"Anytime you can end a season of a television show with a giant explosion, I say you go for it."
So laughed executive producer Robert Kirkman about this week's episode of The Walking Dead, which saw the survivors enter the Center for Disease Control, learn more about their plight (the outbreak is a global crisis) - and get out before the facility self-destructed.
This storyline was not included in the graphic novel series, which Kirkman created, but he told TV Guide that's fine with him.
"I'm very much opposed to showing what the actual cause [for the zombies] is and explaining how things work," Kirkman says. "But teasing a little bit is a great thing. If it adds an extra layer to the drama, then I'm all for it. It also led up to the fantastic mystery of the whisper Jenner gives to Rick at the end of that scene. That's going to play into Season 2 quite a bit. I know where that's going and it's really a cool bit."Kirkman is also okay with the series diverging from his stories because he doesn't want the show spelled out for those who have read his books.
"One thing that's very important to me is that no one comes into this television show having read the comic knowing exactly what's going to happen," he says. "We're always going to change things up and keep people guessing."
So, what can fans expect to see on season two of The Walking Dead, which won't premiere until October 2011?
- Hershel's farm.
- The introduction of Maggie, a love interest for Glenn.
- The introduction of Michonne, a sword-wielding survivor.
- More of Merle.
"I am very open to the show being its own animal," Kirkman says. "And there [may be] certain things that are done that make it impossible to do something else from the comic book. As long as the show is entertaining and I am happy with how it's turning out, I think anything goes."