AMC is gearing up for The Walking Dead mid-season premiere as they've officially revealed the title and synopsis for next month's return episode, in addition to a new behind the scenes video showcasing the Whisperers. Season 9 has been particularly impactful for more than one reason when it comes to the future of the hit series, not the least of which is the departure of Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, who is gone for good. At least on the show. But it's also brought with it a new threat, which is being set up in the mid-season premiere.

The Walking Dead season 9 will return with a new episode titled Adaptation. The episode picks up as "the group unmasks a disturbing and dangerous new thread. An escaped captive revisits his past." There are two key things we'll be checking out next month: One, we'll get our best look at the Whisperers yet and we're going to be revisiting someone's life via flashbacks. So there will be at least two very significant plot threads we're set to follow when the show returns.

Unquestionably, the Whisperers are the more intriguing part. The villains, which come straight from the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, are people who actually dress up like and blend in with the Walkers in order to survive in the harsh, post-apocalyptic wasteland. While the show tends to take liberties with the source material, this is one of the more violent chapters in the history of the Image Comics series. In the new BTS preview, showrunner Angela Kang talks a bit about what this new threat brings to the table.

"The Whisperers are a really unique adversary in our world. They're a group that's decided the world belongs to the Walkers now, so what we're going to do is walk with the Walkers. The way that they look at the world, the way they approach making their way through the world is pretty terrifying. It's hardcore."

Even setting aside the new threat, things just aren't the same on The Walking Dead these days. The series made a pretty hefty leap forward in time following the departure of Rick Grimes. The good news is that Rick didn't actually die, everyone just thinks he did. Instead, Andrew Lincoln is set to headline a trilogy of movies set within The Walking Dead universe. But the actor has confirmed that his time on the show is done.

Related: The Walking Dead Season 9 Finale Recap: The Storm Arrives

Aside from that, Lauren Cohan, for now, is also done as Maggie, leaving Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon as the new series lead. For AMC, it's been a rough couple of years, as ratings for the show have continued to decline. Despite that, it's still one of the biggest shows on TV, but it's something they certainly need to be aware of moving forward. The Walking Dead season 9 returns on Sunday, February 10. Be sure to check out the new Whisperers featurette from the AMC YouTube channel below.

Ryan Scott