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SYFY WIRE Tales of the Walking Dead

Samantha Morton returns as lead Whisperer Alpha for 'Tales of the Walking Dead' anthology

“We walk in darkness, we are free..."

By Josh Weiss
Samantha Morton as Alpha in The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 8

Zombies aren't the only ones capable of post-mortem reanimation in The Walking Dead franchise. According to a new report from Variety, Samantha Morton will reprise the role of Alpha, head honcho of the Whisperers, in AMC's upcoming Tales of the Walking Dead anthology.

The character first made her mark as a villain to be reckoned with at the end of Season 9 when she murdered a number of beloved characters — mainly Enid (Katelyn Nacon), Tara (Alanna Masterson), and Henry (Matt Lintz) — in cold blood before cutting off their heads and placing them on spikes for our heroes to find.

That was just the appetizer for the larger "Whisperer War" storyline the following season, in which Alpha and her band of fanatical followers who wear walker skin to blend in with the undead hordes served as the main antagonists. Alpha's reign of terror finally came to an end when she was killed and beheaded by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) on Carol's orders. Lydia, Alpha's young daughter (played by Cassady McClincy), ended up siding with the good guys and is currently a member of Maggie's inner circle at Hilltop.

First announced in September of 2020 (along with the news that the main series would end after Season 11), Tales of the Walking Dead will consist of six unrelated episodes set within the post-apocalyptic world overrun by hungry corpses. Hailing from showrunner Channing Powell (a veteran writer on The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead), the project is scheduled to premiere sometime this summer.  Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of TWD Universe, is on board as an executive producer.

Morton is the first returning face to be confirmed, though we'd be surprised if she turns out to be the only established player to pop back up in TalesNew characters will be played by Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Poppy Liu (Better Call Saul), Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Dominion), Parker Posey (Lost in Space), Anthony Edwards (Designated Survivor), and Jillian Bell (Godmothered), Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse), Danny Ramirez (The Falcon & The Winter Soldier), Loan Chabanol (Fading Gigolo), Embeth Davidtz (Old), and Jessie T. Usher (The Boys).

The Walking Dead is a show that made television history and attracted an army of passionate and highly engaged fans,” Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios, said last October. “We see so much potential for a wide range of rich and compelling storytelling in this world, and the episodic anthology format of Tales of the Walking Dead will give us the flexibility to entertain existing fans and also offer an entry point for new viewers, especially on streaming platforms. We have seen the appeal of this format in television classics like The Twilight Zone and, more recently, Black Mirror, and are excited to engage with fans in this new way, against the backdrop of this very unique and engrossing world.”

The Walking Dead wrapped production on its final eight episodes this week.