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TWD: The Ones Who Live’s Danai Gurira Ponders Another Spinoff to Address ‘Issue With the Mothership’

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live just wrapped its six-episode run Sunday. (Read the finale recap here.) But already, co-creator/executive producer/leading lady Danai Gurira can envision another iteration of the OG series, one which delves more deeply into the personal lives and conflicts of the embattled survivors.

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When, during an interview with TVLine, it’s suggested that there could be a new spinoff focused more on characters’ relationships than their do-or-die struggles, the actress is all in. “That’s a really fascinating idea,” she says. “I think the beauty of and the issue with the mothership is that there’s too much going on, so you don’t get to zero in on the real issues of two people’s dynamics or crises very often. You don’t get to give it the screen time and the full breadth [of examination you might otherwise] because there’s a big villain to deal with and so much action.”

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It makes sense that the notion would be particularly appealing to Gurira, who penned The Ones Who Live’s fourth episode, in which Michonne and Rick lay down their arms for long enough to bridge the gap that has formed between them. “When people were first reading it, there were some people who really got it immediately, but there were others who didn’t,” she acknowledges, “I think because it was so different from what they were accustomed to seeing on the page, not only for The Walking Dead but sometimes even for television [in general].

Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: AMC
Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: AMC

“I really had to walk people through [the fact] that this was intentionally going to be different. Some folks were asking about the urgency, and I had to give a little bit of a walk-through about the misuse of that concept on television,” she adds with a laugh. “Sometimes, because we’re so busy moving faster, faster, that results in cutting away from moments of actual character development and the emotional journey that allows viewers to sit with the dynamic for a second.”

Gurira took pains to ensure that she didn’t do that in “What We.” “I structured the episode,” she says, “to have a reprieve in it so these characters could have the conversation the audience needs them to have, that they need to have, in order for us to believe that they can truly become this powerful duo that they are by the end. So it was very much an interesting experience for me to thread the needle for others.”

What say you, Dead-heads? Would be curious to find out what went on behind closed doors when Rick and Michonne, Carol and Ezekiel, Glenn and Maggie, & Co. weren’t doing battle?

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