The Walking Dead continues to go big in its season 6 premiere. From the big scale of having 300 zombie extras and thousands more digitally added in, to the big problems facing Alexandria, to the big risk of airing half of the episode in black and white ? this is one TV show that continues to draw attention from viewers.
But as executive producer and director Greg Nicotero, that last part was not the original plan. Team TWD had another bold vision in mind on how to differentiate their scenes from past and present, but eventually scrapped it and came up with the black and white idea in post-production reports Entertainment Weekly.
According to Hit Flix, this was certainly the biggest scale Walking Dead has ever operated on, even if parts of it were computer-generated. And whether the idea originated from watching Thrones or not, putting this many walkers on screen at the same time fulfilled a couple of necessary purposes: Explaining how Alexandria has stayed so secure, above and beyond the strength of the walls that Reg built; and giving all the pampered and poorly-trained Alexandrians an enormous threat that will force them all to either grow up fast or, like Ethan Embry’s Carter, die screaming.
After the episode on Talking Dead, director Greg Nicotero and showrunner Scott Gimple discussed some of the thought process behind using black and white to separate eras. Gimple explained that because the episode was backloaded with so much important information, he and the director discussed making that background black and white. Nicotero said that they also considered desaturating the color of one timeline while over-saturating the other, but then it felt a little too cheery, and didn’t fit the world of The Walking Dead. That’s how they settled on black and white vs. color to help keep the two periods separate, a report by Bustle?stated.