The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman joins host Neil deGrasse Tyson on National Geographic Channel’s StarTalk tonight to discuss the latest season of the hit series.
The comic book writer says he thinks the show has become so popular because he “made it a soap opera”.
He said: “I was like what if zombies kiss while zombies are trying to eat them, and then people were like ‘I like this romance stuff’.”
Kirkman added that what he thinks sets it apart is the fact it takes on the zombie genre in a completely new way, by following the characters year in year out.
He said: “I’m a huge fan of zombie lore and zombie stories and there had never been the zombie movie that never ends.
“There’d never been a story that focused on how the characters lived from year to year to year, after the fall of civilization.
“Most zombie stories are about the initial outbreak and things happen and they try to survive and they live in the place for a while and then they all die, or they all ride off into the sunset. You never see them again.
“And to me, not only like seeing people trying to find food and trying to build shelter and trying to protect their families — that stuff’s very fascinating — but also living in these extreme situations and just changing fundamentally how we interact with each other and how we relate to each other…you know, because in The Walking Dead it becomes very scary very quickly to encounter a new person, let alone a zombie.
“Because you have no idea what other people have done to survive, how their mindset has changed because of this, whether they want to rob you or kill you…so seeing people struggle through this world is fascinating to me.
“And as a writer when I’m like, ‘Ooh, I don’t know what happens next. I think hopefully there’ll be some readers out there, some viewers out there, that also want to see what happens next.”
The interview takes place on a special of StarTalk as Tyson, co-host Maeve Higgins and guest expert Jeffrey Mantz talk everything zombies.
StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson airs Mondays at 11/10c on National Geographic Channel.