AMC’s The Walking Dead resumes with its fourth season premiere on October 13 and everyone involved with the post-apocalyptic show has been promising a bigger, darker storyline than any of the ones we’ve seen before – at least on-screen. Those expectations were confirmed during the Walking Dead panel at Comic-Con, as executive producer Robert Kirkman and brand new showrunner Scott Gimple, not only announced the show’s return date for Season 4, but also teased (very sparingly) some of the upcoming action. Kirkman, who also wrote and created the original comic book, has been trying to juggle the two separate timelines and keep them both thrilling for fans, since the show first launched. According to the L.A. Times, he explained at the panel that he tries to keep the show, which is about two years behind on the timeline from the comic book story, fresh, exciting and unpredictable, so that even avid followers of the original Walking Dead story can find excitement in the adaptation.

Andrew Lincoln, Paley Fest
Rick Grimes' group is once again under threat, from within this time.

While we are doing the television show and the comic book concurrently, the characters that are in the comic book series have existed, in some cases, one or two years on the timeline more than the characters from the television show," he said in an interview at Comic-Con. "So the Rick Grimes in the comic book is vastly different from the Rick Grimes in the television show. It's very easy to keep them both separate,” he said at Comic-Con for USA Today.

Robert Kirkman, Paley Fest
Robert Kirkman adds to the plot as he tries to keep the show and the comic-book separate.

Additionally, the panel featured the first trailer for Season 4, exclusively premiering for Comic-Con attendees. In the clip, we see some more action in the prison, where Rick Grimes and co. are hiding out, as well as glimpses of an expanded role for Tyreese (Chad Coleman), whose character was introduced last season and is a fan favorite from the comics. The panel also featured a brief, but fascinating talk by executive producer and makeup master Greg Nicotero Nicotero also directed the fourth season premiere, spoke a bit about how each season brings further refinement to the walkers’ makeup and more creative thinking from the writers as to how to include the zombie effects in the story. If you’re into your post-apocalyptic zombie trivia, this was the SDCC panel for you.

Norman Reedus, Tribeca Film Fest
The preview also bodes changes for Norman Reedus's character.