Are Z Nation And Black Summer Related

Maria Garcia
• Saturday, 07 November, 2020
• 8 min read

From box office hits to major network television, it's hard to find original stories that aren't part of a franchise or spin-off. Although Black Summer feels like a refreshing take on the zombie thriller genre, you might have heard that the Netflix series is related to the Safe show, Nation.

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As it turns out, Black Summer and Nation occur in the same universe and the new Netflix show can be seen as a prequel. Black Summer follows Rose, portrayed by Jaime King, who is separated from her daughter at the beginning of the series and will do whatever it takes to find her.

While Nation begins in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, Black Summer starts off at the very beginning, which means that Rose has to learn how to survive in the hostile new world, alongside a group of American refugees. Even though both zombie thrillers come from the same universe, fans of Nation may feel like Black Summer lacks the dark humor that made the original series stand out.

During a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, co-creator Karl Schaefer explained that Black Summer is before the apocalypse got weird and was just scary.” Black Summer is three months in; this is the first outbreak, this is when all the sh*t's hitting the fan.

John's philosophy is that one realistic zombie is far more terrifying than a horde of them coming at you. I have lots of friends that love Nation, but it was never mentioned in the script, and was never brought to me that it was a prequel.

Though that doesn't make one any better or worse than the other, especially if you're itching for a thrilling zombie show. (Image: Netflix/Sky) BlackSummer’s release on Netflix in April 2019 sent Nation fans’ excitement levels through the roof.

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The Netflix Original series is created by Karl Schaefer, the same man behind Safe’s much-loved Nation and fans quickly made the link that both shows were set in the same universe. Black Summer is regarded by many as being a prequel series Nation due to the fact they’re both set in the same universe.

The Netflix series doesn’t feature of pay reference to any of the characters or events to take place in Nation, however, and vice versa. Nation and Black Summer creator Schaefer described the link best during a panel at Comic-Con in San Diego.

And with Nation being cancelled on Safe last year, there’s zero chance of BlackSummer’s alumni appearing on the network. Nation actor DJ Quails, who played Citizen Z /Simon, also appeared to dampen hopes of a crossover while also speaking at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Quails suggested he and his co-stars feel “too old” after five seasons of Nation to turn back time and appear in the prequel. Unfortunately, there’s no word from Netflix that another season of Black Summer will be given the green light (at the time this article is written).

Black Summer fans needn’t worry too much as the streaming giant can take up to a few months before renewing its series. As Netflix rarely releases its viewing figure for its content, it’s nigh on impossible to know exactly how well Black Summer did in the ratings.

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Should season two be confirmed, it won't appear on the likes of Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Sky as it's a Netflix Original series. At first glance, it would be easy to think of Netflix’s Black Summer as yet another entry in a long line of zombie dramas, but Jaime King, the star of the apocalyptic series, says it’s not really about the undead, and it’s definitely not a prequel to Nation.

The ordinariness King mentions is perhaps one of the first clues that Black Summer isn’t the Nation prequel many (Screen Rant included) believed it to be. King was eager to clear up the misconception, and attributes the confusion to the fact that so many of the same people were involved in making both shows.

As Black Summer Season 1’s grim and misleading ending proves, this series has a long way to go before society is back to being somewhat livable. Set in the same universe as Nation, Netflix’s Black Summer takes place right as the zombie apocalypse is beginning.

One minute Black Summer will painstakingly follow the survival of a mother desperate to reunite with her daughter in the middle of this horror; the next it will follow a zombie from transformation to death. But for all of its equal opportunity horror, BlackSummer‘s final episode ended on one confusing twist.

The football stadium is where Rose’s (Jaime King) daughter was taken when they were first separated by the military. We’re never told much about the zombie threat in this Netflix original series, but each of this show’s survivors make it clear that the stadium is their only rescue point.

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But Episode 8 threw all that hope out the window and fed it to the undead monsters below. After Rose, “Spears” (Justin Chu Cary), and Sun (Christine Lee) finally fight through the masses of infected to arrive at the stadium, they’re met with radio silence.

Though none of the characters say anything, the series asks you to wonder if whatever rescue forces were originally in place have already departed. Unlike Nation, which is set during a time when the apocalypse is in full force and life in this new society is weird and oddly funny, Black Summer is an old-school zombie drama set at the beginning of the apocalypse.

It’s a crazy Christmas emotional roller coaster for Nation fans. The beloved TV series was canceled on Safe, and fans really want to know why.

The show stuck around because of a dedicated fan base, but sadly, the cancellation isn’t a huge shock to some. According to quite a few media sources, the ratings just haven’t been great, with under half a million viewers every week, Den of Geek noted.

However, the show also didn’t cost much to make, which attributed to its sticking around. Let’s compare ZNation’s ratings to other Safe shows, according to numbers shared by TVSeriesFinale.com.

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Looking at these comparisons, the bottom line is that unless a series is getting numbers at the level of The Purge, it’s pretty much impossible to predict if it will be renewed. #Nation had higher ratings than #Killjoys and #Van Helsing, which Safe renewed.

Meanwhile, Nation is living on in the form of a prequel called Black Summer that’s coming to Netflix. The series’ synopsis reads: “A mother, torn from her daughter embarks upon a harrowing journey, stopping at nothing to find her.

Thrust alongside a small group of American refugees, she must brave a hostile new world and make brutal decisions during the most deadly summer of a zombie apocalypse.” This series will star Jamie King, who has not appeared in Nation. Others slated so far to appear in Black Summer include Cash Hill, David Hansom, Bud Alaska, Jayson Theories, Justin Chu Cary, Kelsey Flower, Christine Lee, Sal Velez Jr., Gwenyth Walsh, Erika Had, Edison Morales, Tom Carey, Nathaniel Armand, Zoe Marlette, Ty Lesson, and Brad Pa jot, according to IMDB.

It will be interesting to see if Netflix continues with the campy feel of Nation, or if they go for something more serious. So far, it sounds like it’ll be more serious, perhaps to the point of feeling like a completely different show.

Schaefer said at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con that Black Summer is “before the apocalypse got weird and was just scary.” It’s more of an “old school” take on the zombie lore. Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a hit, and it’s a spinoff of Riverdale on The CW.

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Post Apocalyptic Media has been writing about Nation since it premiered. If you want to look back a bit in history, check out our story about a woman who was an extra during the first season.

Stephanie Wilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. Her favorite shows of all-time are Battlestar Galactica and Lost, and she's always happy to talk about her cats.

Jaime King stars as Rose, a mother desperate to be reunited with her daughter after they’re separated during the harrowing opening moments. She and her husband struggle to catch up with their daughter as she boards a military bus set to go towards a checkpoint of some kind.

Before they can board, they’re stopped by the armed guards who find Rose’s husband acting funny. They take cover in a nearby home while planes circle overhead, seemingly dropping bombs (though it’s a little fuzzy) on areas full of infected people.

Arrested by guards and brought into an abandoned house, we learn Spears is not the army member he appeared to be in Rose’s segment. She is stopped by a man masquerading as a kindred spirit who begs for a ride but when Barbara allows him to get in the car he immediately turns on her.

She lays there, bleeding out, when Ryan approaches and attempts to assist her before being pulled away by a terrified Kingston. She finds a victim in a group of males on someone’s yard and Lance abandons his friend to her as he runs off in the other direction.

Eventually, the mob of people overwhelms the guard and knocks the fence down, allowing them to spill over. Lance trails after in the background, and we don’t see Barbara again yet, though the survivors do bypass her van where the driver who tried to take it from her is seen still being beaten on the road.

We don’t learn anything about where these survivors are headed towards or where the zombies came from but as this is a Netflix series, they have the luxury of taking risks like this. Despite not telling us much about the actual plot, the first episode does succeed in getting all these characters in the same place and establishing a terrifying, fast-paced story that I’m keep to follow.

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1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Si_vis_pacem,_para_bellum
2 www.thoughtco.com - https://www.thoughtco.com/if-you-want-peace-prepare-for-war-121446
3 philosiblog.com - https://philosiblog.com/2012/11/03/in-times-of-peace-prepare-for-war/
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