Z Nation

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Z Nation
Z nation title.png
Created by
Composer(s) Jason Gallagher
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 33 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Paul Bales
  • David Michael Latt
  • David Rimawi
  • Karl Schaefer
Producer(s) Karl Schaefer
Location(s) Spokane, Washington
Eastern Washington
Fort Casery-Coupeville, Washington
Cinematography Alexander Yellen
  • Anders Hoffmann
  • Fred Beahm
  • Erik C. Andersen
Running time 42–44 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Dynamic Television (international)
Original network Syfy
Original release September 12, 2014 (2014-09-12) – present Fridays 9/8c
External links
Official website

Z Nation is an American action/horror/comedy-drama/post-apocalyptic television series that airs on Syfy, created by Karl Schaefer and Craig Engler, and produced by The Asylum. The first season of 13 episodes premiered on September 12, 2014.[1] Z Nation is filmed in the Spokane, Washington, area. On November 6, 2015, the series was renewed for a third season, which premiered September 16, 2016.[2]

On June 16, 2016, Syfy announced that Z Nation's third season would be preceded by a TV movie. The movie will be set prior to the climax of season 2 and will introduce central characters for the third season.[3]


Z Nation begins three years into a virus-caused zombie apocalypse, which has already killed most humans. In the days just before society fell apart, Murphy had been one of three inmates at Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine, who were unwilling participants of a government-approved experiment. Each inmate was given a different test vaccine. The only one to successfully survive their vaccine injection was Murphy. He is the only known survivor of a zombie bite who did not himself turn into a zombie, and his blood contains antibodies that are mankind's last and best hope for a vaccine.

A group must transport Murphy from New York to the world's last known functioning Centers for Disease Control research lab in California. However, Murphy harbors a dark secret that threatens them all.[4]



Lt. Roberta Warren is a survivor of the initial zombie apocalypse. An ex-National Guard member activated out of Missouri, she was a member of the Westward-bound survivor group, and a former member of the Blue Sky Camp survivor group in New York. Like many other survivors of the zombie apocalypse, Warren lost nearly everything and everyone that mattered to her. She became the leader of the survivor group after the death of Garnett.
PFC Simon Cruller aka "Citizen Z", a former hacker, was working at the NSA's Northern Lights listening post in the Arctic. After missing a doomed evacuation flight out of Northern Lights, he became the NSA's sole surviving employee and used his high-tech equipment to assist the group in its journey to California. He also ran a radio broadcast for other survivors, informing people to take cover when there is a threat of inescapable disaster-level weather or zombie hordes. He was slowly going insane from loneliness; his only companion was a sled dog named Pup. In the second season, the listening post sustained significant damage after a nuclear bomb was intercepted by Northern Light's missile defense system, which woke the zombies in the doomed evacuation flight wreckage. Citizen Z fought to survive the cold and zombie onslaught, despite minimum shooting skills. At the end of season 2, Citizen Z made the choice to leave Northern Lights, knowing all the post's resources were used up and it had sustained too much damage for him to survive there any longer. He left on foot with Pup, pulling a dog sled, in subzero temperatures. Near death, he was rescued by Kaya, an Inuit girl, and her surviving family members.
A former hockey player, Mack Thompson was a survivor of the initial zombie apocalypse, and Addy's boyfriend. He was a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York, and a member of the Westward-bound survivor group. A good shot, Mack protected Addy and stayed behind when she chose to join the Sisters of Mercy camp, and watch over her from afar. He eventually reunited with Addy and returned to the survivor group. He was mercied by Addy after being bitten by zombies.
Alvin Bernard Murphy is a resentful and frail former convict who became the only known survivor of zombie bites after being part of a scientific experiment. The Westward-bound survivor group was tasked with transporting him to a government laboratory in California, as his apparent immunity was believed to be the sole solution to the ZN1 virus. As the seasons progressed, Murphy's appearance began to change, and he becomes part zombie. He also started to develop a special gift; after biting a person or exposing them to his saliva or blood, he can direct them using telepathy. He can communicate with zombies, develops feelings for them and can make them do his bidding.
Addison Carver is a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York and was Mack's girlfriend prior to his death. She is the survivor group's communication specialist and used her talents with radio equipment to contact Citizen Z. Broken by unresolved trauma, the apocalypse is slowly wearing her down. At one point, she chose to leave the group and join the Sisters of Mercy camp, but after the camp was destroyed, she reunited with Mack, who had refused to leave her behind, and returned to the Westward-bound survivor group. Her weapon of choice to fight off zombies is a customized metal bat with spikes; in season 3, her bat was upgraded by Sun Mei and her team to emit an electric charge similar to a taser.
  • Russell Hodgkinson as Doc (season 1–)
Steven "Doc" Beck, a former psychologist and recovering addict, carries a drug supply he creatively uses in the capacity of the de facto medic of the Westward-bound survivor group. He is a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York.
  • Pisay Pao as Cassandra (season 1–2, guest season 3)
Cassandra was a survivor of the initial zombie apocalypse. She was a former member of the Philadelphia cannibal survivor group, where she served as a "lure" to attract male survivors with the promise of sexual trade, in order for the group to trap and consume them. Cassandra joined the Westward-bound survivor group after being found in a locked cage at a rendezvous station near Philadelphia. A leg injury led to an infection. Lacking antibiotics and near death, she was bitten by Murphy and became a zombie-human hybrid, controlled by Murphy. She was mercied by 10k after attacking members of the group on Murphy's command not to let anyone leave or follow him.
  • Nat Zang as 10K (season 1–)
"10K", often called "The Kid" by Doc, is the youngest member of the Westward-bound survivor group. In the season 1 finale, his real name was revealed as "Tommy". 10K is quiet and observant. He is highly proficient with a sniper rifle and other projectiles, and is "pretty good with a knife". He loves killing zombies, and keeps track of each one he kills. His goal is 10,000 kills, hence his self-given nickname, and he had already achieved 1,000 kills by his first appearance. His backstory revealed that 10K was forced to kill his father, making a promise to him that he would stay strong and fight. 10K harbors feelings of anger and hatred towards Murphy for turning Cassandra into a zombie-human hybrid, but did not act on those feelings, knowing that Murphy could be the only chance humanity might have to survive. He was injured in the season 2 finale and taken with Murphy to the CDC submarine to be given medical attention for his wound. He escaped the submarine with Murphy, Dr. Merch and the others bitten by Murphy, and is openly opposed to following him. He was told by Dr. Merch that he was bit after she gave him his first dose of the original cure.
Sgt. Garnett was with the National Guard, based out of Georgia, prior to the ZN1 outbreak. He was a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York before taking on the task of transporting Murphy. He was the leader of the Westward-bound survivor group until his demise. Trying to protect Murphy, he was murdered and turned into a zombie by Priest Jacob and his Resurrection Cult. He was mercied by Warren, his second in command.
Lt. Hammond was the last surviving member of the Delta Force team transferring Murphy to a laboratory in California. He was mercied by the Westward-bound survival group after being bitten. (Despite being credited as a main cast member, Perrineau only appeared in the first episode.)
Javier Vasquez was first encountered in the opening episode of season 2, "The Murphy". Vasquez had been a DEA agent, but after he arrested some of Escorpion's men, Escorpion abducted his wife and daughter, later killing them in front of him. His wife and daughter turned into zombies during their funeral, and Vasquez sought revenge on Escorpion. He tried to assassinate Escorpion during the group's Zeros induction ceremony, but was stopped by Warren and tortured by the Zeros before escaping. At the conclusion of season 2, he apparently left the main survivor group.
Hector "Escorpion" Alvarez was the main antagonist of season 2, first encountered in the second episode, "White Light". He was the vice president in charge of sales for a Mexican drug cartel known as the Zeros. He has a small Z-shaped scar on his right hand. Escorpion's weapon of choice is a golden gun. At the end of season 2, he joined the main survivor group.


Dr. Walter Kurian, the main antagonist of season 1, was first encountered in episode 13, "Doctor of the Dead". Kurian was revealed to be the one responsible for the virus known as H1Z1, which caused the zombie apocalypse. Gathering samples from Krokodil addicts in New York, Ebola camps in Africa, abandoned bioweapons in Kazakhstan, and brain matter from a man in Haiti, he managed to create a virus meant for use in biological warfare. The resulting "Red Death" virus was created at a lab in Fort Collins, Colorado and jumped to humans by infecting a lab technician named Brandon Doyle. From there it spread, and Kurian went underground. The right side of his face appeared scarred from the nuclear blast in the season 2 premiere.
  • Sara Coates as Serena (season 1-2)
Serena, a tough guard at the Sisters of Mercy camp, was first seen in the 11th episode of season 1, "Sisters of Mercy". She had a brief fling with Murphy outside the camp, resulting in her pregnancy. After the destruction of the Sisters of Mercy, she eventually caught up to Murphy and the Westward-bound survivor group. She died shortly after giving birth, protecting her baby from a horde of zombies. She was given mercy by Warren at the request of Murphy.
  • Mark Carr as Sketchy McClane (season 1-)
Sketchy McClane, an old acquaintance of Doc, is a weapons dealer and travels with his friend, Skeezy.
  • Doug Dawson as Skeezy (season 1-)
Skeezy is a weapons dealer and travels with his friend, Sketchy.
  • Lisa Coronado as Dr. Marilyn Merch (season 1-3)
Dr. Merilyn Merch is a genetic recombiner and Harvard graduate, skilled in gene splicing. Two years before the zombie outbreak, she disappeared. She resurfaced at the infection lab at Portsmouth Naval Prison infection lab, where she injected three prisoners, including Murphy, with an experimental vaccine. The vaccine worked, but killed the other two prisoners. Due to a security breach by a horde of zombies, Merch was forced to leave the lab via helicopter. She was later known to be at a lab in Fort Collins, Colorado, where Dr. Kurian claimed she "didn't make it". However, she resurfaced in the season 2 finale, aboard the CDC submarine lab. She escaped the sinking submarine, but was bitten and is now controlled by Murphy. After she was bit by Murphy she used small doses of the original cure to regain control of herself. After Murphy found out, he bit her for a second time. To break control for good, Merch walked into a cage of zombies, injected herself with the cure and was then eaten alive by the zombies.
La Reina, also referred to as "the Queen of the Dead", is first seen in the 12th episode of season 2, "Party With the Zeros". She had inherited the leadership position of the Zeros drug cartel from her deceased husband Gonzalo. Throughout season 2, she and her gang attempted to hunt down "The Murphy" so she could control a cure made by the captured Dr. Kurian, who was now her servant. She dreamed of restructuring the world and creating a new world order with her in charge. After Warren appeared to save her from an assassination attempt, she offered Warren a place in her regime. La Reina was killed by Alvarez during a fight between Warren and La Reina in the season 2 finale.
The Man first appeared in the first episode of season 3, "No Mercy". Following a list created by his Zona employer, it is his job to collect people by any means necessary and ship them to Zona. He is ruthless and will take out anyone standing in his way. He is known to have completely decimated at least two survivor communities to complete his objectives and obtain the people on his list. He has a perfect success rate and has yet to lose a target. As of the second episode of season 3, "A New Mission", The Man's current list contains only one name: "The Murphy".
  • Sydney Viengluang as Sun Mei (season 3–)
Sun Mei was first encountered in the second episode of season 3, "A New Mission". She is a Vietnamese virologist from Beijing, China, where 200,000 survived the zombie apocalypse by sealing themselves behind the walls of the Forbidden City. She was sent with a team and equipment from China to collect DNA samples from the American survivor group and Murphy in hopes of synthesizing a cure. She is the sole survivor of her team's mission and for now, has joined the survivor group.
  • Ramona Young as Kaya (season 3-)
Kaya was first encountered in the second episode of season 3, "A New Mission". Kaya is an Inuit girl living with her Uncle Koukou and her grandmother; they are the sole survivors of their village. She found Citizen Z and Pup out in a blizzard, and took them to her home in order to rescue them. She revealed to Citizen Z that she is a huge fan of his, telling him he needs to get healthy and start broadcasting again.


  • Rick Rivera as Tobias Campbell
Tobias Campbell was the founder and leader of the Philadelphia cannibal survivor group, first encountered in the third episode of season 1, "Philly Feast". This group, based in the Upper Darby, Pennsylvania area, started out like many others, surviving by way of Tobias's resourcefulness and cunning, while still retaining some semblance of their humanity and morality. However, after his wife became ill, Tobias suffered a mental breakdown and led his "family" down the dark path of victimization and cannibalism.
Bernt was a member of the Philadelphia cannibal survivor group, first encountered in the third episode of season 1, "Philly Feast". One of Tobias's men, he was responsible for guarding the gate.
Helen was the leader of the Sisters of Mercy camp, first encountered in the 11th episode of season 1, "Sisters of Mercy". She and her sister-wives started the camp, which only allowed women and children, and turned away male travelers. A survivor of abuse from her late husband, she promoted killing men even if there was no proof of their wrongdoing.
Gen. Arthur C. McCandles was the commander of the Emergency Headquarters for Infection Control in McLean, Virginia, appearing in the fourth episode of season 1, "Full Metal Zombie". McCandles, who has gone insane, had been holed up in a secure building, surrounded by undead soldiers and the corpses of his military peers. He hurt his leg badly, contracting gangrene, and when told that the leg required amputation, he murdered his former medic by throwing him into an airshaft. When the Westward-bound survivor group reached his stronghold in need of a helicopter, McCandles allowed Doc in, believing him to be a real doctor, and threw him into the same airshaft when Doc gave him the same prognosis. McCandles died by attacking a group of zombies, then throwing himself and the zombies off the building's rooftop.
  • Jason Gallagher as Keith Richards
Keith Richards was part of the S&S Unlimited gun show in Kansas, encountered in the seventh episode of season 1, "Welcome to the Fu-Bar". He played guitar in the Fu-Bar. He was last seen fleeing the area after the approach of the "zunami", and his status is unknown.
  • Conner Marx as Cosmonaut Yuri
Yuri was an imaginary Russian pilot, hallucinated by Citizen Z due to oxygen deprivation. He appeared in the eighth episode of season 1, "Zunami".
  • Christy Choi as Brittany
Brittany, a girl traveling with her father, encountered the Westward-bound survivor group in Kansas at the S&S Unlimited gun show, in the seventh episode of season 1, "Welcome to the Fu-Bar". She participated in a shooting contest, losing to 10K as the zunami entered the area. 10K gave her the first prize, a rifle, which she used to save him from a zombie. She then safely left with her father.
  • Scott Roddan as Donner
Donner was a member of Camp Blue Sky in New York, encountered in the debut episode, "Puppies and Kittens".
Sam Custer was a former long-haul driver who became the wagon master of a group of survivors headed to Edmonton. He appeared in the third episode of season 2, "Zombie Road". Sam was suffering from radiation poison but continued to drive a modified truck carrying the survivors, before his apparent demise.
A famous author (played by himself), he was bitten after escaping to his hotel room when the Comic Con event he was attending as a guest star was overrun. He became part of the zombie collection of Dean aka "The Collector", and was the only famous person that Dean had collected. He spends his zombie days signing books through retained muscle memory. Dean hoped to eventually make his fortune by selling the books on eBay when humankind made its comeback. He appeared in the eight episode of season 2, "The Collector".
  • Tom Beyer as Dean
Dean, aka "The Collector", was the curator of a unique collection of mutated zombies, displaying them in a museum setting and restraining the zombies with an invisible dog fence. He appeared in the eighth episode of season 2, "The Collector". Dean had aspired to be part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, repeatedly warning them about the possibility of a zombie pandemic. He grew bitter after repeated rejections and began his own preparations for what he saw as the inevitable zombie apocalypse. He captured Murphy, interviewing him, sampling his blood and controlling him with a shock collar. Dean was killed by bites from a nuclear zombie, a "phytozombie" and a "blaster" zombie, all released from captivity by Murphy.
Bernadette was the a leader of a cult-like group of "extranauts", people who believed they would soon be going to outer space with a race of aliens. She appeared in the ninth episode of season 2, "Rozwell".
Gorden "Red Hawk" Firecloud is the leader of part of a Native American tribe that followed him to their ancestral land to survive the zombie outbreak, in the hopes that their ancestors would protect them. The son of Chief Dan Firecloud and brother of Ayalla Firecloud, he appeared in the 10th episode of season 2, "We Were Nowhere Near the Grand Canyon". Before the apocalypse, he was a college professor specializing in native culture. His tribe is wary of the zombie virus infecting their community, calling it "Zendigo" and a "disease of the soul", and Red Hawk blames the outbreak on whites.
Ayalla Firecloud is the sister of Red Hawk, but does not share his views. She appeared in the 10th episode of season 2, "We Were Nowhere Near the Grand Canyon".
Gideon Gould appeared in the 11th episode of season 2, "Corporate Retreat".
  • John Wu as Lt. Mong
Lt. Mong was encountered in the second episode of season 3, "A New Mission". He was a soldier in what is left of the Chinese army, and was part of Dr Sun Mei's team. Mong was bitten by a zombie during the Chinese team's mission to obtain their supply drop. He was given mercy by Sun Mei.


Z Nation is produced by Go2 Digital Media for The Asylum.[5] On June 29, 2014, it was announced that the filming of 13 episodes for the first season of the series was underway.[6][7] On October 12, 2014, Syfy announced that it had ordered a second season of Z Nation.[8][9] Schaefer and Engler have described Z Nation as an attempt to "put the fun back into zombies", criticizing shows like The Walking Dead for being too serious.[10] Z Nation's first season had a budget of less than $700,000 per episode.[11]


The first season of Z Nation received mixed reviews from professional television critics. Its aggregate score on Metacritic is 48[12] on scale of 0 to 100.[13] The Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus gave the show a rating of 53%, admitting that "although it's hampered by an overcrowded narrative, Z Nation manages to muster up some fun scares without taking itself too seriously."[14] Chris Carabott of IGN noted that the show "continues to set itself apart in campy and inventive ways."[15] Brian Moylan of The Guardian called Z Nation scary "in the same vague way as that talking green blob is in the Mucinex commercials" and concluded that viewers would hate all the characters, but that "Citizen Z (DJ Qualls) is especially horrible."[16] Forbes magazine found the show had a high entertainment value.[17]

In its first season, Z Nation averaged 1.42 million viewers per episode, including a .48 rating in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.[18]


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 September 12, 2014 (2014-09-12) December 5, 2014 (2014-12-05)
2 15 September 11, 2015 (2015-09-11) December 18, 2015 (2015-12-18)
3 15 September 16, 2016 (2016-09-16) TBA

Z Nation is distributed internationally by Dynamic Television.[5] The series premiered on Syfy in Australia on April 1, 2015,[19] and was watched by 26,000 viewers.[20] The United Kingdom premiere aired on Freeview channel Pick on July 21, 2015.[21]

Home release[edit]

Season 1 was released on DVD on February 10, 2015, by Syfy in association with Universal Home Entertainment.[22][23] It was also issued on iTunes, with episodes running approximately 42–44 minutes each.[24]

The series is available on Netflix worldwide.[25][26]

Crossover with Sharknado series[edit]

The film Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, released in July 2015, featured a cameo appearance by Smith, playing "Sgt. Roberta Warren".[27]


  1. ^ Official website
  2. ^ "'Z Nation' Renewed For Season 3 On Syfy". deadline. November 6, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Z Nation News - A Z Nation Movie is coming and going back in time - Syfy". syfy.com. June 16, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Syfy Announces All-New Zombie Series 'Z Nation'". TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com. 
  5. ^ a b hercules (April 7, 2014). "Syfy Orders 13 Episodes Of Zombie Series Z NATION, From The Creators Of EUREKA And SHARKNADO!!". Aint It Cool News. 
  6. ^ Geranios, Nicholas K. (June 29, 2014). "Zombie TV series films in Spokane this summer". komonews.com. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Geranios, Nicholas K. (June 29, 2014). "New zombie TV series 'Z Nation' films in Spokane this summer, big economic impact expected". therepublic.com. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ Swift, Andy (October 20, 2014). "TVLine Items: Housewives Star Joins Good Witch, Chrisley Renewed & More". TV Line. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Z Nation". Syfy. 
  10. ^ Moore, Debi (September 14, 2014). "Z Nation's Karl Schaefer Talks Taking on The Walking Dead, Love Interests, Why Zombies? and LOTS More". Dread Central. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ Owen, Rob (September 8, 2014). "'Z Nation' aims to be TV's next big zombie thing". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Z Nation : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  13. ^ "How We Create the Metascore Magic". Metacritic. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Z NATION: SEASON 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ Carabott, Chris (October 25, 2014). "Z NATION: "WELCOME TO THE FU-BAR" REVIEW". IGN. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ Virtue, Graeme (September 12, 2014). "SyFy's Z Nation: the poor man's Walking Dead". The Guardian. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ Merrill Barr. "Review: SyFy's 'Z Nation' Isn't 'The Walking Dead,' and Doesn't Want To Be". Forbes. 
  18. ^ "Z Nation: Season One Ratings". http://tvseriesfinale.com/. TV Series Finale. Retrieved March 9, 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  19. ^ Higgins, D (March 30, 2015). "APRIL on FOXTEL: Game Of Thrones, Mad Men, Wentworth, Deadline Gallipoli and 200+ other new shows". The Green Room. Foxtel. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Ratings: Wednesday 1st April 2015". Mediaspy. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Pick TV Sets UK Premiere Date For 'Z Nation'". TVWise. 
  22. ^ "Exclusive: Craig Engler Talks Z Nation and What's Ahead in Season 2. Season 2 was released on Netflix on January 17th". Dread Central. 
  23. ^ "Z Nation DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. 
  24. ^ Z Nation, Season 1 on iTunes
  25. ^ "Netflix among those joining Z Nation - TBI Vision". TBI Vision. 7 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Z Nation on uNoGS". unogs.com. 
  27. ^ http://mikesfilmtalk.com/2015/07/26/sharknado-3-oh-hell-no-syfy-cheese-with-extra-anchovies/

External links[edit]