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Fear the Walking Dead episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1
Directed by Adam Davidson
Written by Dave Erickson
Robert Kirkman
Original air date August 23, 2015 (2015-08-23)
Running time 67 minutes
Guest actors
  • Maestro Harrell as Matt Sale
  • Scott Lawrence as Art Costa
  • Keith Powers as Calvin
  • Lincoln A. Castellanos as Tobias
  • Lynn Chen as Nurse
  • Leon Thomas III as Russell
  • Donald Agnelli as Driver
  • Carlos E. Campos as Faculty Member
  • B. J. Clinkscales as Henderson
  • Jack Donner as Old Man
  • Micah Fitzgerald as Pale Face Junkie
  • Gavrielle Harris as Student 1
  • Lexi Johnson as Gloria
  • Angelyna Martinez as Physics Teacher
  • Andrew Patrick Ralston as Lab Coat
  • Lak Rana as ICU Doctor
Episode chronology
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"So Close, Yet So Far"

"Pilot" is the pilot episode and series premiere of the post-apocalyptic horror television series Fear the Walking Dead, which aired on AMC on August 23, 2015 in the United States. The series is a companion series and prequel to The Walking Dead,[1] which is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard.[2][3]



In September 2013, AMC announced they were developing a companion series to The Walking Dead, which follows a different set of characters created by Robert Kirkman.[4] In September 2014, AMC ordered a pilot, which was written by Kirkman and Dave Erickson, and directed by Adam Davidson,[5] and is executive produced by Kirkman, Erickson, Gale Anne Hurd, and David Alpert, with Erickson serving as showrunner.[6] The project was originally known as Cobalt.[7]


Nick awakens in a heroin den in an abandoned church, to find his girlfriend Gloria eating a corpse. While fleeing, he is hit by a car and hospitalised. The doctor tells Madison and Travis that Nick's claims about the incident are heroin hallucinations, but Travis believes Nick after visiting the church himself. Alicia becomes more worried about Nick's chemical dependency. The next day, school closes early due to the high levels of absenteeism and rumours of an epidemic. Nick escapes from the hospital and meets with Calvin, hoping to learn if the drugs Calvin sold him caused him to hallucinate in the church. Calvin tries to kill Nick to prevent him from exposing Calvin as a drug dealer. In the ensuing struggle, Calvin is mortally shot. After Travis and Madison arrive, the zombified Calvin attacks them. Nick runs over Calvin repeatedly with Travis' truck, and the three watch in disbelief as the mutilated Calvin is still able to turn his head towards them.


The pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, it garnered a 91% rating with an average score of 7.53/10 based on 23 reviews. The site consensus reads, "'The pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead does a solid job of establishing its characters and milieu, and provides enough tense moments to please diehard Dead-heads."[8]

Matt Fowler of IGN gave "Pilot" a 7.6/10.0 rating stating; "Fear the Walking Dead brings a welcome shift in location, tone, and characters. Like Telltale's The Walking Dead video games, it's able to present us with an whole new cast of characters while demonstrating that it's really the zombified world that that's the star of the show and all that you really need for there to be a spinoff."[9]


The episode became the highest-rated series premiere for a scripted series in U.S. cable history, with 10.13 million viewers.

"Pilot" is the highest rated episode of Fear the Walking Dead (as of September 2018), with 10.13 million viewers in the United States on its original air date.[10]


  1. Prudom, Laura (August 5, 2015). "‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Cast and Creators Talk Kickstarting the Apocalypse". Variety. https://variety.com/2015/tv/features/fear-the-walking-dead-preview-amc-1201556500/. Retrieved August 12, 2015. 
  2. "How Does the Fear the Walking Dead Pilot Compare to The Walking Dead Pilot?". 24 August 2015. http://www.vulture.com/2015/08/walking-dead-pilot.html. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  3. "'Fear the Walking Dead' premiere recap: This is how the walker apocalypse began". http://www.ew.com/recap/fear-the-walking-dead-series-premiere. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  4. Goldberg, Lesley (September 16, 2013). "'Walking Dead' Companion Series in the Works at AMC". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-companion-series-works-629848. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  5. Andreeva, Nellie (October 24, 2014). "Adam Davidson To Direct Pilot For ‘The Walking Dead’ Companion Series". Deadline.com. http://deadline.com/2014/10/adam-davidson-direct-the-walking-dead-companion-series-pilot-859929/. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  6. Hibberd, James (September 5, 2014). "'The Walking Dead' companion series gets pilot greenlight". Entertainment Weekly. http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/09/05/walking-dead-companion-series/. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  7. Goldberg, Lesley (December 16, 2014). "AMC's 'Walking Dead' Prequel: All the Details (So Far)". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-prequel-details-758378. Retrieved December 23, 2014. 
  8. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/fear_the_walking_dead/s01/e01
  9. Fowler, Matt (19 August 2015). "Fear the Walking Dead: "Pilot" Review". http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/08/19/fear-the-walking-dead-pilot-review. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  10. Kondolojy, Amanda (August 25, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Fear the Walking Dead' Tops Night + 'Talking Dead', 'Naked & Afraid', 'Rick & Morty', & More". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2015/08/25/sunday-cable-ratings-fear-the-walking-dead-tops-night-talking-dead-naked-afraid-rick-morty-more/452479/. Retrieved September 18, 2018.