize … but there are new worlds being introduced as well,” added exec producer Greg Nicotero.
Another hot topic was Beth’s whereabouts. Emily Kinney couldn’t reveal what her character is up to, but did say, “[Beth’s] gotten a lot stronger. We’ve seen her lose her father and leave the farm where she grew up. [Daryl] really taught her some survival skills. She’s lived a little now. She’s not just an innocent teenager anymore.”
And for all you “readers” out there, Robert Kirkman assured the audience that Season 5 will stick “pretty close to the comics.”
As for new faces coming on board for Season 5, EP Dave Alpert confirmed that The Wire‘s Seth Gilliam is joining the show as Father Gabriel Stokes.
The Season 5 preview trailer (above) previewed the gang’s battle against the Termites, including a massive explosion and a clear mission: “When we get to Washington, we will make the dead die and the living will have this world again.”