‘Walker’ Prequel ‘Independence’ Offers Female Perspective of Classic Western

Katherine McNamara as Abby in Walker Independence
Fall Preview
Anna Kooris / The CW

With two seasons of success under its gun belt, Jared Padalecki’s contemporary drama Walker now births this 1800s-set prequel series exploring the Texas Ranger’s Lone Star State roots. But don’t expect a dusty tale of dysentery and unhappy home-steading.

“We’re interested in a modern twist on [the classic Western],” says Anna Fricke, who executive produces Walker Independence with Padalecki and show creator Seamus Kevin Fahey. “Something unexpected and subversive.” Like, say, presenting the origin story from a female perspective?

Brian Bowen Smith/The CW

“That is why I was so attracted to this project,” raves Arrow’s Katherine McNamara. Abby Walker is a forward-thinking Bostonian whose “life goes up in flames” in the first scene: Her lawman husband is murdered on the trail to the burgeoning town of Independence, where he was to be the new sheriff.

Rescued by a local Indigenous tribe, Abby makes her way there, and the wily widow meets what McNamara calls “the many weird and wonderful characters” who’ve been drawn to the remote locale. Among them: two fellas with direct ties to The CW’s O.G. Walker. There’s Hoyt Rawlins, an ancestor of Cordell’s doomed, ne’er-do-well outlaw pal (played again by Matt Barr). And Tom Davidson (Greg Hovanessian, The Mist), kin to the modern-day Davidsons causing trouble for the Walkers. Tom is the man whom Abby believes ambushed her husband — and he now wears the badge.

Throw in more twists — including the truth behind Abby’s frontier tragedy — and you get one wild ride. Plus, Fricke promises “lots of Easter eggs for fans.” Consider us roped in!

Walker Independence, Series Premiere, Thursday, October 6, 9/8c, The CW

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2022 Fall Preview issue. For more first looks at fall’s new shows, pick up the issue, on newsstands Thursday, August 25.