Published Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crews film around Coweta for 'The Walking Dead'

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL

sarah@newnan.com

Downtown Senoia had its first starring role in Sunday night's episode of "The Walking Dead."

The episode, the third of the third season, introduces Woodbury, the walled and guarded city that is a safe haven from the zombie apocalypse outside. 

This week, filming for later episodes of the AMC hit show was talking place near Newnan. Portions of U.S. 29 South were closed to through-traffic Monday as scenes were filmed at the Oaks Motel.

Tuesday, filming was taking place in the Beverly Park subdivision off Millard Farmer Road south of Newnan, and some filming related crews were set up at the Coweta County Fairgrounds on Pine Road. 

The setup in Beverly Park was extensive, with multiple generators on site, as well as burned-out cars and scattered trash that was being picked up Tuesday afternoon. Filming was taking place on Pintail Drive.

In Sunday's episode, Andrea and Michonne arrive at the site of a downed military helicopter. As they watch from the bushes, a group arrives in vehicles to check out the site. As Michonne's "pet" walkers begin to make noise and attract attention, she beheads them. But it's not enough for them to escape detection. 

That's when Merle Dixon, the long-lost brother of Darryl Dixon, returns — holding a gun on Andrea and Michonne. When viewers last saw Merle in season one, he was handcuffed to the roof of a downtown Atlanta building. When Darryl and others retured to rescue him, they found only his severed hand. 

Andre and Michonne are taken, at gunpoint, back to Woodbury. Merle turns out to be the right-hand man of The Governor, ruler of Woodbury. 

They see downtown Senoia as they step out of the Woodbury Town Hall, a set built on Senoia's Main Street for the show. It's built near the bottom of Main Street, in the site that was most recently a parking lot and was formerly a café.

Woodbury is first shown at night, with the barricades running along Travis Street. Armed guards man the barricade at all times, and quickly shoot the occasional walkers that come up to the wall. 

At first, Andrea thinks she is in a ghost town. But the next morning she finds that it is anything but. In the midst of the horror, people in Woodbury go about their lives in relative safety. Children even attend school. The Governor tells Andrea that they intend to reclaim civilization.

But there is something that makes Andrea and Michonne uneasy. For one, the Governor refuses to return their weapons as long as they stay in Woodbury. 

The Governor and his men show their ruthlessness as they slaughter everyone at a military installment, and come back triumphantly to town with the military equipment, telling everyone that the "biters" got to the men before they did. 

In the final scene of the episode, viewers get a sense of just how strange the Governor may be. He sits in his easy chair and looks upon a wall of aquariums — filled with the severed heads of the walkers, including Michonne's two jawless pets. 

Episode 4 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC network. 

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