The Walking Dead may have—due to circumstances beyond its control—left its viewers in the lurch back in April with its yet-to-air Season 10 finale, but it seems that there’s news to be had about Season 11—casting news, specifically.
Margot Bingham has joined the cast of The Walking Dead for Season 11, reports Deadline. While the trade can’t confirm what role Bingham will play, it’s certainly worth noting that she has already been involved with the series, having voiced the role of Eugene’s (Josh McDermitt) mysterious radio chat-mate/would-be-romance, Stephanie; a fact that might lead one to presume she’s set to play the role in person, now having been properly cast.
The actress will make her Walking Dead onscreen debut in Season 11 after recent television runs on NBC medical drama New Amsterdam, Netflix Spike Lee adaptation comedy She’s Gotta Have It and CBS All Access drama One Dollar. Additionally, fans of classic HBO series Boardwalk Empire will undoubtedly remember her role as sultry jazz club singer Daughter Maitland, for which she showcased powerful, soulful pipes, proving that her voice repertoire isn’t restricted to post-apocalyptic radio-wave-sent storyline foreshadowing.
Bingham’s voice role as Stephanie started to make her presence felt on The Walking Dead starting with Season 9, Episode 16, “The Storm,” in which the mysterious voice of the then-unknown character was heard on the radio that Eugene constructed for communication between the Hilltop and Alexandria communities. It’s a plot thread that would eventually rise to prominence in Season 10 once a lonely Eugene—left lovelorn after his final failed attempt at a relationship with Rosita—had started conversing with the owner of the mysterious voice, with whom he shared common interests, sensibilities and eventually enough trust on the initially-furtive Stephanie’s behalf to reveal her name and general location. The radio courtship even managed to make Iron Maiden’s “When the Wild Wind Blows” their song.
However, the post-apocalyptic long-distance romance was cut short after the Whisperer’s fiery attack on Hilltop destroyed the radio. Thus, their only hope as a couple now rests on a perilous meetup at their agreed upon rendezvous point; a journey on which we last left Eugene—joined by Ezekiel, Yumiko and newcomer Princess—in Season 10, Episode 15, “The Tower,” the last one aired before the COVID-caused cut-off. Yet, fans of Robert Kirkman’s source material comic book know of Stephanie’s importance regarding a transition to the mythos’s next—and final—big storyline with the introduction of her home, The Commonwealth, a network of communities unified under a quasi-nation-state, collectively made up of around 50,000 survivors—certainly the largest and most powerful group our characters have ever encountered.
For now, details remain unknown regarding how—or if—The Commonwealth will manifest on the timeline-divergent television series, along with any possible connection to the well-resourced group that whisked away Rick Grimes on their helicopter. Yet, it’s a safe bet that Eugene’s journey to meet Stephanie—presumably played in the flesh by Bingham—will represent the first step into a world that’s exponentially larger than the “Larger World” (as the 16th volume of the comic collection called it,) they entered with the introduction of the Hilltop Colony and other survivors.