(CNN) — “The Walking Dead” returns for a fifth season on AMC Sunday, and fans have been waiting since March to find out the fate of Rick Grimes and many of the survivors.
Last season ended with the group having discovered a place called Terminus, which was anything but the sanctuary they were led to believe it was.
The residents of Terminus quickly locked them in a train car, but Rick was determined to make an escape with his friends.
CNN spoke with executive producer Gale Anne Hurd about what’s to come on one of TV’s most popular (and secretive) shows.
CNN: The survivors were in a lot of danger at the end of the season. Do things move at a quick pace as the season begins?
Hurd: You can get a sense of the pacing and the scope from the promos that we’ve released. We’ve never left our group of survivors before, in such perilous circumstances. We pick up pretty much where we left off, which is also new for us.
CNN: They’re in a new situation with Terminus. Are we going to see a lot of changes this season?
Hurd: Yes. The prison has been left behind. They’ve been on the road. Some are still on the road, like Carol, Tyreese and Judith. Beth seems to be in jeopardy as well. We have multiple strands of stories that we’re telling in different settings.
CNN: Can we expect a big body count coming up?
Hurd: Sadly, this is a world in which we tend not to make it to the end with the same characters intact. We can’t imagine that this season will be any different.
CNN: We’ve had a lot of human threats lately, as opposed to the walkers. Is that going to continue?
Hurd: It is the zombie apocalypse, and the loss of society, civilization, and law and order has enabled all of this to take place. They find themselves in that world, and they have to adapt or die. We see the journey that each character takes, they’re all different as to how they adapt, and how they can reconcile the terrible things they’ve done. Or perhaps they turn evil as the Governor did.
CNN: Is there a particular character we should keep an eye on this season?
Hurd: As always, Rick goes through a great number of changes, and has over the season. Last season, he threw down a gauntlet, saying that the people of Terminus had no idea who they’re dealing with — which is quite a threat considering that they’re locked in a train car. But it shows that he’s embraced the mantle of leadership that he tried to throw off in the previous seasons.
Carol’s journey has been incredibly remarkable, and it will continue to be so.
CNN: Five seasons in, are there things that continue to surprise you about this world?
Hurd: Robert Kirkman’s underlying comic book continues to surprise me, and it’s an inspiration for all of us who work on the show. In some ways, we hew closely to it, in others we vary greatly. But it’s also something of a road map for us.