After waking from a coma in a deserted health center, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he understood gone - wrecked by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic percentages. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment has a hard time to make it through as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others keep their humanity as they fight to reside in this terrifying brand-new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately make it through one another? AMC's The Walking Dead is an impressive, survival adventure series from the director of The Shawshank Redemption and the producer of The Terminator and Aliens.
Perhaps the biggest hit of the 2010 tv season, the armageddon drama The Walking Dead
pulls the zombie subgenre from its overexposed doldrums and finds, ironically enough, the humanity and emotion below its decaying shell. Produced by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption
) and Gale Anne Hurd (Aliens
) and based on the well-known graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead
follows a band of Atlanta-based survivors of a viral outbreak that has actually triggered the dead to rise up and take in the living. The group's small leader is a sheriff's deputy (Andrew Lincoln) who wakes from a gunshot-induced coma to discover the world in disarray and his spouse (Sarah Wayne Callies, Prison Break
) and child missing. His look for his family and the survivors' attempts making sense of their lives in the wake of the outbreak is managed with intelligence and sensitivity, which helps to raise the program beyond the grindhouse take on zombies, which prefers spilled guts over character advancement. That's not to state that the blood does not flow plentifully right here: the special effects are on par with zombie-movie chaos, but again, they aren't the program's raison d'être. Strong efficiencies, including Jon Bernthal as Lincoln's partner, Jeffrey DeMunn as the group's leading rationalist, and Michael Rooker and Norman Reedus as a pair of trouble-making rednecks, and grasping suspense make each of the very first season's six episodes engaging from start to complete for both horror fans and those who dislike the genre as a whole.
The two-disc set of Walking Dead's very first season consists of all six episodes, along with a variety of making-of extras, including the program's conception and production, a talk with Robert Kirkman (he's a fan), a look at the makeup by KNB Studios, and the program's panel at the 2010 ComicCon. All the principal gamers on both sides of the cam are given adequate screen time to discuss their vision for the program, its influences (George Romero, naturally), and the difficulties of illustrating completion of civilization on a budget plan. -- Paul Gaita