Walking Dead photos get us ready for prison

AMC has released a bevy of photos taken from the upcoming third season of the zombie survivor drama.

The second season of The Walking Dead, loosely based on the comics of the same name,  ended with the destruction of Hershel’s, and an ominous look at the prison over the hill from where the group camps that night.

Of course, we know from the comics that the prison is the next place where the group tries to make a stand against the Walker hoard. A lot has been changed about the story to fit the television show, but mostly, it’s characterization stuff, and the details of who dies when – and at whose hands.

Some characters are completely left out, and some remain longer than they originally did, but the camp has remained in each season true to the camp in the comics – where the volumes are mostly divided by when the characters move on to a new place. Season one had the characters at the RV by the freeway, season two had them holed up at the farm, and season three will see them in the prison.

This series of photos shows off some of the sets and situations of the upcoming season:

The one-off character from the pilot, Merle, will be returning this season. My guess is that he’ll be a clear villain of the group, despite his brother’s loyalty to Rick. We get a clear shot of him – and obviously not just in Daryl’s imagination, like last time – at the end of this long trailer:

Finally, AMC recently announced that they’ve confirmed production of the show through the fourth season, at least. Of course, it’s no surprise, considering it is their most watched show, but it does have a higher budget than a show like Mad Men, so there is always the concern the budget will outpace the advertisers. This can give us some confidence, however, that our favorite zombie serial will be around for quite some time, and with 17 volumes of the comics, there is plenty of material to draw on.

The Walking Dead season 3 begins on October 9th, 2012 on AMC.