|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||44 minutes|
|Production company(s)||The Asylum
Go2 Digital Media
North By Northwest
|Distributor||Dynamic Television (international)|
|Original release||September 12, 2014– present|
Z Nation is an American horror-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. Z Nation is filmed in the Spokane, Washington, area and was renewed for a second season of 15 episodes, to premier on September 11, 2015.
Z Nation begins three years into a virus-caused zombie apocalypse, which has already killed most humans. A group must transport Murphy, the only known survivor of a zombie bite who did not himself turn into a zombie, from New York to the world's last known functioning research lab in California. Murphy had been the unwilling subject of a government test vaccine in the days just before society fell apart, and his blood contains antibodies that are mankind's last and best hope for a vaccine. However, Murphy harbors a dark secret that threatens them all.
|Kellita Smith||Roberta Warren||Main|
|A member of the National Guard living at a camp in upstate New York before taking on the task of transporting Murphy.|
|DJ Qualls||Citizen "Z"||Main|
|PFC Simon Cruller aka "Citizen Z" is working at the Arctic's Northern Lights NSA listening post. He is its sole surviving employee and uses his high-tech equipment to assist the group in its journey to California.|
|Michael Welch||Mack Thompson||Main|
|A wanderer traveling with Addy and a member of the Blue Sky camp in New York.|
|Keith Allan||Murphy "Patient Zero"||Main|
|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 group is tasked with transporting him to a government laboratory in California, as his apparent immunity might be the sole solution to the ZN1 virus.|
|Anastasia Baranova||Addy Carver||Main|
|Addison Carver is a wanderer traveling with Mack and a member of the Blue Sky camp in New York.|
|Steven "Doc" Beck, while not a real doctor, carries a drug supply he creatively uses in the capacity of the de facto medic of the group.|
|A young woman who joins the group after being found at a rendezvous station near Philadelphia and is secretive about her past.|
|Tommy "10K" is young man highly proficient with firearms and other projectiles. His personal goal is to kill 10,000 zombies, hence his nickname.|
|Tom Everett Scott||1st Sgt. Charles Garnett||Main|
|A member of the National Guard living at a camp in upstate New York before taking on the task of transporting Murphy.|
|Harold Perrineau*||Lt. Mark Hammond||Main|
|The last surviving member of the Delta Force team transferring Patient Zero to a laboratory in California. Despite being credited as a main cast member, Perrineau only appeared in the first episode.|
*Harold Perrineau was credited amongst the main cast but only appeared in the first episode.
- Rick Rivera as Tobias Campbell
- Yuji Okumoto as Bernt
- Kelly McGillis as Helen
- Bill Moseley as General McCandles
- Donald Corren as Dr. Kurian
Z Nation is produced by The Asylum. On June 29, 2014, it was announced that the filming of 13 episodes for the first season of the series was underway. On October 12, 2014, Syfy announced that it had ordered a second season of Z Nation. 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. Z Nation 's first season had a budget of less than $700,000 per episode.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|1||"Puppies and Kittens"||John Hyams||Karl Schaefer||September 12, 2014||1.58|
|Hammond and Murphy make their way to Camp Blue Sky en route to a high school in Sleepy Hollow, New York, where they expect to be airlifted to Mt. Wilson Laboratory in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Citizen Z is the sole occupant of an NSA outpost in the Arctic after the rest of the crew is killed during a botched evacuation. Hammond and Murphy link up with several other survivors after Blue Sky is overrun. The high school is abandoned, and the only survivors appear to be a baby and a mysterious stranger, Cassandra. The baby unexpectly turns into a zombie and kills Hammond. The group then encounters another mysterious survivor, later revealed to be 10K.|
|2||"Fracking Zombies"||John Hyams||Michael Cassutt||September 19, 2014||1.62|
|The group attempts to refuel their vehicles at the "Jersey Devil Refinery" in northern New Jersey. They use a music box to distract the zombies.|
|3||"Philly Feast"||Luis Prieto||Eric Wallace and Karl Schafer||September 26, 2014||1.14|
|In Philadelphia, the team meets the group Cassandra has been trying to escape from. Cassandra reveals that she was previously part of a cannibalistic cult, acting as a prostitute to lure people so the cannibal group could kidnap and eat them. This group, led by a man named Tobias Campbell, wants Cassandra back.|
|4||"Full Metal Zombie"||Michael Robison||Eric Bernt||October 3, 2014||1.55|
|Citizen Z informs the team that General McCandless in McLean, Virginia may be able to give them an airlift directly to California. The survivors fight a large zombie soldier with a metal plate in his head, which renders him immune to head shots. The general ends up being insane, and his helicopter is no longer able to fly.|
|5||"Home Sweet Zombie"||Luis Prieto||Dan Merchant||October 10, 2014||1.26|
|The team goes to Warren's hometown of Castle Point, Missouri (mistakenly listed as in Illinois), as Warren tries to find closure about her husband Antoine. Meanwhile, a zombie tornado threatens the entire mission.|
|6||"Resurrection Z"||John Hyams||Craig Engler||October 17, 2014||1.57|
|The group arrives in Hannibal, Missouri and takes shelter in a base led by Garnett's former squadmate, Joe Williams. A cult led by a man named Jacob has been indoctrinating people to do their deeds. Several cult members manage to infiltrate the base by returning and pretending they've renounced the cult. As zombies and Jacob's people overrun the compound, Garnett is killed by Jacob while blocking a bullet for Murphy.|
|7||"Welcome to the Fu-Bar"||Abram Cox||Jennifer Derwingson||October 24, 2014||1.34|
|In western Kansas, the team stops at a saloon called the Fu-Bar, just as a giant zombie herd heads into town. Mack and Addy get separated and choose to head off on their own. Meanwhile, a traveling salesmen they re-encounter from episode 1 holds a zombie shooting contest, which 10K enthusiastically enters. He wins the contest and the prize, a Barrett M82, but decides to give it to Brittany, the girl who came in second. Murphy discovers his saliva renders a normal human immune to the zombie virus, when he bites a man in a fight who is later killed and does not reanimate.|
|8||"Zunami"||John Hyams||Dan Merchant||October 31, 2014||1.10|
|The group is forced to hunker down in a Nebraska town as the zombie tsunami comes in. Citizen Z encounters a Soviet cosmonaut who seems to be at Northern Lights for a purpose. This cosmonaut is revealed to be a figment of his oxygen-deprived imagination, which is trying to warn Citizen Z about the failing air supply.|
|9||"Die, Zombie, Die... Again"||Tim Andrew||Dan Merchant & Karl Schaefer||November 7, 2014||1.30|
|Mack and Addy debate abandoning the rest of the group and the mission. Mack believes a zombie has killed Addy at their campsite, but he repeatedly awakens from a nightmare in a manner reminiscent of Groundhog Day. All of these repeating episodes turn out to be a dream that Addy was having, and she realizes the flashbacks she has been experiencing are a repressed memory of killing her mother.|
|10||"Going Nuclear"||Nick Lyon||Craig Engler & Michael Cassutt||November 14, 2014||1.49|
|The group takes a detour through South Dakota to avoid the zombie tsunami. In Edgemont, a nuclear reactor is about to melt down, an occurrence that Amelia and her father are desperately trying to thwart. When the father is killed, the group's only resort is to turn to another former worker, Homer Stubbins, who has isolated himself in his fortress since his son was killed at the onset of the outbreak. Amelia agrees to fly Murphy out of the fallout zone should the reactor melt down. Murphy learns he can influence the zombies' actions.|
|11||"Sisters of Mercy"||Rachel Goldenberg||Jennifer Derwingson||November 21, 2014||1.40|
|Mack and Addy reunite with the rest of the group. They encounter an all-female commune whose leader, Helen, agrees to shelter only the three women of the group, as she believes all men are evil. The group discovers that when the commune's boys turn 13, they are forced to leave. A man who abused his wife is thrown into a barn to be eaten by a zombie bear.|
|12||"Murphy's Law"||Tim Andrew||Michael Cassutt||November 28, 2014||1.61|
|Murphy is kidnapped by three survivors: Zimmerman, Janis, and Henry. They drive to a zombie-infested Mesa Pharmaceuticals warehouse, where they plan to use Murphy's immunity to help them steal drugs. Murphy discovers he has mind control abilities, which he uses by spitting in his abductors' canteens.|
|13||"Doctor of the Dead"||John Hyams||John Hyams & Karl Schaefer||December 5, 2014||1.44|
|In a series of pre-apocalypse flashbacks, a man is shown extracting brain matter from a Krokodil addict, a Liberian Ebola patient, a Haitian voodoo zombie, and an inspector at the Soviet bio-weapons facility at Semipalatinsk. The group expects to meet Dr. Merch at a facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, but arrives to find the personnel have been killed. They discover that this lab is where the virus was first transmitted from lab monkeys to humans. The man from the flashback arrives instead of Dr. Merch and explains that he will take Murphy the rest of the way to California. Murphy gives mercy to patient zero, a lab technician who has been an inanimate zombie hybrid for three years. The season ends with a cliffhanger, as Murphy's exit from the containment lab without proper decontamination triggers the launch of tactical nuclear weapons, shown headed for the lab as well as the NSA site from which Citizen Z operates.|
The first season of Z Nation has received mixed reviews from professional television critics. Its aggregate score on Metacritic is 48 on scale of 0 to 100. 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." Chris Carabott of IGN noted that the show "continues to set itself apart in campy and inventive ways." In January 2015, Graeme Virtue of The Guardian called Z Nation a "brazen Walking Dead rip-off" and included it on a list of five great US TV shows unavailable in Britain. Forbes magazine found the show had a high entertainment value.
In its first season, Z Nation averaged 1.42 million viewers per episode, including 480,000 in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic. The series' premiere episode was the subject of a large number of unlicensed downloads shortly after it first aired.
Z Nation is distributed internationally by Dynamic Television. The series premiered on Syfy in Australia on April 1, 2015. and was watched by 26,000 viewers. The Polish premiere aired on TV Puls on March 1, 2015. The United Kingdom premiere aired on Freeview channel Pick on July 21, 2015. The German premiere aired on Syfy on July 29, 2015.
- Official website
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