The Walking Dead season 9 reveals first time jump image – and how things are (literally) falling apart

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Walking Dead season 9 time jump is in full effect and, as you can see from the image below (exclusive to EW), things are still looking fraught and fractured. But, as new showrunner Angela Kang reveals, although we might be headed to the near-future, there’s a huge historical influence casting a shadow over the series.

How far forward are we talking here? Kang hasn’t revealed anything just yet, but her words to EW offer more than a tantalising clue: “We’ll explore what happened as man-made objects and structures break down,” Kang says of the time jump. “Infrastructure like roads and bridges are changing and crumbling. And we’ll also explore what happens as resources are getting low.”

Forget the Walkers and the baddies wishing to do Rick and the gang harm, their biggest threat in The Walking Dead season 9 seems to be time itself. A jump of at least a few years, you’d imagine, would necessitate the likes of man-made structures falling to pieces. 

It’s an interesting new dynamic, though it’s one that draws heavily from a certain period in particular, as Kang reveals, “There’s a fun Western vibe that has emerged. We are going into a period where a lot of the things that we’ve seen in previous seasons have broken down, so they’ve got these horses and carriages that are being drawn around instead of cars. Things are lit with oil lamps. People are using different kinds of weaponry. There’s a real grittiness to it that I think will be fun and fresh for the viewers.”

That actually sounds… pretty amazing. I don’t know about you, but I’m unironically all-in on a Western/zombie mash-up in The Walking Dead season 9. It’ll really put the dead in Deadwood, that’s for sure.

The Walking Dead season 9 should, right this minute, be shooting right to the top of your list of the new TV shows coming our way in 2018.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.