Just like its comic book source material, The CW‘s iZombie has never shied away from eclectic storytelling and breaking genre rules. As we discovered on our visit to iZombie’s snowy Vancouver set, season four is changing the face of the procedural zom-com. We chatted with the cast about the new season’s radical vision of New Seattle, facing the impending zombie apocalypse, and how life has changed for Liv and her friends now that their big secret is out.
With the whole world aware of the existence of zombies, things have been flipped upside down for the residents of Seattle and the cast members who play them. “It’s so crazy that Seattle’s now this walled city,” Malcolm Goodwin (Clive Babineaux) said. “It’s knocked down the walls of all the other characters. Reading every script, I’m blown away by how much the world of iZombie has expanded. There’s no way you watch season one and think that it becomes this.”
He continued, “There’s a lot going on and I think Rob Thomas and Diane [Ruggiero] and the writers, they approach it in a honest way in terms of if there’s a zombie virus, everyone knows about it, there’s good and there’s also bad. So you have people with terminal illnesses trying to break into Seattle in order to extend their life for themselves, for their loved ones. So you have that whole entire thing too.”
It’s not a full-on zombie apocalypse, but it’s a world unlike anything that’s been seen before on iZombie. “We’re not apocalyptic. It’s not Walking Dead, but it’s exploding and bursting out the sides. What that entails, and what this world looks like. The episode still starts with Liv and I [Rose and I] dealing with brain in the morgue. That’s still there, but everything else around here–those circumstances are different. That was what I was interested in, and was like, ‘What’s going to change, and how different is this show going to be, whilst still trying to stay to its roots,’ and that was pretty exciting,” Rahul Kohli (Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti) explained.
This series of iZombie is expanding what we expect from an undead TV show, as Goodwin teased. “You also have people who are trying to get out of Seattle–humans and zombies. I know Clive thinks the city is gonna be nuked. We don’t know what’s gonna happen. We may get nuked. But he stays. Liv stays. Everyone is trying to figure this thing out and some would rather die for the cause. In the meantime, still trying to maintain a sense of normalcy. And that’s the challenging and interesting part. And there’s no more secrets. Everyone knows the big secret in Seattle is that there are zombies. So it’s how everyone has to deal with everything just being out there in the open. And I think it also exposes other things that each character’s dealing with and that it has been happening in Seattle. It just does it in an honest way so it’s really, really interesting,” he explained.
For the show’s star, Rose McIver, the changes are welcome and necessary. “It’s different in all the right ways. We still get lots of cases a week and we still get the humor and the relationship stuff and the drama, but certainly there’s a lot of context now that the zombie apocalypse has happened, that everybody’s out there, so it’s pretty new for us. It’s really cool because I get to work with a lot more people. That feels very exciting this year, and everybody has these kind of different storylines that come up, so we hope that it’s different in a way that’s exciting and reinvents the show after four years,” McIver shared excitedly.
How do these changes affect Liv and those around her? “Well, she doesn’t have to keep so many secrets, which makes life a little bit easier. I feel like now that there are other zombie and cop combos that happen, it’s with a little bit of pride that she’s established this. She can compare herself to other people now, which is definitely new for her. She still is able to work solving crimes. She’s able to do it legally now. With this whole season we’re treating it like there’s no right answer, there’s just very nuanced shades of gray as to how people are supposed to interact with this new zombie population, and I think that Liv takes definite issue with some of the hard and fast opinions that Fillmore-Graves and their followers have,” McIver teased.
What has your highlight of season four been so far? Enjoying the epic scope of this new era of iZombie? Let us know below!
Images: The CW