If a mystery epidemic took hold and civilisation started to break down, how far would you go to protect the ones you love?

Fear the Walking Dead, the thrilling companion series to hit drama The Walking Dead, is heading to AMC (BT TV channel 332/381 HD) for its eagerly awaited third season – exclusive to BT customers.

The post-apocalyptic drama has won hordes of fans with its suspenseful plot, engaging characters and goosebump-inducing special effects.

If you’ve yet to dip your toe into the world of Fear the Walking Dead, here’s what you need to know about the story so far.

**Warning: Spoilers below**
Fear the Walking Dead starts before the mystery epidemic begins, whereas The Walking Dead starts after the initial outbreak is already over and the world is already in the grip of the epidemic and its aftermath.

So Fear the Walking Dead gives us a chance to see how the epidemic evolved from the first reports of unusual activity.

Season One

As the epidemic begins and civilisation starts to crumble, we follow a group of survivors in Los Angeles as they navigate the brave new world they find themselves in.  The initial focus is on the dysfunctional Clark-Manawa family, made up of Madison Clark, a high-school guidance counsellor, her boyfriend Travis, Madison’s 19-year-old son Nick and daughter Alicia, and Travis’s teenage son Chris. They are joined by Chris’s mother Liza.

For the Clark-Manawa family, life is already complicated enough, and when people around them start to succumb to a mystery virus that turns them into the infected, things get even more complex.

As they start to notice people becoming infected, the family decides to flee Los Angeles for the safety of the nearby desert. Things don’t go according to plan as the family finds itself caught up in the middle of a fast-moving epidemic – joining up with another family of survivors, the Salazars, on the way.

Fear the Walking Dead - The Story so far

As a twist of fate leads them back to their own house, they find themselves in the middle of a National Guard-quarantined ‘safe zone’. Tensions in enforced close quarters escalate and the families are split when Griselda Salazar and Nick are evacuated to a hospital – with Liza going too to help the doctors.

Nonetheless, the safe zone proves to be anything but as the survivors discover that rather than save them, the National Guard is planning to kill the civilians to prevent the epidemic from spreading, under the codename ‘Cobalt’. 

The Clark-Manawas and Salazars decide to escape, heading first to pick up their family members who had been evacuated to the hospital/military base. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 of the infected are heading in the same direction.

With Griselda dead and the infected breaching the base, the others manage to flee and head to the mansion of another survivor who was at the base – Victor Strand. In the melee at the base, Liza has been bitten and Travis is forced to kill his ex-wife.

Strand reveals that he has a yacht, the Abigail, and they plan to head out to sea.

[Read more: Fear the Walking Dead season three - Everything you need to know]

Season Two

Season two found the characters asking the key question, “Can the infected swim?”.

The Abigail sails away from Los Angeles - which has been wiped out by the military - to face an uncertain future on the high seas. Here the survivors meet fresh hazards and challenges – including whether or not to help other survivors who cross their paths.

As they discover that the threat from the infected is as great on sea as it is on land, the group flees first to an isolated island, then to Mexico.

While moored off the Mexican coast, the Abigail is boarded by pirates, who although very much alive, are just as dangerous as the infected. The group is split, with Travis and Alicia taken prisoner and ashore. After a daring escape from the clutches of the pirates, the survivors head to a supposedly safe compound in Mexico.

Fear the Walking Dead

Again, the supposedly safe haven proves to be anything but and it leaves the survivors questioning not only each other’s sanity but that of those in the compound. After Daniel Salazar sets the compound on fire, the others flee. However, the group is more fractured than ever and they don’t all flee in the same direction.

Nick finds himself in Tijuana, with a cult-like group of Mexican survivors with an enigmatic leader, while Madison, Strand, Alicia and Ofelia (the Salazars’ daughter) are barricaded in a hotel where they’ve taken refuge – as the infected attack. Travis and Chris are wandering the countryside, with Travis determined to help his son.

As the survivors in the hotel manage to kill the infected by drowning them in the sea, Ofelia has set out on her own to head back to the US. Chris is lured away from Travis’s protection by a group of stranded tourists and Travis finds his way to the hotel where he is able to join the others.

Bandits attack the compound where Nick is staying, but he has already convinced everyone to flee. As the bandits are killed by the infected, Nick and the other compound-members head for the border.

At the hotel, when Travis discovers that the tourists have killed his son, Chris, he kills them – and is exiled from the hotel survivors for doing so. Along with Madison and Alicia, Travis leaves the hotel and they make their way to Tijuana before finding themselves on Nick’s trail to the border.

What to expect from season 3

Some details of the plot of season 3 have been revealed by AMC:

“As Fear the Walking Dead returns for season three, our families will be brought together in the vibrant and violent region formerly known as the US-Mexico border.

Fear the Walking Dead - The Story so far

“International lines done away with following the world’s end, our characters must attempt to rebuild not only society, but family as well. Madison has reconnected with Travis, her apocalyptic partner, but Alicia has been fractured by her murder of Andres.

“Madison’s son is only a few miles from his mother, but Nick’s first action as a leader saw him and Luciana ambushed by an American militia group — the couple escaped death, Luciana was shot and Nick no longer feels immortal.

“Recovering both emotionally and physically, Strand has his sights set on harnessing the new world’s currency, and Ofelia's captivity will test her ability to survive and see if she can muster the savagery of her father.”

Fear the Walking Dead returns on Monday, June 5 at 9pm on AMC – exclusive to BT customers.

Watch AMC on BT TV channel 332/381 HD and BT Sport pack subscribers on Sky Guide channel 192.

The double-bill premiere will also be simulcast with the US at 2am on Sunday, June 5.

The premiere episode will also be shown on BT Sport Showcase on Freeview channel 115.

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Photo credits: AMC