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The Walking Dead Review


The Walking Dead Review


  AMC's original programming continues to gain strength with the addition of The Walking Dead television series to their Sunday primetime lineup.


  The Walking Dead is a television adaption of a long running comic book series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore which was released by Image Comics beginning back in 2003. I have never read The Walking Dead comic so I cannot say here how true the adaption remains to the source material. I can only judge The Walking Dead television show on its own merits.


Comicbook vs Television adaption

Sheriff Rick Grimes pretty badass in any form.


  The show begins with Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincon) scavenging for fuel on a deserted highway. He soon sees a little girl wandering between the wrecks strewn about the road. Grimes tries to get the girls attention, but when he does she reveals herself to be a monster.


  The show then flashes back to Sheriff Grimes sitting with his partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) in a squad car as they discuss Shane's views on women and Grimes recent marital problems. They soon have to answer a call for assistance and head off to lay a spike strip across a road were officers from another county are in high speed pursuit of some fugitives.


  The spike trap works (a little too well flipping the car over) and soon all the officers and fugitives are involved in a shootout. Sheriff Grimes is struck in his bullet proof vest, he stands up freaking out that he was hit and tells his partner never to mention this to his wife, but another fugitive exits the car and Sheriff Grimes is shot again, this time being hit in a less protected area.


  We then move on to a drug induced haze of a scene were his partner Shane is bringing him flowers in the hospital. Grimes is barely aware of his surroundings and fades in and out of consciousness. When he finally wakes up the flowers in the vase next to him are all dried out and dead. Grimes tries to get up out of bed but collapses on the floor, he calls out for a nurse but no one answers his pleas.


  Grimes attempts to leave his room finding that a gurney was blocking the door to his room closed. As Grimes begins to explore the hospital, he finds that it looks like a war zone with bullet riddled walls and desiccated corpses in the halls. He stumbles around trying to find out what is going on but it seems he is all alone.


  Grimes comes across a locked cafeteria door with the words don't open dead inside spray painted across its front, and he hears strange moans coming from inside. He continues to make his way down a dark staircase trying to find an exit from the hospital.


  When he at last reaches the exit door at the bottom of the darkened stairwell, he is blinded by the bright light of the sun. When his vision clears he sees several dozen dead bodies covered in flies and wrapped in white sheets littered across the hospitals parking lot. As he crest a hill along side of the hospital parking lot he finds an abandoned military outpost. What the hell is going on?


Welcome to the Zombie Apocalypse

Welcome to the zombie apocalypse Mr. Grimes.


  Grimes meets his first zombie in a park where he finds a bike, its obvious the zombie should be dead as it's missing most of its lower half. He quickly takes off returning to his home in search of his family.


  He finds that no one is home and soon meets the business end of a shovel being carried by a young survivor named Duane


  Duane and his father Morgan take in Sheriff Grimes and tend to his wounds. The pair of survivors provide exposition, clueing Grimes in on what is going on in the world. The trio make camp for the night in an abandoned house.


Duane, Morgan, and Grimes

No really mister, flesh eating zombies have taken over the world. Why would I lie about something like that?


  The next morning they fight their way back to Sheriff Grimes house searching for clues to his families whearabouts. Grimes knows his family must have made it out alive due to the absence of family photos at the house.


  Morgan and Duane tell Grimes that his family probably made a run for Atlanta, as the govenrment and Center for Disease Control were setting up refugee centers their before the broad casts stopped.


  The trio make there way to the police station to load up on weapons and gear, Morgan and Duane decide to stay behind while Grimes decides to head off to Atlanta to find his family broadcasting out on his CB along the way.


  A group of survivors (including Shane and the sheriff's wife and son) pick up Grimes signal but can't quite make out who it is or where it's coming from. The group discusses putting up warning signs to keep people away from Atlanta but decide it is not worth the risk.


  Grimes acquires a horse (must have reached high enough level for a mount) from a farm once his patrol car runs out of gas and continues to make his way toward Atlanta.


  Once in Atlanta he finds the city apparently abandoned except for a few zombies, but sees a helicopter flying nearby in the reflection of a sky scraper. Grimes charges off around the corner to get a better view of the helicopter and runs smack dab into a horde of zombies.


Grimes rides into a horde of zombies

Do not enter means do not enter!


  Grimes soon finds himself surrounded and the zombies pull him down from his horse, tearing it apart for its flesh. Grimes climbs under a tank parked on the street and is about to kill himself when he realizes the floor hatch is open and climbs inside. He quickly dispatches the lone zombie inside, temporarily deafening himself in the process (never a good idea to use a firearm in a confined space).


  We end the episode with Grimes trapped in the Tank surrounded by thousands of zombies when he receives a call on the tanks radio, "Hey you dumbass, yeah you in the tank, cozy in there?"  


  The Walking Dead is set in a Romeroesque universe that has suffered from a zombie apocalypse. The opening scene in the hospital reminded me a lot of 28 Days Latter and Resident Evil. However with a few exceptions this show is really done well, with visuals that are better than some multimillion dollar zombie movies that I have seen.


  I enjoy survival horror stories (my favorite being Dawn of the Dead). and if you're a fan of this type of genre then The Walking Dead will not disappoint you. There is a gore factor in the show so this is a series that is not suitable to watch with the very young (especially if they love horses).


  Overall the foundation laid down in the pilot was pretty good and I think this show could be another hit for AMC like Mad Men was. Hopefully the people who tuned in for the pilot will continue to come back week after week to see what happens next.


  If you missed the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, you can watch it for free online via HULU until November 23,2010.


Final Verdict: The Walking Dead Pilot 8/10



  Remember they walk you run.


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