|The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon|
|Also known as||The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – The Book of Carol (season 2)|
|Created by||David Zabel|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||48–61 minutes|
|Release||September 10, 2023 –|
|The Walking Dead|
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, or simply Daryl Dixon, is an American post-apocalyptic horror drama television series created by David Zabel for AMC, based on The Walking Dead character of the same name. It is the fifth spin-off and overall sixth television series in The Walking Dead franchise, sharing continuity with the other series and set after the conclusion of the original The Walking Dead television series.
Norman Reedus reprises his role as Daryl Dixon from the original television series, alongside Clémence Poésy, Louis Puech Scigliuzzi, Laïka Blanc-Francard, Anne Charrier, Romain Levi and Adam Nagaitis in starring roles as new characters. Development of the series began in September 2020 with its title announced in October 2022. Filming began in Paris that month, with additional casting taking place starting in November. The first season was originally planned to feature the character Carol Peletier under the series name The Walking Dead: Daryl & Carol, but she was written off due to logistical issues involving actress Melissa McBride. However, it was reported in June 2023 that McBride would appear in the series in some capacity and make a guest appearance in the first season's finale.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon premiered on September 10, 2023, and consists of six episodes. In July 2023, ahead of the first season's release, the series was renewed for a second season, which will be titled The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – The Book of Carol and feature McBride returning as a series regular, in a return to the original concept.
Daryl washes ashore in France (the origin of the zombie virus) and struggles to piece together how he got there and why. The series tracks his journey across a broken but resilient France as he hopes to find a way back home. As he makes the journey, though, the connections he forms along the way complicate his ultimate plan.
Cast and characters
- Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon: A skilled hunter and former recruiter of Alexandria who was once a part of Rick Grimes' group on The Walking Dead. After departing the Commonwealth, he is captured and taken across the Atlantic Ocean before arriving on the coast of France.
- Clémence Poésy as Isabelle Carriere: A headstrong nun and member of a progressive religious group who encounters Daryl.
- Louis Puech Scigliuzzi as Laurent: A highly intelligent young boy who is viewed by a religious group as the future Messiah destined to lead humanity to a renewal. It's later revealed that he is Lily and Quinn's son as well as Isabelle's nephew.
- Laïka Blanc-Francard as Sylvie: A soft-spoken nun and friend of Isabelle. Flashbacks reveal that Sylvie was a student at the abbey when the apocalypse began and she was raised by the nuns after her parents had died in the initial outbreak.
- Anne Charrier as Marion Genet: The leader of Pouvoir des Vivants (Power of the Living), a paramilitary group of survivors in France.
- Romain Levi as Stéphane Codron: A high-ranking guerrier (warrior) for Pouvoir who develops a personal grudge against Daryl.
- Adam Nagaitis as Quinn (season 1): The British owner of an underground nightclub in Paris called the Demimonde who has become a powerful figure during the apocalypse. He is also Laurent's biological father.
- Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier (season 2; guest season 1): A hardened survivor and former member of Rick Grimes' group on The Walking Dead who begins searching for Daryl in America after losing contact with him.
- François Delaive as Dr. Lafleur: The lead researcher for Pouvoir who experiments on walker variants.
- Eriq Ebouaney as Fallou Boukar: The leader of a small rooftop community in Paris that is part of Union de L'Espoir (Union of Hope), a resistance network working against Pouvoir.
- Tristan Zanchi as Emile: A young member of Fallou's community who befriends Sylvie.
- Lukerya Ilyashenko as Anna Valery: A Russian singer at Demimonde and Quinn's girlfriend.
- Catherine Arditi as Véronique (season 1): The Mother Superior at an abbey in southern France affiliated with the Union.
- Faustine Koziel as Lily Carriere (season 1): Isabelle's pregnant sister who appears in flashbacks set during the early days of the apocalypse.
- Kim Higelin as Lou: The de-facto leader of a group of children who live in an abandoned preschool.
- Dominique Pinon as Antoine (season 1): A member of Fallou's community who cares for a flock of messenger pigeons.
- Paloma as Coco: An entertainer at Demimonde.
- Joel de la Fuente as Losang: The American leader of the Union of Hope from their main settlement at Mont-Saint-Michel.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||U.S. viewers|
|1||"L'âme Perdue"[a]||Daniel Percival||David Zabel||September 10, 2023||0.631|
|Daryl Dixon washes ashore in France and sets out to return to America. He suffers an arm wound upon encountering a new walker variant called "burners". Near Marseille, Daryl encounters Maribelle and her grandfather Guillaume. Henri and Michel, soldiers from a paramilitary group called Pouvoir des Vivants (Power of the Living), attack them and are killed before Maribelle and Guillaume rob Daryl and flee. The pair are caught by Michel's brother Codron, who kills Guillaume and seeks revenge on Daryl on the assumption he killed Michel. Isabelle, a nun for the Union de L'Espoir (Union of Hope), finds Daryl and takes him to her abbey for treatment. She introduces Daryl to Laurent, a young boy the Union believes is the Messiah destined to revive humanity; she believes Daryl is the messenger who must deliver Laurent to the Union contingent in Paris. He rejects the idea and leaves. Codron's men attack the abbey, killing most of the nuns, but Daryl returns and helps to fend off the assailants. Daryl agrees to help in exchange for Isabelle leading him to Le Havre. It's revealed that a Pouvoir ship transporting walker test subjects took Daryl from America, but he instigated a mutiny, destroyed their research and escaped. Genet, the leader of Pouvoir, orders that Daryl be found.|
|2||"Alouette"[b]||Daniel Percival||Jason Richman & David Zabel||September 17, 2023||0.564|
|During the initial outbreak, Isabelle, a drug addict and thief, escapes from Paris with her boyfriend Quinn and her pregnant sister Lily; she ultimately abandons Quinn. Lily dies and gives birth as a walker to Laurent via emergency C-section. In the present, the group loses their mule and are captured by a group of children living in their old preschool with their dying teacher, Madame Dubois. Laurent makes friends with the children, who tell him the nuns are lying to him. Needing a horse, Daryl offers to get medicine for Dubois if one of the children, Lou, helps him raid a nearby castle owned by a man dubbed La Tarasque. Inside, Daryl confronts the man, revealed as an American from Texas named R.J. Gaines, and rescues a boy he has captured. Gaines falls into his own walker moat and is devoured, while the kids rescue Daryl. Meanwhile, Dubois has died, and Daryl encourages Lou to step up as their leader. Daryl's party leaves, but Laurent expresses frustration over secrets kept from him. Codron returns to the abbey where he finds Daryl's recorded message, a picture of Laurent and a map of the group's route to Paris.|
|3||"Paris Sera Toujours Paris"[c]||Tim Southam||Coline Abert||September 24, 2023||0.649|
|After a brief stop in Angers, including a bizarre zombie orchestra performing Boléro, Daryl's group finally reaches Paris. There, after a poignant encounter with a little girl – now a zombie – who used to be Isabelle's neighbor, they meet a community led by a man named Fallou. With their help, Daryl seeks out information on a ship that can return him to America, which leads the group to the Demimonde nightclub and a reunion with Isabelle's ex-boyfriend Quinn. Quinn reveals that he is Laurent's father and demands that Isabelle and Laurent stay with him in exchange for his help. Daryl rejects the deal and prepares to set out on his own after an argument with Isabelle, leading to Laurent running away after overhearing them. Codron meets with Genet, who agrees to let him lead the search for Daryl while her people continue experimenting with walkers. Pouvoir attacks Fallou's community and Isabelle searches for Laurent, while Daryl falls through a roof following a brutal fight with Codron.|
|4||"La Dame de Fer"[d]||Tim Southam||Shannon Goss||October 1, 2023||0.719|
|Genet begins a search for Laurent, seeking to eliminate him as he is a symbol of hope to people. As part of this, Genet makes a deal with Quinn who seeks Laurent in order to get Isabelle back. After escaping from a flooded building, and having a dream that a praying Laurent is ignored by a mob of walkers, Daryl encounters Antoine who is killed by guerriers, but he helps the dying man to free his pigeons. Reuniting with Isabelle, Daryl tracks Laurent to the ruins of the Eiffel Tower where the boy nearly falls victim to a herd. During the rescue, Laurent is kidnapped by Quinn's men and taken to Demimonde. With the help of a captive, whom he tortures and later abandons to walkers, Daryl sneaks into the nightclub and rescues Laurent while Fallou and his people create a distraction. Daryl overpowers Quinn while Anna, disgruntled by Quinn's obsession with Isabelle, lets them go. Having fallen in love with Emile, Sylvie decides to stay in Paris with him while Isabelle decides to stay in order to get Quinn to help secure Daryl and Laurent passage out as Genet locks the city down. Daryl and Laurent leave Paris on a boat heading to the Nest, the Union's main base.|
|5||"Deux Amours"[e]||Daniel Percival||Jason Richman & David Zabel||October 8, 2023||0.628|
|In Maine, Daryl helps to capture walkers in exchange for fuel he needs to get home. He briefly makes contact with Carol, who tells him someone has come back. After Juno murders a young man whom Daryl was mentoring, an altercation between the two causes them to be put on the Pouvoir ship; the two work together to escape, but Juno is torn apart by one of Pouvoir's test subjects who displays enhanced abilities similar to multiple variants. In the present, Isabelle struggles to adjust to being with Quinn again, even considering killing him with a knife, and receives a hidden message from Sylvie, Fallou, and Emile. Isabelle agrees to join a Pouvoir celebration with Quinn, only to have a jealous Anna betray them. Daryl, Laurent and Azlan continue their journey to the Nest, but Azlan is killed during a fight with several walkers. Before dying, he reveals that the Nest is at Mont-Saint-Michel, but Laurent cuts a rope and lets their boat float off, wishing to go to America with Daryl instead. The two and Quinn are captured by guerriers and Genet coerces Laurent into making a show of support at an event she holds, where Genet pits Daryl in a gladiator fight against one of her enhanced walkers, unaware that Sylvie, Fallou and Emile have infiltrated the event.|
|6||"Coming Home"||Daniel Percival||Jason Richman & Laura Snow||October 15, 2023||0.688|
|After Daryl kills the walker, Daryl and Quinn, chained together, kill several enhanced walkers in the arena before Fallou kills the guerrier Genet ordered to shoot them. In the chaos that follows, the group escapes, with a bitten Quinn sacrificing himself to buy Daryl time, but he reanimates, forcing Laurent to put his biological father down with Daryl's encouragement. After going their separate ways from Fallou and Emile, Daryl's group resumes journeying towards Mont-Saint-Michel, but are attacked by Genet's men. Unable to kill a child, Codron shoots the other guerriers instead, promising to get revenge on Daryl later. Upon his return, Genet deduces Codron's betrayal and has him tortured for information. Daryl's group finally reaches the Nest where they settle in. Daryl becomes conflicted between staying in France and returning to America. Union of Hope leader Losang arranges passage to Newfoundland for Daryl, who chooses to leave despite Isabelle's comparing his abandoning Laurent to Daryl's abandonment by his own father. At the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Daryl visits the grave of his grandfather, William T. Dixon, who died on D-Day. On Omaha Beach, Daryl prepares to board a boat, but hesitates when he sees Laurent secretly followed him and has a herd of walkers closing in on him. Near Freeport, Maine, Carol searches for Daryl, finding his motorcycle. After Carol captures its hostile rider, he directs Carol to where he found it.|
In April 2022, McBride exited the series due to logistical reasons as the show was set to film in mid-2022 in Europe and it wasn't possible for McBride to be with the show with this setup. The series was reworked as a sole Daryl project. Days later, Kang had left the role of showrunner and was replaced by David Zabel. The deal had reportedly been sealed in recent weeks before McBride's exit from the show. In October, the series was given the title Daryl Dixon. In January 2023, it was announced that the series would be titled The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon and premiere later in 2023. In July 2023, ahead of the first season's release, the series was renewed for a second season. The second season has the subtitle of The Book of Carol.
In September 2020, Kang was hired as showrunner after she had helmed the final three seasons of The Walking Dead.
In April 2022, Kang stepped down due to other commitments and Zabel took the role. Scripts were already being written by this time but needed to be reworked following McBride's departure. In September, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reedus explained that the series would be going an opposite direction from the main series having it being a completely different story from what we have already seen with Daryl. The following month, Reedus said that there would be familiar faces from the main series in the spin-off.
In November 2022, Clémence Poésy and Adam Nagaitis were added to the main cast. In February 2023, Anne Charrier, Eriq Ebouaney, Laïka Blanc-Francard, Romain Levi and Louis Puech Scigliuzzi were announced as additional cast members. In June 2023, The Walking Dead alum Jeffrey Dean Morgan indicated in a tweet that Melissa McBride would reprise her role as Carol Peletier in some capacity. In October 2023, at New York Comic Con, McBride was confirmed to return for the second season, as well as guest starring in the first season finale.
Principal photography began on October 24, 2022, in Paris, France. Filming on the second season had begun in Europe, continuing during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike due to an agreement between AMC and SAG-AFTRA to continue filming on the series.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon has received positive reviews from critics, with several calling it the best Walking Dead content in years, although some noted its similarities to The Last of Us television series. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 71% based on 38 reviews with an average rating of 8.2/10. The website's critics consensus is, "Centering Norman Reedus' fan favorite character in a fresh setting, Daryl Dixon can be a wobbly shot across the crossbow but still gives The Walking Dead faithful plenty more to chew on." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 68 out of 100 based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
David Opie of Digital Spy gave it a 4/5 rating and called it "The best Walking Dead has been in ages". Chase Hutchinson of Collider gave it a "B" rating and applauded Norman Reedus' "stoic performance" that has a "renewed energy to the character and making the spin-off worth watching" and that the series "focuses more on character and emotion rather than empty spectacle, giving the story a greater sense of depth." Aaron Pruner of TheWrap gave it a positive review and noted Clémence Poésy's "standout performance" and concluded that it "is a surprisingly gorgeous, soul-stirring, and riveting watch. Norman Reedus said they were making art with this show. And you know what? He wasn't lying."
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