Why Outcast could be the new Walking Dead

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Even if doesn't feature zombies, zombiephiles will be satisfied by Outcast, the newest creation of The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman. A demonic confection set deep in Bluegrass country, it's a feature on our What To Watch list this month and airing now on NOW TV. Here's why.

Outcast comic-book covers

It’s from a comic by Robert Kirkman

Although not in quite the same way as The Walking Dead. The zombie horror was a comic first, adapted into the TV juggernaut years after its first issue was published. Kirkman developed Outcast as a comic and a TV series in tandem, and the two arrived more-or-less together.

It's set in the American South

Outcast - house

Like The Walking Dead, Outcast is set in America's South. This time it's rural West Virginia, as opposed to The Walking Dead's Georgia.

It has gritty supernatural subject matter

Having dealt with zombies, Kirkman is this time focusing on demonic possession. The premise sees loner Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) trying to unravel the supernatural mysteries that have plagued his family since he was a child.

It’s not for the squeamish

Outcast - Episode One

At the very beginning of the first episode, an eight-year-old boy messily eats a cockroach that he just smashed with his own head. As tone and scene-setting goes, it's a pretty aggressive statement of intent. Flahback scenes later in the same episode reveal the horrifying abuse Kyle suffered as a child at the hands of his mother.

It's a human drama set against a remarkable background


Possibly somewhat akin to the French series The Returned (and its US remake), Outcast is about extraordinary occurrences happening to people in a small town. The broader narrative looks to be heading towards what's connecting all the posessions in the fictional Rome: or rather, a big revelation about how many people are possessed and how many decades into the past the situation stretches. Ditching the wide outdoors of The Walking Dead, Outcast is a more sombre, interior affair, both in its setting and its characterisation. This one's gloomier, and a slower burn.

Atticus Ross worked on the music

The prolific composer, audio engineer and frequent Trent Reznor collaborator also provided the opening credits soundscape for Fear The Walking Dead.

Outcast could run and run

Season two has already been commissioned by co-producers Fox and Cinemax. It is, however, definitely finite. Kirkman says that, for the first time, unlike with his Walking Dead experience, he's starting Outcast knowing how it ends...