The Walking Dead has released the first look at Laila Robins as the Commonwealth’s leader, Pamela Milton. After over a decade on the air, the eleventh and final season of AMC’s zombie drama will premiere on August 22. The season is split into two parts, summing up to a total of 24 episodes. Loosely adapting comic storyline encompassing issues #175-193, the series’ main group will cross paths with the post-apocalyptic society, the Commonwealth—the most advanced civilization in the comics.
At the end of season 10, Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Princess (Paola Lazaro) were ambushed by armed Commonwealth soldiers. At this year’s virtual San Diego Comic-Con, the first season 11 trailer ended with bookkeeper Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) greeting visitors to the Commonwealth. It was also announced that Laila Robins (The Black List, The Boys) will be playing the Commonwealth’s leader or “Governor” Pamela Milton—one of the series’ final antagonists. This has surprised many who thought Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), who is remarkably similar to Pamela, would be replacing Milton on the show.
AMC Networks (via Den of Geek) has unveiled the first look at Robins’ Pamela via a press release. The official photo draws parallels between the show’s ex-politician and her comic book counterpart as she makes a speech in front of a microphone with a disingenuous smile. AMC also released an image of Hamilton’s Lance, who will likely endure some less-than-pleasant treatment from Pamela. Check them both out below:
Unlike more physical villains like the Governor, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), or the Whisperers, Pamela’s a logistical tyrant, a regular politician who survived the zombie outbreak and now rules over her massive settlement. In the comics, Pamela’s people are protected, well-fed, and enjoy luxuries like concerts and sporting events. While at first, the Commonwealth seems like a nice place, its ugly side rears its face in the form of an unfair class system riddled with discrimination and racism. Despite this, Pamela believes that life in the Commonwealth is perfect and refuses to listen to outsider communities like Alexandria.
The Walking Dead appears to be aiming for an almost direct adaptation of Pamela’s comic book counterpart. Without Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), who oppose Pamela’s ideology in the source material, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) will most likely take on Rick’s role and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) Michonne’s—something that is teased in season 11’s trailer. Regardless, Pamela and the Commonwealth will walk the same morally ambiguous tightrope. That said, season 11 will also introduce the Reapers, a group of hunters who have a mysterious history with Maggie. It’s unclear how they, or the Civic Republic—a much larger society than the Commonwealth which is unique to the TV universe—will play into the final season.