With less than a week until Rick Grimes and your friendly neighbourhood  Walkers return to screens in AMC’s fourth season of the hit Walking Dead  adaptation, fans are chomping at the bit for more information on how the show  will pan out. New show runner Scott Gimple has said this season will see more of  a “greatest hits approach” to the show, channeling his own high-points as a  writer of some of the best episodes yet made (in the shape of “Pretty Much Dead  Already” and “Save The Last One) to make more great episodes in their vein.

Worries about Gimple’s take-over from Glen Mazzara should prove unfounded, as  the former writer knows the show well, and he knows exactly what makes it  successful. Hopefully, though, in the quest for grander, more dramatic episodes,  he won’t lose track of the details and references that make The Walking Dead one  of the most enduring programs on TV.

It isn’t merely that The Walking Dead is a soap opera with zombies, or that  it is gloriously gorey and action-lead when it needs to be – the show is a  culmination of the geek-love and genre-worship of many zombie fans, and as this  article will make clear, they have shoe-horned filmic references into the  Walking Dead universe wherever possible.

The AMC show is bursting with nerd-friendly Easter Eggs, such as the presence  of Star Wars: Force Unleashed actor Sam Witwer as a walker, or the fact that  Jenner’s full-name, Edwin Jenner, references English scientist Edward  Jenner, who developed the smallpox vaccine in the 1790′s. It is that sort of  attention to the kind of blink-and-you’d-miss-it references that adds another  level to the show’s brilliance, and that deserves to be celebrated on the  near-eve of the new season

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