COMIC-CON 2013 Walking Dead Season Four News

Cast and crew trade Georgia for San Diego to tease The Walking Dead 's fourth year.

The residents of the West Georgia Correctional Facility briefly escaped to make the long trip to San Diego. Assembling on a hotel rooftop with just a solitary (and rather tame zombie) in attendance, they were in town to discuss the upcoming season four – with a bit of help from television's very own Jonathan Ross, who was moderating the panel.

So, what can we expect to see in a new season that sees residents of Woodbury moving into the prison that Rick and friends have come to call home?

"It is bigger, it is scarier, it has these incredibly loud huge moments of action and scope and has very, very small personal heart-wrenching moments," teased new showrunner Scott M Gimple, "and then in between a whole lot of tension, a whole lot of dread. I think we find a lot more about some of the characters that we might not have seen as much from in the past."

If the season three buzz phrase was "fight the dead, fear the living," producer Gale Anne Hurd says that season four's modus operandi is broader."I think that it's actually a trifectre this season. We have fight the dead, we have fight the living, and we have a brand new threat that I don't think anyone has seen before, so there's fear, danger and conflict from all sides."

With the Ricktatorship now effectively over, the much put-upon Sheriff Grimes will be adjusting his focus."The writers have done a very smart thing," said leading man Andrew Lincoln. "Rick realised that his son was turning into a sociopath at the end of last season. and so he realised that he's having to renounce his leadership role somewhat and suppress his brutality for the sake of his children."

We've also learned that the Governor will return (unless David Morrissey's appearance at the press conference was a very cruel joke), that Man Of Steel writer and Da Vinci's Demons creator David S Goyer will direct an episode ( Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple wrote a season one episode of Da Vinci ), and that Morgan (played by Lennie James) will be back – though Gimple wouldn't expand on the nature of his return.

It's also been announced that the 16-episode fourth season of The Walking Dead will return to UK screens during the week of 13 October, within days of its debut in the US. Once again the season will be split in two – eight episodes before Christmas, with the remaining eight airing in February 2014.

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Richard is a freelancer journalist and editor, and was once a physicist. Rich is the former editor of SFX Magazine, but has since gone freelance, writing for websites and publications including GamesRadar+, SFX, Total Film, and more. He also co-hosts the podcast, Robby the Robot's Waiting, which is focused on sci-fi and fantasy.