When AMC announced a Walking Dead spinoff for 2015 last month, it really made more sense than any spinoff since Saved By The Bell begat Saved By The Bell: The New Class. While the adventures of Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and the rest of survivors are compelling, they’re just the characters we happen to have met in the zombie-infested world that is the real star of the show. All it really takes to make the concept work are more compelling characters stuck in a world devastated by the zombie apocalypse.
So while we don’t know much about the upcoming spinoff, we do know that other characters who have nothing to do with Rick’s band of survivors can capture our attention–the three-part webseries “The Oath,” which launched on AMC’s YouTube channel today, makes that clear.
This is the third year that AMC has stoked excitement for the series’ premier with bespoke web content. In this series, which runs a breezy 25 minutes in total, we meet Paul (Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt!) and Karina (Last Exorcism scream queen Ashley Bell), two survivors who’ve taken an oath to stand together despite the fact that they’re surrounded by “DKs” (or “decays”) who have rent their friends limb from limb. When Paul’s injured, the duo land in a hospital staffed by a doctor with a secret–and a cafeteria full of walkers.
For a 25-minute bottle episode with unfamiliar characters, “The Oath” does a good job of demonstrating that zombie apocalypse + people who seem likable enough = formula for success. Which is good, given that a Breaking Bad-less AMC eager to find a hit will probably be running zombies five nights a week by 2016, anyway. Do Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have any more kids who could star?