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SYFY WIRE The Walking Dead

Surprise! 'Fear the Walking Dead' bringing back original star as series regular in Season 8

If you don't see a body, just assume they're still alive at this point.

By Trent Moore
Fear The Walking Dead Kim Dickens

One of the original stars of Fear the Walking Dead is set to return to the series later this season, before becoming a series regular once again in Season 8 — which is a bit of a surprise, considering her character has been presumed dead since Season 4 of the long-running zombie spinoff. The news is also official confirmation the series will return for an eighth season, though that's not much of a surprise at this point, as the Walking Dead franchise remains one of AMC's most successful endeavors.

AMC has announced Kim Dickens, who played matriarch Madison Clark during the series’ first four seasons, will return with a guest appearance later in Season 7 before fully returning to the fold as a main star in Season 8. Madison was last seen all the way back in Season 4 when the stadium community she’d established was overrun by walkers. We never actually saw her die (which always leaves the door open in the Walking Dead universe), and it seems they’ve finally decided that she did survive, and has been… somewhere out there all these years.

"If there were a Mt. Deadmore, Kim Dickens' face would be on it. Madison Clark is a foundational character to TWDU — heroic, complex, an everyperson who becomes a warrior and then a force of benevolence," Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of the Walking Dead universe, said in a statement. "Kim Dickens' raw talent, strength, and brilliance will electrify TWDU once more and we couldn't be luckier to have her back.”

Cast shake-ups and turnover has been a key piece of the equation for The Walking Dead franchise, but Fear the Walking Dead has taken that concept to its extreme during its run on AMC. The show began as a Walking Dead prequel of sorts, showing off the very early days of the zombie outbreak, but has since introduced an almost entirely new cast and taken the story in bold new directions, featuring everything from a nuclear fallout to full-on character crossovers with the flagship Walking Dead series in the past few seasons.

Of the original cast from the show’s launch seven seasons ago, only Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Clark, Madison’s daughter) and Colman Domingo’s Victor Strand remain on the series at this point. And to be clear, those characters have changed dramatically and been almost completely reimagined in the years since the walkers started shambling around. Nowadays, the cast includes former Walking Dead stars Lennie James (Morgan James) and Austin Amelio (Dwight), along with newer additions like Maggie Grace (Althea).

Fear the Walking Dead is in the midst of a midseason hiatus and is set to resume its seventh season on April 17. The eighth season will likely arrive around fall 2022.