Just down the road from a tiny country church in rural Georgia, the apocalypse has already arrived.

A band of scrappy survivors is fighting the undead, camping in the woods in hopes of outrunning the hordes of zombies roaming around. Few of them have made it, and at any moment they could be eaten alive and turned into one of the monsters that haunt them day and night.

It’s just another day on the set of The Walking Dead, the hit AMC series that started its second season yesterday with 13 horrifying new episodes.

Based on the popular comic book of the same name by writer Robert Kirkman, the show is about life after the zombie apocalypse.


“The show is not about how gory we can make it,” said co-executive producer Greg Nicotero, the show’s special effects makeup guru who also directs this season.

“We want it to be shocking. We want to remind the audience of the world we’re in — that world is brutal and savage and raw. But it’s also about survival.”

As always, the show follows the first rule of the zombie genre: No one on the show has ever heard of a zombie, calling them “walkers” instead.

They spend each episode learning the tricks of surviving the undead: avoiding loud noises that will draw their attention, using rotting carcasses to mask the smell of the living and finding creative new ways to kill the monsters stalking them.

Dead began six months of filming in and around Atlanta in June, boasting plots full of hair-raising new zombie encounters and heart-stopping action.

The first season — which was just six episodes — ended with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta blowing up and leaving the group with little hope of finding a cure to the virus that creates the zombies.

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