Note: contains MAJOR spoilers for The Walking Dead.
Season nine of The Walking Dead wrapped up back in March, which means all eyes are now on season ten of the long-running AMC series.
Despite the dwindling ratings, the show was given the go ahead to continue, and Scott Gimple, showrunner from season four to eight (now chief content officer for the franchise) believes that it has 20 more seasons left in the tank.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) February 4, 2019
But what will season 10 bring? Here's everything you need to know.
The Walking Dead season 10 premiere date: When will it air?
The Walking Dead season 10 will premiere on Sunday, October 6 on AMC in the US.
It will hit the UK on Monday, October 7 on Fox UK.
The Walking Dead season 10 cast: Who's in it?
One thing is for sure: Andrew Lincoln will not be.
Lincoln did want to return to direct an episode in season ten – he said: "I'm going back to shadow a director, and my intention is to direct next year." But alas the stars didn't line up and according to EW, he couldn't sort out his schedule to make it work.
Michael Cudlitz is also on board to direct another episode following his debut, 'Stradivarius', in season nine.
"I was fortunate enough to go back last year and direct, and I’m going to go back this spring and direct another one," he told Entertainment Weekly on SiriusXM.
"I’m directing episode 3 of season 10."
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As you can see, Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be back as Negan, and Norman Reedus will also return as Daryl Dixon.
And there are a number of other characters who are still alive: Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt), Lydia (Cassady McClincy), Magna (Nadia Hilker), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), Luke (Dan Fogler), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Theory), Alden (Callan McAuliffe), Siddiq (Avi Nash), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam), Aaron (Ross Marquand), and Judith Grimes.
Season nine did also bring back some key characters, like Sonequa Martin-Green as the late Sasha Williams, and it's been confirmed that Ryan Hurst will once again feature as Beta.
Speaking at Walker Stalker Con, London (via Comic Book), he said: "Here's this giant guy who's following this five-foot-nothing psychopath [Alpha], but why is he following her?
"I can't give away too much, but what I love about this show is it's very slow to reveal any of its answers. Any time that you think you’re gonna be onto something, they're gonna switch to another storyline and drag you into some more cliffhangers.
"In season ten, [showrunner] Angela [Kang] and I have been rapping about exploring more of their relationship and getting some answers. And also starting to see if and when there's sort of going to be a divergence between the two. That's about as much as I can tell you. If I told you more, I'd have to peel your face off."
So expect Samantha Morton to be back as Alpha.
How much of a role Danai Gurira (Michonne) will play remains to be seen.
She is featured in the first-look images from the upcoming season, but a Hollywood Reporter source previously said that she will only appear in "a handful of episodes that will be interspersed throughout".
In November last year, AMC programming president David Madden told The Hollywood Reporter: "Right now, she's got a lot of opportunities and she needs to weigh what she feels is best for her. But we certainly would want her on the show as long as she wants to be on it. We really want her to stay.
"Obviously, the lesson of Andy [Lincoln] is that the show can survive anybody's departure if need be, but that's not our goal. The goal is to have Danai continue on whatever basis she can make work, given the other things that she has going on in her life."
AMC and Gurira's representatives declined to comment.
Season nine killed off A LOT of people, including Jesus (Tom Payne), Enid (Katelyn Nacon), Tara (Alanna Masterson), Henry (Matt Lintz), Jane (Tom Payne), Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow) and Gregory (Xander Berkeley) – so we expect to see plenty more of that in the new episodes.
One new face will be that of comic book character Dante, played by Juan Javier Cardenas (NCIS: Los Angeles, Lethal Weapon and SWAT). The character is described as a rogue and fast-talking individual, and he will be heavily involved in the story of Alexandria in the upcoming episodes.
"We'll be meeting the character Dante from the comics," Kang said last month. "He is this roguish, fast-talking, sometimes charming, sometimes annoying guy who can sometimes put his foot in his mouth, but is an interesting presence in the comics.
"He's actually a love interest of Maggie. But in our world, the context is a little different, and he will play an important role in the story in Alexandria. So we're excited about that."
He was described as "really intelligent" and "very resourceful" by producer Gale Anne Hurd at at TWD's panel at Comic-Con International last month.
She added: "When he encounters some of our group, he's going to be desperately trying to get back to his home and family."
"[Gamma is] a Whisperer who is fiercely protective of Alpha, and a committed believer in the Whisperer way of life," said Hurd.
You can see the first images from the new season below.
The Walking Dead season 10 first look photos reveal a comics character casting and a surprising character return 🧟🧟♀️ . 📸 @foxtvuk Click the link in our bio to find out all the info and see all the pics! 👆 . #twd #twd10 #walkingdead #thewalkingdead #amc #negan #amcthewalkingdead #zombies #normanreedus #thewalkingdeadamc #walkers #twdamc #amctwd #michonne
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The Walking Dead season 10 plot: What will happen?
Former showrunner Gimple previously stated that the series is looking to explore more "original stuff" away from the comic-book source material.
Viewers will note that fan favourite Carol (Melissa McBride) was an original addition to The Walking Dead television series, so that can only be a good thing.
"There's something beautiful in the original DNA of the show in that it is all about change," said Lincoln. "The show will live on and it will continue to be great.
"It's exciting because there is a sense that there is a new vision for the show. I think [new showrunner] Angela [Kang] and everybody involved in it are performing out of their socks. To the best of their ability, they're putting it all out there."
One of those original comic book storylines is the Whisperers, a roving gang of killers who dress themselves in the skin of the dead and show absolutely no mercy in killing their prey.
They were first introduced in season nine, and they will be returning for more in the next chapter.
"There are some problems to be worked out with the Whisperers, these crazy neighbours that come in and out and cause chaos in their world," Kang told Entertainment Weekly.
"That's something to play out, and obviously there will be other storylines that are kind of intersecting with all of this. It's always fun to have more than one thing going on at once.
Kang also teased a slight time jump.
"Things are going to pick up with a little bit more of a time passage, not a giant one like we've had, but winter will be over and people will be going to be in a different emotional space," she said.
"There's other stuff in [the season ten premiere] where I'm like, I must be psychotic, because let's just do more stuff we've never done on this show that feels impossible. That's part of the fun of the show."
And we finally have an official synopsis: "It is now spring, a few months after the end of season 9, when our group of survivors dared to cross into Whisperer territory during the harsh winter.
"The collected communities are still dealing with the effects of Alpha's horrific display of power, reluctantly respecting the new borderlines being imposed on them, all while organising themselves into a militia-style fighting force preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable.
"But the Whisperers are a threat unlike any they have ever faced. Backed by a massive horde of the dead, the Whisperers are seemingly a fight the survivors cannot win.
"The question of what to do and the fear it breeds will infect the communities and give rise to paranoia, propaganda, secret agendas, and infighting that will test them as individuals and as a society."
The Walking Dead season 10 trailer: when can I watch?
Watch it below.
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