The Walking Dead premiered this Halloween on AMC and is another great step forward for the network and TV in general.
The pilot introduces us to the tip of the iceberg of this world and oh what a world it may be. Having never read the graphic novel series I might be inclined to pick it up after this brief introduction to the world. Our hero, Rick, is a sheriff’s marshal outside Atlanta and is put into a comma when he is shot in a bank robbery/car chase gone wrong. Waking up apparently months later his hospital is ravaged and full of dead bodies. As he rushes home to find his wife he finds the streets abandoned, bodies half eaten, and zombie’s roaming the streets. After hooking up with a father/son pair in the suburbs, Rick, decides to head off to Atlanta to find his wife and son where there is apparently a military controlled safe zone. Rick quickly discovers Atlanta is not the safe haven he hoped for and we are left at the end of the pilot with our hero surrounded by zombies and trapped in an unarmed tank.
Frank Darabont has been vital to bring this zombie graphic novel to the small screen, even directing the fantastic pilot, and hopefully his involvement continues beyond this six episode mini-series. The show has atmosphere, the zombies look incredible, the gore of the film is not held back, and the few characters we met in the pilot are all interesting and engaging and I look forward to seeing where they go. Well, actually, the survivor camp that we see briefly was a bit pointless and to be honest the reveal could have been saved till whenever Rick catches up with them (even if it had the interesting cheating wife reveal). The episode looked and felt like a film and if Darabont and company are capable of keeping this high quality alive then we are in for quite the ride.
The listed cast in the opening titles is fairly small and I wonder how that will play into the show. It is only a six episode run for this inaugural season and while it looks like we are likely to get a follow up season how can this small of a cast work in a zombie show in which people are obviously going to have to die. The show is off to a great start and it will be really interesting to see how the rest of the series plays out and how they will create more food for the hungry here. Will they expand beyond Atlanta’s region? Find new survivors? We can only wait and see and I am for one extremely excited to see where this goes.
I am not a horror fan by any means but the talent behind this story was easy to get behind and it looks like we will not regret it. The pilot was a wonderful start to the series and has set itself up to remain certainly engaging for five more episodes. Let’s just hope that the season can set up a compelling series to follow for the years to come.
-Not the horse!
-Can’t comment enough about how great the look of the zombies are.
-The scene cutting between Rick tracking down the half zombie and Morgan trying to shoot his wife was the highlight of the episode.
-Love that Rick is showing compassion for the zombies.
-Morgan’s wife at the door was the creepiest shot of the night.
-I also love that Darabont had to hold back nothing in the gore department and neuter a zombie show for cable TV; thank you AMC.
-Sure it was a little lame to rip off 28 Days Later in the hospital wake up scene, but there aren’t many other options if you want to hide the reasoning behind why everything is happening.
-Darabont was right that the look of the show would stand out as they used Super 16MM (I think) and I really dug the gritty look.
Ok, until next week, expect Monday updates from here on out for The Walking Dead!