In The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, the iconic title character (Norman Reedus) finds himself in France with no idea how he got there and one main aim: to get to Paris and eventually, back home to the United States. Along the way, he joins forces with Isabelle (Clémence Poésy), a determined nun with a surprising backstory, and Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi), a perceptive boy who has been told he is "special" from a young age. All six episodes of Season 1 are available to stream now on AMC+.
"The goal was to show France [from] south to north with a mix of locations that people are not used to seeing," explains location manager Olivier Servanin. "We were looking for visually powerful places that conveyed the scope [of his journey]." Servanin also says authenticity was key from the start. "When you see Daryl's arrival in France and he's walking across the landscape of Provence, you can really smell France, as we say," he adds.
Here, he shares the remit and rationale behind three key locations from Season 1:
Located a few hundred meters off the coast of northern France, this historic island village is used as the location for The Nest, a remote safe haven for a community of survivors.
Servanin: "This location was already in the script. Mont-Saint-Michel was really the only place we could use for The Nest, so I had to contact them to find the best time to come with a film crew. You have to remember that Mont-Saint-Michel's abbey was built between the years 700 and 900, so it really was the most amazing place to capture on screen."
Catacombs of Paris
The Catacombs are a series of subterranean burial spaces beneath the city of Paris that hold the remains of around six million people. They're the perfect location for atmospheric Parisian scenes including those set in underground nightclub the Demimonde.
Servanin: "When we got the script, we did look at other potential cave locations. But at the same time, we were talking to the city [of Paris] with the hope of shooting in the real Catacombs. And we actually did it! We were only allowed to shoot on Mondays, when the Catacombs are closed [to visitors], and we were only allowed a maximum crew of 100 because of Covid. It was a very challenging location to shoot in because it's 130 steps down, and there is no bathroom once you get there. It is also difficult to provide enough electricity for a film crew, but we made it work."
The Provence countryside
Before Daryl makes it to Paris, he traverses the treacherous, post-apocalyptic French countryside. Many of the places he visits are beautiful, but you won't recognize them from corny French postcards.
Servanin: "The aim was to find very different locations [from other shows]. We were looking for authentic places in order to avoid the clichés that you sometimes see when France is portrayed on TV and in the movies. In the past, we've seen a lot of French berets, baguettes, bicycles, and red wine, but that's not what this show is about. We're showing a side to France that you may not have seen [on screen] before."
All of Season 1 of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon is now available to stream on amc.com (with a cable provider login), and the AMC apps for mobile and devices. You can also watch episodes via AMC+ at amcplus.com or through the new AMC+ app available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku plus Samsung and Vizio smart TVs. AMC+ can also be streamed through a variety of providers, including AppleTV, Prime Video Channels, DirectTV, Dish, Roku Channel, Sling, and Xfinity. Sign up for AMC+ now.