In a recent interview, The Walking Dead‘s executive producer Greg Nicotero talked about how Sunday’s premiere episode was influenced by a particular scene from AMC’s Breaking Bad.
"My defense was that Breaking Bad pushed the envelope because of when Gus slits the throat in the “Box Cutter” episode and there’s blood spraying out. So we really used that as our basis and said, “We have to really show how violent and how deadly these Terminus people are, because if we don’t ever see it, then that threat will never become palpable — so it was really important to us that we sold the violence of it. By adding the baseball bat to stun them and then the knife coming through to slitting their throats — Steven and Andy and Norman and Lawrence, they had no idea really what it was going to be like. They knew there was a tube there and we were going to pump some blood, but when they were leaned over and they heard the actors scream and the blood hitting the trough and seeing the blood, it freaked them out. It was really powerful and they started moving a little faster. All of a sudden their hearts were pounding. And that was my intent. I wanted those emotions to be real. It’s a fantastic sequence. What I love about this episode is you get to feel every emotion that a Walking Dead episode will give you all at one time. It opens with suspense and terror and moves into thrills and the big adrenaline action scene and then by the end with the reunions…”