One of the main characters from Fear the Walking Dead died in the mid-season finale and now the star is speaking out about the departure…
Kim Dickens has been the face of Fear the Walking Dead since the series first launched four seasons ago but this past Sunday night, her run on the show came to an end with the death of her character Madison Clark.
Madison’s death had been foreshadowed all season long as the first half of season four was a mix of current storylines combined with a series of flashbacks. In the present time, Madison was nowhere to be found and her absence was finally explained in the Fear the Walking Dead mid-season finale where it was revealed that she died saving her family from a stadium filled with walkers.
Dickens’ exit is the second major character to leave the show this season after Frank Dillane (who played Madison’s son Nick) was also killed during an earlier episode.
Dillane actually asked to be written out of the show with hopes of pursuing different acting gigs while also returning home to Europe rather than spending the majority of his year in the United States filming Fear the Walking Dead. That wasn’t the case with Dickens, who wanted to continue with the series but new show runners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg had already decided that her character was going to die during season four.
“I obviously let them know what I felt,” Dickens told the Hollywood Reporter about her exit from the show. “It wasn’t about my fighting for the character or not fighting for the character, because obviously I fought for the character on a daily basis. It was pretty much decided. They had gone through all of their channels and breaking the season. I wasn’t asked early on: “How would you feel if this is the way it would go?” Basically, it was decided. You don’t really have a choice. It’s ultimately up to the writers and the producers.
“They saw my disappointment. They saw what I disagreed with about it. But it was always a respectful conversation. There were a few conversations, and they were always respectful, but they were heartfelt. I definitely spoke my mind. I was not in any way battling them though, ever. It’s ultimately the writers’ and producers’ decision in television.”
As for Chambliss and Goldberg, they say that the decision to kill Madison was made during the first days of writing for season four as the felt the impact of the loss of her character would serve as a dramatic shift in the series.
“For us, we started this season with the thematic idea and emotion we wanted to explore being hope, and taking people from hopelessness toward that hope. Madison is the ultimate embodiment of hope,” Goldberg said when talking about Dickens leaving the show. “She’s someone who is selfless. We see that not only does she fight to protect her own family, but also to bring in people from the outside world who can help themselves into the shelter of the stadium. She’s heroic in that way. We’ve had two timelines this season. Strand, Alicia and Luciana have been on this very dark mission for the first eight episodes. We didn’t reveal why until last night’s episode, and it’s because of who they lost and their reactions to the loss of that hope.
“It isn’t until the midseason finale where they start to rediscover how far they’ve strayed from what Madison wanted for them, and why she made that sacrifice. It’s about them rediscovering that hope, and how to carry it forward in a world that finds a lot of ways to test people who are hopeful and optimistic. For them, it’s about taking this incredible legacy that Madison left behind. Hope as a theme is something that’s very much going to be a part of the DNA of the show going forward.”
With Dickens’ exit, three of the four original cast members that started with Fear the Walking Dead are now gone from the show with only Alycia Debnam-Carey remaining from that first season.
It’s also no secret that Fear the Walking Dead season four was a massive turnover from the old production team that ran the series with Walking Dead executive producer Scott Gimple taking a more hands on approach with the spinoff series. It’s easy to assume that plans were in place to jumpstart the series with several major additions this year including Maggie Grace, Jenna Elfman and Garret Dillahunt all joining the show not to mention Lennie James crossing over to Fear the Walking Dead from The Walking Dead.
This is just the latest shake up in The Walking Dead universe on the heels of the shocking news that Andrew Lincoln would be leaving the main series during season 9, which will air on AMC starting in October.