Last night's 'The Walking Dead' season 3 premiere "Seed" was just about everything we hoped it would be, and more, certainly leaving us in the lurch with a tense, and unexpected cliffhanger.  At least one member of the group seems now to be in dire straights, while a new threat emerged from inside the prison walls, but what's the story?  Will Rick Grimes and the other survivors know how to handle this new menace?  Show-runner Glen Mazzara clarifies just what we saw in the last-minute twist inside!

For those who have yet to watch 'The Walking Dead's season 3 premiere "Seed" in its entirety, this here's your port of harbor.  You still here?  Good, we'll proceed.  As both fans of the series and newcomers were shocked to see, Rick and the other survivors discovered in the final moments of the episode that they weren't alone in the prison!  As Rick hacked off Hershel's leg to prevent the spread of infection from his bite, five faces popped up from behind a counter to investigate the commotion.  But who are these men?

Comic book readers know that Rick Grimes also found survivors in the prison, consisting of inmates Axel, Thomas, Andrew and Dexter.  On the surface, AMC's incarnation comprises a different roster of five men, but how close is the adaptation.  In our Comic-TV comparison, we noted that the credits identified four of the five men as Big Tiny, Oscar, Andrew and Tomas, but didn't know until last night that the fifth, and only speaking member of the group was confirmed to be Axel!

Entertainment Weekly also had a chance to speak to series show-runner Glen Mazzara, who explained a bit about each inmate, and what they'll bring to the table:

Tomas (played by Nick Gomez, far right)

“Tomas is the leader. Tomas is the alpha male. He’s the one who is in charge and he is the one who has set the rules and he did before the apocalypse, he’s been doing that since, and suddenly, here’s Rick telling him, ‘This isn’t even your prison any more.’ Tomas is not going to stand for that.”

Andrew (played by Markice Moore, second from right)

“Andrew is really Tomas’ right hand man. These guys are really the ones who have been intimidating Axel and Oscar.”

Axel (played by Lew Temple, center)

“Axel is a great character. He’s someone who was probably a two-bit criminal who finds himself in a bigger mess. He’s probably happy to be freed by Rick because he realizes he’s not as cutthroat as Tomas and Andrew.”

Oscar (played by Vincent Ward, second from left)

“Oscar is another guy who has had to go along with Tomas’ rule.”

Big Tiny (played by Theodus Crane, left)

“Big Tiny is the muscle of the group. The idea was that all of these guys together are a formidable force. These are hardened convicts who have survived living together for almost a year, almost in the same way that Rick and his group have. So this is a surprising force for Rick to come up against. And they are formidable. And they are scary. And they are dangerous. Just as dangerous as Rick’s group.”

We'll learn much more about the prisoners in next week's 'Walking Dead' continuation "Sick," but in the meantime what do you think?  Were you surprised to see other survivors in the prison?  What did you think about the premiere?