Andrew Lincoln, left, and Norman Reedus star in the TV series The Walking Dead.
Andrew Lincoln, left, and Norman Reedus star in the TV series The Walking Dead. Contributed by Foxtel publicity

Life with the undead a mental and emotional ride

LIVING in a zombie apocalypse is hard work.

But it's the mental and emotional strains of living in constant fear and making sense of a life on the edge that are the themes of the new series of The Walking Dead.

The award-winning US drama returns for a fourth season.

Viewers will find former cop Rick Grimes and his band of survivors finding a kind of peace at their makeshift home inside the prison.

As the debut episode's title 30 Days Without an Accident suggests, the group has enjoyed a month of relative calm.

The Walking Dead - FX - Monday at 1.30pm and 8.30pm

Actor Lauren Cohen talks about how Maggie has learned to seize the day.

Q: Where is your character Maggie at this season?

A: She takes on a world of responsibility. She sees this as a chance to live, not just to survive. I think that is pretty key. There is a shred of stability and she is going to embrace it and live her life, and screw the apocalypse (laughs).

Q: What about her relationship with Glenn?

A: Maggie and Glenn, they're a secure couple, not necessarily secure in this world but this couple takes on all these challenges together. There is a symbiosis to that, and you know where one is lacking the other one lifts up. There is a caution in Glenn's attitude, and I think Maggie's duty is to encourage him. He is strong, but still wary. We see two sides of the same coin in their relationship.

Q: How about her relationship with her father, Hershel?

A: There's a cohesion to the group. Everybody is very in sync this year, Hershel has laid aside all of his apprehensions…

Q: About having one leg?

A: Yeah (laughs). We've seen him accept Glenn and when Glenn and Maggie are engaged. I think the resistance that Hershel showed in seasons two and three has fallen away and he has just become this beacon of strength and morality.

Q: Is it easier being in a committed relationship in a zombie apocalypse?

A: No more than in the real world. Life is short, so embrace it.

Q: So, you are the only couple on set. Are you afraid it will end at some point, and may end badly?

A: Yeah, of course. The potential, it's funny, because there is that and there are so many new dangers that you wouldn't have even thought about. The part of Maggie that I've always liked is it gives you the hope when you are watching; it can't all be disaster. It's great because we have the family dynamic, and the family dynamic extends this season with the community we have, that we have created at the prison, and I think you need it, and I think it's fun to see a little romance.

Q: As Maggie, do you want to be killed by a human or by a zombie?

A: A human, definitely. Human! And make it quick!