Coming from the mind of Robert Kirkman, comparisons with The Walking Dead have inevitably been made when talking about new TV series Outcast. But as viewers will discover, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Here, the story centres on Kyle, played by Almost Famous’ Patrick Fugit, a young man who has been followed by demons his whole life. “He has never been possessed himself,” Fugit explains, “but he has a distinct feeling that people who get close to him become possessed somehow, like he’s infected or something like that.”
While the horror elements are clear for all to see, they weren’t what drew him to the show. “Ultimately, what I get attracted to is good storytelling. Being immersed in a world that has a unique context is always fun. Once I started reading Outcast, I realised it’s not really a show about possessions, but about people and how this is affecting them. They react to it in sort of a realistic way. The show itself doesn’t seem to believe in the supernatural, and the characters don’t seem to believe in the supernatural, so when the supernatural starts happening it is even more unsettling.”
Returning to The Walking Dead, Fugit is keen to emphasise the difference between the two shows. “In almost every episode someone is stabbing walkers in the brains, someone is shooting things, there is a shock value, brutality… This is more cerebral, more character or plot driven… it’s shot like a horror, but it’s scary because of what’s going on, not necessarily pop-up scares or gory killings.”
Another difference is the cast sizes. While The Walking Dead is home to an ensemble that is constantly changing, Outcast is a but more intimate. “I’d say that there are fewer characters and more to the relationships,” he finishes.
“In The Walking Dead you have a huge ensemble, all these different little relationships, you get these two talking for a little while and then those two talking for a little while, that group splits off and there is another group and so on. In this you have core characters and those characters themselves are very complex, when you put them together in these situations it gets even more complex.”
Outcast will air on 7 June 2016 on Fox. For more news about the biggest TV shows, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.