The Undead Reckoning Continues on Syfy’s ‘Z Nation’

Z Nation - Season 2
Daniel Sawyer Schaefer/Go2 Z Ice/Syfy
Z NATION -- Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Daniel Sawyer Schaefer/Go2 Z Ice/Syfy)

When it comes to zombies on TV, AMC’s megahit The Walking Dead may be the elder statesman of the genre, but Z Nation is the life of the undead party. The Syfy horror series is back for Season 2, bringing more gallows humor to its otherwise gristly tale about a viral outbreak that’s transformed the majority of Americans into flesh-eaters on autopilot and the ragtag band of survivors tasked with trying to reverse humanity’s fate. “The premise of our show is that you wouldn’t make it through a situation like this without a sense of humor. You’d just curl up in a ball and die,” says executive producer Karl Schaefer. “I like to think that if there were a zombie apocalypse, you’d 1want to go with our guys because they’re a lot more fun.”

Of course, there’s hardly a smile in sight as the premiere kicks off. We find the gang coping with the disastrous fallout, both literal and figurative, from the nuclear missiles that were launched during last year’s finale. (Genetically mutated zombie bears, anyone?) But perhaps the biggest threat of all is being posed by the morally dubious Murphy (Keith Allan), who’s still immune to zombie bites and less stoked than ever at the prospect of reporting to a California government lab to offer up his antibodies for a vaccine now that there’s a nationwide bounty on his head. Says Schaefer, “Everyone is going to be after ‘the Murphy’ this season. They’re desperate, and he’s the one brand-name cure that’s out there.”

Well, almost the only one. Soon enough, Murphy’s former fling, Pie Girl (Sara Coates), will arrive on the scene bearing a bouncing new addition to his bloodline. “We don’t know yet what the consequences of Murphy’s human-zombie love child will be,” says Schaefer, “but it cannot be a good thing.”

Z Nation, Season premiere, Friday, September 11, 10/9c, Syfy