Which fave Walking Dead character was only meant to star in one ep?

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

Though the broad strokes of Robert Kirkman's hit TV series The Walking Dead have stayed fairly close to the comic canon, the writers have created a few characters that are unique to the show. So which fan-favorite was only supposed to last one episode?

It turns out the character of Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) was originally supposed to be a one-off, but the writers decided to keep the feisty racist around after seeing just how much drama he could create for the survivors.

Merle, older brother to Daryl (Norman Reedus), was the guy left handcuffed on top of a building back in the first season, who escaped by chopping off his own hand. Merle is expected to be a bigger player in season three, popping up in the town of Woodbury.

In an interview with Comic Book Movie, Rooker talked about how excited he is to be back on the show in season three, noting the character wasn't supposed to survive past the pilot:

"The role of Merle Dixon and me being in the Walking Dead is a karma job for me. A couple decades ago there was a chance to work with Frank Darabont and it didn't work out...and I wanted to do something for him for a while. Merle started out as one episode and they just didn't have a lot budgeted for the character. And then it turned into something wonderful,...a challenging role that I am honored to play ... I don't have a clue [on Merle's fate], and I'm still trying to figure it out."
Rooker also talked about the challenge, and freedom, of playing a character developed uniquely for the TV series:
"The character is my own. I mean, the source material was amazing and I was able to simply tap into my southern upbringing and let the character flow from there. I'm very fortunate to work with such great material and actors and crew...and I think as a result it's been some of the best work I've done in my career."
What do you think of Merle? Have you missed him?

(Via Comic Book Movie)