For many, season three of The Walking Dead ended disappointingly. Early threats of ‘war is coming’ died down and with a damp squib, the run petered out with many of the conflicts and plot lines intact. Perfect for those who enjoy the moody exchanges between Rick and The Governor, but the season’s denouement did little for the show’s progression.

It wouldn’t be fair to judge season three entirely on its own merits, though – season four is looking like it’ll have a profound effect on peoples’ opinions on the last.

The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead fans get into the swing of things

So to recap: the Governor went bananas and killed all of his men, unsuspectingly leaving behind one of his old minions. He then took off and is sure to return, eye patch and all. Rick finally got over the death of his wife and mother of his two children, and it probably won’t take him too long to get over the death of Andrea – she was probably the most universally hated TV character of all time.

Elsewhere, fans’ favourite Daryl was reduced to tears for the first time as he was forced to end the second life of his brother Merle. Carl is a badass now; he kills people and zombies, but he’s no less annoying. And finally - unless our team of unlikely survivors don’t clear out more cellblocks - they’ll be in close-quarters with their adopted Newbury buddies who narrowly escaped the Governor’s Patrick Bateman moment. Sure, American Psycho was more ‘systematic killings’ that ‘unexpected mass cull’ but you get the picture.

David MorrisseyDavid Morrissey cuts a scary figure as The Govenor

So what do we want to see now?

Part of The Walking Dead’s charm is the lack of permanence – a plot point that represents the hallmark of good writing. Just as the group get comfortable, things change and they’re forced to relocate despite the dangers of the zombie-infested road (see season 1’s campsite and season 2's farm – the pinnacle of the show for this staff writer).

So a return to the road would represent a welcome apex of tension. The prison had some excellent moments; the scenes in which they clear the terrifying cells brought back the thrills of season one, but to stay there for another 16 episodes would render the show’s comeback as stale.

Norman Reedus Laurie HoldenWas Norman Reedus meant for a zombie apocalypse?

“Hopefully all those people will be excited about the stuff that's coming in this new season. Maybe some of the [conflict with Michonne, Rick and the Governor] wasn't entirely skipped over. It's all part of a greater story because the story is continuing. All that stuff is going to affect the future,” said the show runner, Scott Gimple, who is charged with filling the considerable shoes of Frank Darabont. (From Fear Net)

Hopefully this “greater story” heralds a return to the scientific aspect of the show – the neurological intricacies of the disease that have turned sentient human beings into flesh-eating animals. We got a glimpse of this at the end of season 1 at the CDC before it blew to smithereens.

Andrew LincolnEnglish actor Andrew Lincoln has impressed with his turn as Rick Grimes

The decision to prolong David Morrisey’s character is understandable, even if it did dampen the ending of season three. He brought to life the idea of humans being more dangerous to our group than the zombies, and now that’s he’s not bound by the loosest sense of morality possible – all his followers have dissipated or been shot in the brain – we can expect even more from him.

Season four doesn't have a premiere date yet, but we know what the episode will be called: 30 Days Without an Accident. Now, 5 minutes without something happening spells a huge set piece in the context of the show, so 30 days? We’re anticipating some fireworks come October.

The Walking Dead Cast
How much will we see of Danai Gurira, Narman Reedus and Steven Yeun in season four?