Here’s everything you need to know about Pamela Milton ahead of her debut in The Walking Dead season 11. As the death throes of the Whisperers rang out, fans of the Walking Dead comic books knew exactly which villains were coming next and, indeed, Eugene was already on his way to meet them when the final battle against Beta took place. The Commonwealth is the final major arc in Robert Kirkman’s original zombie apocalypse tale, and with season 11 confirmed as the TV show’s last dance, that’ll be the case on AMC also.
The first Commonwealth-er introduced in The Walking Dead is, technically speaking, Stephanie, though Eugene’s long-distance girlfriend has yet to appear in the flesh. Those who did appear in the flesh were the armor-clad Commonwealth soldiers, who ambushed the travelers from Alexandria and took them captive in a distinctly unfriendly hello. The socially-distant The Walking Dead season 10 addendum did little to lift the Commonwealth’s mystique, but marketing material for season 11 is being far more generous, with a first look at Mercer, a hint that Yumiko’s brother survived, and casting confirmation for Josh Hamilton as the smarmy Lance.
Most intriguing of all, however, is the announcement that Laila Robins will be playing the Commonwealth’s leader, Pamela Milton. Initially, many viewers suspected Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) was replacing Milton on TV, and while the characters were remarkably alike, that theory can now be laid to rest. Though Pam has remained in the shadows thus far, she’ll obviously become a pivotal figure when The Walking Dead season 11 begins. Here’s what Pamela’s introduction means for Daryl and the gang, and how Laila Robins will shake up the landscape of The Walking Dead.
Pamela Milton’s Origin & Role In The Walking Dead Comics
In the comics, Pamela Milton is described as a politician from The Walking Dead‘s “old world,” and she has taken that transferable skill straight to the top of the Commonwealth. Since Alexandria’s Deanna Monroe was a U.S. congresswoman, this aspect of Pamela’s backstory might be altered somewhat for TV. Post-apocalypse, Pamela strove to form the Commonwealth, which is by far the biggest and most advanced civilization in the original comics. This same isn’t true on-screen, due to the TV-original Civic Republic, whose numbers are more than 4 times higher than the Commonwealth’s. This either means Pamela won’t be as big of a deal as her comic counterpart in The Walking Dead season 11, or the Commonwealth could get a population boost to put it on-par with the Civic Republic.
Referred to as “Governor” Milton, Pamela has done a solid job in bringing civilization back to the zombie apocalypse. Her people are safe and fed, which is more than can be said for most folks in The Walking Dead, and the Commonwealth has reinstated commercial luxuries such as music concerts, sports, and bakeries. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side to Milton’s rule, as her ways are also entrenched in a desperately unfair class system, where those in positions of power and influence enjoy perks that the regular Commonwealth-ers don’t. There’s also an element of racism within this institutional discrimination.
Make no mistake, Pamela Milton is an antagonist in The Walking Dead, but not in the same vein as the Governor, Negan or Alpha. Instead, Milton’s villainy comes from her self-assured belief that everything in the Commonwealth is perfect, and her refusal to accept that a smaller community like Alexandria might’ve worked out a better way of operating. In that sense, Pamela is just an regular politician – albeit one who managed to survive the zombie outbreak long enough to rule over a massive settlement.
Laila Robins Plays Pamela In The Walking Dead: Where You Know Her From
For The Walking Dead‘s comic fans, Laila Robins as Pamela Milton is a casting masterstroke, not just in terms of physical appearance and acting pedigree, but also considering her many previous roles along similar lines. Robins’ face will be familiar to most fans for one reason or another. On the big screen, the actress appeared as Jillian Goldman in 2015’s Eye in the Sky alongside Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul. Before that came a role as Patricia in Clint Eastwood’s True Crime, and a comedic part as Susan in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Despite her litany of theatrical credits, Robins is perhaps better known for her appearances on the small screen.
Most recently, the Minnesota-born actress turned up as Grace Mallory in The Boys – the original team’s leader who recruited Billy Butcher soon after his wife’s disappearance. Mallory enjoyed even more prominence in The Boys season 2, which included flashbacks to her ill-fated operation against Lamplighter. Superhero exploits aside, Laila Robins played U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Martha Boyd, in Homeland(er), cropping up throughout season 4. Another of Robins’ biggest roles came in The Blacklist, where she portrayed the older Katarina Rostova. Known primarily for politicians, advisors or spies, Robins is ideally positioned to bring the politically astute and unnervingly cagey Pamela Milton to life in The Walking Dead.
How Pamela Milton & The Commonwealth Fit Into Walking Dead Season 11
Based on the information revealed so far, it seems The Walking Dead‘s live-action Pamela Milton won’t stray far from the source material. There’s a clear visual similarity between Laila Robins and the Commonwealth’s leader, and the role hasn’t been gender-flipped like past political premier, Deanna Monroe. Also interesting is how The Walking Dead season 11 will introduce the Reapers – a group of villainous hunters who pursued Maggie back to Alexandria bearing some unknown grudge. The fact that these Reapers are burning folks alive and sniping down protagonists proves they’ll be a more “traditional” threat in The Walking Dead season 11. Consequently, expect Milton and her Commonwealth to walk the same morally ambiguous not-quite-good-not-quite-bad territory as they do in the comic books.
One change implemented by necessity in The Walking Dead season 11 will be Pamela’s Alexandrian sparring partner. The comics see her trading leadership points with Rick Grimes and Michonne – both of whom are no longer currently on TV. Pamela’s dynamic with Rick is especially important, since the Walking Dead‘s protagonist incites Pamela’s envy by winning over the hearts of her people. Though season 11’s trailer teased Yumiko would assume Michonne’s storyline, it’s not yet clear who’ll take Rick’s job, though Maggie would be the obvious call.
Another significant (and enforced) change to the Commonwealth concerns the Civic Republic. In the comics, the Commonwealth posed one final test for Rick to overcome – building bridges with a community who are genuinely capable of restoring civilization. But on TV, there’s a larger story playing out across all the various Walking Dead shows, as well as the upcoming Rick Grimes movie. At present, none of the main Walking Dead group know of the Civic Republic’s existence, but given the resources at her disposal, the Commonwealth just might. In fact, Milton may already have a deal in place with the Civic Republic – something other groups have signed (and soon regretted) in Walking Dead: World Beyond. Laila Robins’ character could act as a gateway to introduce the deadly CRM (Civic Republic Military) into the main series, shedding light on the fate of Rick, and giving some indication as to The Walking Dead‘s future.