A much more tranquil Rick Grimes? That's what Andrew Lincoln is promising as "The Walking Dead" makes its return.
The zombies' rampage continues when the AMC series' fourth season starts Sunday, Oct. 13, but survivors' leader Rick is now on the sidelines in the battle against them. The London-born actor who plays him believes the change gives a nice wraparound to the saga thus far, though how long Rick's relative peace will last is anyone's guess.
"I don't think it's spoiling anything by saying that," the friendly Lincoln confirms of the initially quieter place his character is in. "I can say this: The first season was very much about the man discovering this new world and searching for his family. The second season was a struggle for leadership, an ideology, which was Rick vs. Shane ( Jon Bernthal) ... pragmatism over morality.
"The third season was very much a clash of two civilizations, and I suppose the fourth season can be summed up in a question, which is, 'Can we ever come back from the horrors that we see or perpetrate?' Can we return to the people we once were? Can Rick ever be the man he once was, for the sake of his two children?"
In a bid for that, Lincoln says, Rick has "relinquished leadership and stepped back from the brutality of the world. My wife -- along with the show's crew -- saw the first screening of the first new episode, and she said, 'It's so nice to see Rick Grimes laugh!'
"I think one of Saul Bellow's characters said, 'What would be the use of war without love?,' and there is absolutely something to be said for that. What is the point of fighting, if not to heal and begin again? Don't get me wrong, I'm not sure if it's going to last very long; most of Rick Grimes' plans tend not to work in an ideal fashion ... but for the time being, there is sanctity and safety."
There's also another series for "Love Actually" veteran Lincoln, though it's one he made before "The Walking Dead." The initial U.K. season of the action show "Strike Back" makes its American premiere as "Strike Back: Origins" Friday, Oct. 25, on Cinemax.
And "The Walking Dead" will get what AMC terms a "companion series," with franchise creator Robert Kirkman again among the executive producers, for a planned 2015 debut. "I know very little about it, really," Lincoln notes. "I think it's a separate entity to what we're doing, and that's why I personally know next to nothing about it. But I wish them the best of luck."
Photo/Video credit: AMC