The Walking Dead season 6 premiere offers fans one of the most exciting and original episodes in recent memory.

Hypable had advance access to the apocalypse drama’s 90-minute premiere episode which airs next Sunday, October 11, and we weren’t disappointed by what we saw.

The Walking Dead 6×01 uses its extended runtime to tell 2 stories simultaneously. One depicts the fallout from the events of the season 5 finale while the other finds Rick and the team carrying out one of the biggest plans they’ve ever attempted. To help viewers understand which storyline they’re watching, the showrunners tell one of them entirely in black and white.

Rick’s big plan can’t be understated: Alexandria needs to free a nearby group of walkers (hundreds of them) from a quarry where they’ve been trapped, and send them in a direction away from Alexandria. The walkers are due to break through their quarry confinements any day now and head towards their safe zone, so a plan must go into action soon.

Watching Rick and the people of Alexandria — including new character Heath — carry out the plan is suspenseful and epic. This is easily one of the largest and most well-organized missions we’ve seen Grimes try to pull off.

The question is: Will it all go according to plan?

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After a so-so first season for Fear the Walking Dead, whose finale airs this Sunday, it felt refreshing to watch a great new episode of the original series. Rick, Carol, Daryl and Michonne are the people we love, and seeing them work together with such great precision and organization is thrilling.

The massive number of zombies is also an impressive feat for this show. When we spoke to executive producer Greg Nicotero at San Diego Comic-Con over the summer, he told us this season had a record-breaking number of walkers. As of July, half-way through filming the season, they had already created 2,000 zombies.

By comparison: All of season 5 had only 967 zombies.

The higher numbers are thanks in part to a new way of getting more actors zombie-fied for the show: Greg and his team now have the actors walk through a tent to have their gore spray-painted on quickly.

5 teases from The Walking Dead season 6 premiere

  • Rick’s new mantra is “I don’t take chances,” and it comes up several times in the premiere.
  • There will be new jokes about peanut butter bars in The Walking Dead fandom after this episode airs.
  • There’s an amazing moment between Rick and Father Gabriel that fans are going to adore. Basically, Father Gabriel gets treated how you’d expect for being the backstabber that he is.
  • Something disrupts their walker-moving plan that may have major consequences in the episodes ahead.
  • Someone dies.

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All told, The Walking Dead’s season 6 premiere will live up to your expectations and may even surpass them.

We were glad to see this episode switch up the show’s usual storytelling methods. With 5 seasons under Dead’s belt, going off the beaten path to try new things is much needed and appreciated by this viewer.

The Walking Dead season 6, episode 1 “First Time Again” airs Sunday, October 11 on AMC.

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