Z Nation

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Z Nation
Genre Action, horror, comedy
Created by
Composer(s) Jason Gallagher
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 28 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Paul Bales
  • David Michael Latt
  • David Rimawi
  • Karl Schaefer
Producer(s) Karl Schaefer
Production location(s) Spokane, Washington
Eastern Washington
Cinematography Alexander Yellen
  • Anders Hoffmann
  • Fred Beahm
  • Erik C. Andersen
Running time 42–44 minutes[1]
Production company(s) The Asylum
Go2 Digital Media
North By Northwest
Distributor Dynamic Television (international)
Original network Syfy
Original release September 12, 2014 (2014-09-12) – present
External links
Official website

Z Nation is an American horror-comedy-drama/post-apocalyptic television series that airs on Syfy, created by Karl Schaefer and Craig Engler, and produced by The Asylum. The first season of 13 episodes premiered on September 12, 2014.[2] Z Nation is filmed in the Spokane, Washington, area. It was renewed for a second season of 15 episodes,[3][4] which premiered on September 11, 2015.[5] On November 6, 2015, the series was renewed for a third season to debut in 2016.[6]


Z Nation begins three years into a virus-caused zombie apocalypse, which has already killed most humans. A group must transport Murphy, the only known survivor of a zombie bite who did not himself turn into a zombie, from New York to the world's last known functioning Centers for Disease Control research lab in California.

In the days just before society fell apart, Murphy had been one of three inmates at Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine, who were unwilling participants of a government-approved experiment. Each inmate was given a different test vaccine. The only one to successfully survive their vaccine injection was Murphy, and his blood now contains antibodies that are mankind's last and best hope for a vaccine. However, Murphy harbors a dark secret that threatens them all.[7]

In the season 2 finale, the group reaches the CDC lab, located on a US Navy submarine, but things are not as they seem.[8]



Cast are listed in order of credit.

Lt. Roberta Warren is a survivor of the initial zombie apocalypse. An ex-National Guard member activated out of Missouri, she is a member of the Westward-bound survivor group, and a former member of the Blue Sky Camp survivor group in New York. Like many other survivors of the zombie apocalypse, Warren lost nearly everything and everyone that mattered to her. She is the current leader of the Westward-bound survivor group after the death of Garnett.
PFC Simon Cruller aka "Citizen Z", a former hacker, is working at the NSA's Northern Lights listening post in the Arctic. After missing a doomed evacuation flight out of Northern Lights, he is now the NSA's sole surviving employee and uses his high-tech equipment to assist the group in its journey to California. He also runs a radio broadcast for other survivors, informing people to take cover when there is a threat of inescapable disaster-level weather or zombie hordes. He is slowly going insane from loneliness; his only companion is a sled dog named Pup. In the second season, the listening post sustains significant damage after a nuclear bomb is intercepted by Northern Light's missile defense system, which wakes the zombies in the doomed evacuation flight wreckage. Citizen Z fights to survive the cold and zombie onslaught, despite minimum shooting skills. At the end of season 2, he leaves Northern Lights on foot, pulling a dog sled, after all the post's resources were used up. His survival status is unknown.
A former hockey player, Mack Thompson was a survivor of the initial zombie apocalypse, and Addy's boyfriend. He was a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York, and a member of the Westward-bound survivor group. A good shot, Mack protected Addy and stayed behind when she chose to join the Sisters of Mercy camp, and watch over her from afar. He eventually reunited with Addy and returned to the Westward-bound survivor group. He was mercied by Addy after being bitten by zombies.
Alvin Bernard Murphy is a resentful and frail former convict who became the only known survivor of zombie bites after being part of a scientific experiment. The Westward-bound survivor group was tasked with transporting him to a government laboratory in California, as his apparent immunity might be the sole solution to the ZN1 virus. As the seasons progressed, Murphy's appearance began to change, and it is suggested that he is becoming part zombie. He also starts to develop a special gift; after biting a person or exposing them to his saliva or blood, he can direct them using telepathy. He can communicate with zombies, develops feelings for them and can make them do his bidding.
Addison Carver is a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York and Mack's girlfriend prior to his death. She is the Westward-bound survivor group's communication specialist and uses her talents with radio equipment to contact Citizen Z. Her weapon of choice to fight off zombies is a customized metal bat with spikes. Broken by unresolved trauma, the apocalypse is slowly wearing her down. At one point, she chose to leave the group and join the Sisters of Mercy camp, but after the camp was destroyed, she reunited with Mack, who had refused to leave her behind, and returned to the Westward-bound survivor group.
  • Russell Hodgkinson as Doc
Steven "Doc" Beck, a former psychiatrist and recovering addict, carries a drug supply he creatively uses in the capacity of the de facto medic of the Westward-bound survivor group. He is a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York.
  • Pisay Pao as Cassandra (season 1–2)
Cassandra was a survivor of the initial zombie apocalypse. She was a former member of the Philadelphia cannibal survivor group, where she served as a "lure" to attract male survivors with the promise of sexual trade, in order for the group to trap and consume them. Cassandra joined the Westward-bound survivor group after being found in a locked cage at a rendezvous station near Philadelphia. A leg injury led to an infection. Lacking antibiotics and near death, she was bitten by Murphy and became a zombie-human hybrid, controlled by Murphy. She was mercied by 10k after attacking members of the group on Murphy's command not to let anyone leave or follow him.
  • Nat Zang as 10K
"10K", often called "The Kid" by Doc, is the youngest member of the Westward-bound survivor group. In the season 1 finale, his real name was revealed as "Tommy". 10K is quiet and observant. He is highly proficient with a sniper rifle and other projectiles, and is "pretty good with a knife." He loves killing zombies, and keeps track of each one he kills. His goal is 10,000 kills, hence his self-given nickname, and he had already achieved 1,000 kills by his first appearance. His backstory revealed that 10K was forced to kill his father, making a promise to him that he would stay strong and fight. At the end of season 2, his survival status is unknown, as he was last known to be on a submarine that exploded.
Sgt. Garnett was with the National Guard, based out of Georgia, prior to the ZN1 outbreak. He was a former member of the Blue Sky camp in New York before taking on the task of transporting Murphy. He was the leader of the Westward-bound survivor group until his demise. Trying to protect Murphy, he was murdered and turned into a zombie by Priest Jacob and his Resurrection Cult. He was mercied by Warren, his second in command.
Lt. Hammond was the last surviving member of the Delta Force team transferring Murphy to a laboratory in California. He was mercied by the Westward-bound survival group after being bitten. (Despite being credited as a main cast member, Perrineau only appeared in the first episode.)
Javier Vasquez was first encountered in the opening episode of season 2, "The Murphy". Vasquez had been a DEA agent, but after he arrested some of Escorpion's men, Escorpion abducted his wife and daughter, later killing them in front of him. His wife and daughter turned into zombies during their funeral, and Vasquez sought revenge on Escorpion. He tried to assassinate Escorpion during the group's Zeros induction ceremony, but was stopped by Warren and tortured by the Zeros before escaping. At the conclusion of season 2, he apparently left the main survivor group.
Hector "Escorpion" Alvarez was the main antagonist of season 2, first encountered in the second episode, "White Light". He was the vice president in charge of sales for a Mexican drug cartel known as the Zeros. He has a small Z-shaped scar on his right hand. Escorpion's weapon of choice is a golden gun. At the end of season 2, he joined the main survivor group.


Dr. Walter Kurian, the main antagonist of season 1, was first encountered in episode 13, "Doctor of the Dead". Kurian was revealed to be the one responsible for the virus known as ZN1, which caused the zombie apocalypse. Gathering samples from Krokodil addicts in New York, Ebola camps in Africa, abandoned bioweapons in Kazakhstan, and brain matter from a man in Haiti, he managed to create a virus meant for use in biological warfare. The resulting "Red Death" virus was created at a lab in Fort Collins, Colorado and jumped to humans by infecting a lab technician named Brandon Doyle. From there it spread, and Kurian went underground.
  • Sara Coates as Serena (season 1-2)
Serena, a tough guard at the Sisters of Mercy camp, was first seen in the 11th episode of season 1, "Sisters of Mercy". She had a brief fling with Murphy outside the camp, resulting in her pregnancy. After the destruction of the Sisters of Mercy, she eventually caught up to Murphy and the Westward-bound survivor group. She died shortly after giving birth, protecting her baby from a horde of zombies. She was given mercy by Warren at the request of Murphy.
  • Mark Carr as Sketchy McClane (season 1-)
Sketchy McClane, an old acquaintance of Doc, is a weapons dealer and travels with his friend, Skeezy.
  • Doug Dawson as Skeezy (season 1-)
Skeezy is a weapons dealer and travels with his friend, Sketchy.
  • Lisa Coronado as Dr. Marilyn Merch (season 1-)
Dr. Merilyn Merch is a genetic recombiner and Harvard graduate, skilled in gene splicing. Two years before the zombie outbreak, she disappeared. She resurfaced at the infection lab at Portsmouth Naval Prison infection lab, where she injected three prisoners, including Murphy, with an experimental vaccine. The vaccine worked, but killed the other two prisoners. Due to a security breach by a horde of zombies, Merch was forced to leave the lab via helicopter. She was later known to be at a lab in Fort Collins, Colorado, where Dr. Kurian claimed she "didn't make it". However, she resurfaced in the season 2 finale, aboard the CDC submarine lab. She was last seen escaping the sinking submarine, with Murphy's bite mark on her face.
La Reina, also referred to as "the Queen of the Dead", is first seen in the 12th episode of season 2, "Party With the Zeros". She had inherited the leadership position of the Zeros drug cartel from her deceased husband Gonzalo. Throughout season 2, she and her gang attempt to hunt down "The Murphy" so she can control a cure made by the captured Dr. Kurian, who is now her servant. She dreams of restructuring the world and creating a new world order with her in charge. After Warren appears to save her from an assassination attempt, she offers Warren a place in her regime. La Reina is killed by Alvarez during a fight between Warren and La Reina in the season 2 finale.


  • Rick Rivera as Tobias Campbell
Tobias Campbell was the founder and leader of the Philadelphia cannibal survivor group, first encountered in the third episode of season 1, "Philly Feast". This group, based in the Upper Darby, Pennsylvania area, started out like many others, surviving by way of Tobias's resourcefulness and cunning, while still retaining some semblance of their humanity and morality. However, after his wife became ill, Tobias suffered a mental breakdown and led his "family" down the dark path of victimization and cannibalism.
Bernt was a member of the Philadelphia cannibal survivor group,haracter from "Z Nation", first encountered in the third episode of season 1, "Philly Feast". One of Tobias's men, he was responsible for guarding the gate.
Helen was the leader of the Sisters of Mercy camp, first encountered in the 11th episode of season 1, "Sisters of Mercy". She and her sister-wives started the camp, which only allows women and children, and turns away male travelers. A survivor of abuse from her late husband, she promotes killing men even if there is no proof of their wrongdoing.
Gen. Arthur C. McCandles was the commander of the Emergency Headquarters for Infection Control in McLean, Virginia, appearing in the fourth episode of season 1, "Full Metal Zombie". McCandles, who has gone insane, had been holed up in a secure building, surrounded by undead soldiers and the corpses of his military peers. He hurt his leg badly, contracting gangrene, and when told that the leg required amputation, he murdered his former medic by throwing him into an airshaft. When the Westward-bound survivor group reached his stronghold, in need of a helicopter, McCandles allowed Doc in, believing him to be a real doctor, and threw him in the same airshaft when Doc gave him the same prognosis. McCandles died by attacking a group of zombies, then throwing himself and the zombies off the building's rooftop.
  • Jason Gallagher as Keith Richards
Keith Richards is part of the S&S Unlimited gun show in Kansas, encountered in the seventh episode of season 1, "Welcome to the Fu-Bar". He plays guitar in the Fu-Bar. He was last seen fleeing the area after the approach of the "zunami", and his status is unknown.
  • Conner Marx as Cosmonaut Yuri
Yuri was an imaginary Russian pilot, hallucinated by Citizen Z due to oxygen deprivation. He appeared in the eighth episode of season 1, "Zunami".
  • Christy Choi as Brittany
Brittany, a girl traveling with her father, encounters the Westward-bound survivor group in Kansas at the S&S Unlimited gun show, in the seventh episode of season 1, "Welcome to the Fu-Bar". She participates in a shooting contest, losing to 10K as the zunami enters the area. 10K gives her the first-prize rifle, which she uses to save him from a zombie. She then safely leaves with her father.
  • Scott Roddan as Donner
Donner was a member of Camp Blue Sky in New York, encountered in the debut episode, "Puppies and Kittens".
Sam Custer was a former long-haul driver who became the wagon master of a group of survivors headed to Edmonton. He appeared in the third episode of season 2, "Zombie Road". Sam was suffering from radiation poison but continued to drive a modified truck carrying the survivors, before his apparent demise.
A famous author (played by himself), he was bitten after escaping to his hotel room when the Comic Con event he was attending as a guest star was overrun. He became part of the zombie collection of Dean aka "The Collector", and was the only famous person that Dean had collected. He spends his zombie days signing books through retained muscle memory. Dean hoped to eventually make his fortune by selling the books on eBay when humankind made its comeback. He appeared in the eight episode of season 2, "The Collector".
  • Tom Beyer as Dean
Dean aka "The Collector" was the curator of a unique collection of mutated zombies, displaying them in a museum setting and restraining the zombies with an invisible dog fence. He appeared in the eight episode of season 2, "The Collector". Dean had aspired to be part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, repeatedly warning them about the possibility of a zombie pandemic. He grew bitter after repeated rejections and began his own preparations for what he saw as the inevitable zombie apocalypse. He captured Murphy, interviewing him, sampling his blood and controlling him with a shock collar. Dean was killed by bites from a nuclear zombie, a "phytozombie" and a "blaster" zombie, all released from captivity by Murphy.
Bernadette is the a leader of a cult-like group of "extranauts", people who believe they'll soon be going to outer space with a race of aliens. She appeared in the ninth episode of season 2, Rozwell".
Gorden Firecloud aka Red Hawk is the leader of part of a Native American tribe that followed him to their ancestral land to survive the zombie outbreak, in the hopes that their ancestors would protect them. The son of Chief Dan Firecloud and brother of Ayalla Firecloud, he appeared in the 10th episode of season 2, "We Were Nowhere Near the Grand Canyon". Before the apocalypse, he was a college professor specializing in native culture. His tribe is wary of the zombie virus infecting their community, calling it "Zendigo" and a "disease of the soul", and Red Hawk blames the outbreak on whites.
Ayalla Firecloud is the sister of Red Hawk, but does not share his views. She appeared in the 10th episode of season 2, "We Were Nowhere Near the Grand Canyon".
Gideon Gould appeared in the 11th episode of season 2, "Corporate Retreat".


Z Nation is produced by Go2 Digital Media for The Asylum.[9] On June 29, 2014, it was announced that the filming of 13 episodes for the first season of the series was underway.[10][11] On October 12, 2014, Syfy announced that it had ordered a second season of Z Nation.[3] Schaefer and Engler have described Z Nation as an attempt to "put the fun back into zombies", criticizing shows like The Walking Dead for being too serious.[12] Z Nation's first season had a budget of less than $700,000 per episode.[13]


The first season of Z Nation received mixed reviews from professional television critics. Its aggregate score on Metacritic is 48[14] on scale of 0 to 100.[15] The Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus gave the show a rating of 53%, admitting that "although it's hampered by an overcrowded narrative, Z Nation manages to muster up some fun scares without taking itself too seriously."[16] Chris Carabott of IGN noted that the show "continues to set itself apart in campy and inventive ways."[17] Brian Moylan of The Guardian called Z Nation scary "in the same vague way as that talking green blob is in the Mucinex commercials" and concluded that viewers would hate all the characters, but that "Citizen Z (DJ Qualls) is especially horrible."[18] Forbes magazine found the show had a high entertainment value.[19]

In its first season, Z Nation averaged 1.42 million viewers per episode, including a .48 rating in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.[20]


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 September 12, 2014 (2014-09-12) December 5, 2014 (2014-12-05)
2 15 September 11, 2015 (2015-09-11) December 18, 2015 (2015-12-18)

Z Nation is distributed internationally by Dynamic Television.[9] The series premiered on Syfy in Australia on April 1, 2015,[21] and was watched by 26,000 viewers.[22] The United Kingdom premiere aired on Freeview channel Pick on July 21, 2015.[23]

Home release

Season 1 was released on DVD on February 10, 2015 by Syfy in association with Universal Home Entertainment.[24][25] The series is also available to view on Netflix in the United States, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Finland and Peru.[citation needed]

Season 1 has been available on Netflix Spain, UK, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France since April 2016.


  1. Z Nation, Season 1 on iTunes
  2. Official website
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  11. Geranios, Nicholas K. (June 29, 2014). "New zombie TV series 'Z Nation' films in Spokane this summer, big economic impact expected". therepublic.com. Retrieved July 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  13. Owen, Rob (September 8, 2014). "'Z Nation' aims to be TV's next big zombie thing". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Z Nation : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved December 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "How We Create the Metascore Magic". Metacritic. Retrieved March 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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External links