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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Shuffling along the small screen

The Walking Dead TV series is tucked away on the FX channel on these shores. A pity really because it's one of the most innovative and cinematic looking TV series ever shown. Mind you The Shield also started on FX and look where that one went, so it seems a safe bet that The Walking Dead will get a mainstream screening.

It's bloody good. Bloody being the operative word. You'd expect the constraints of TV to mean that the story would be considerably tamed down visually but that's not the case here and the show is every bit as gory as any Romero zombie flick.

When this series was initially announced it was rumoured that it would be filmed in black and white to more closely mirror the style of comic, but thankfully the makers went for full gross out colour. It would have worked in black and white but it wouldn't have looked so awesome in HD.

The TV show seems to be following the plot of the bestselling comic very closely, even if events are switched around. Some of the more memorable scenes from the early issues of the comic crop up in the pilot episode - even the gory ones in which the horse is torn apart by a horde of zombies in a feeding frenzy.

It's also really well acted all round with a diverse and interesting bunch of survivors to keep the viewer engrossed- the show follows Rick Grimes a police officer who is shot and falls into a coma. When he awakens he finds himself in a deserted hospital, his beard has grown but strangely his hair is the same length, and as he stumbles about aimlessly be starts to realise that something strange has happened and now the town is populated by zombies.

He escapes the hospital and eventually find his way home only to discover that his wife and son are gone. He still believes them alive and figures they would have gone to Atlanta where the army are protecting people from the horrors. However when Rick gets there he finds the city swarming with the undead but he ends up with a group of survivors who eventually lead him to their camp where he finds his wife and son very much alive.


Is that it? Hell no - this is just the start of a great survivor adventure with some cool and gross looking zombies. It's all carried off seriously and there are some genuine scares waiting the viewer. I've seen the first two episodes of what is a six part series and I'm eager to catch next week's show.

 The second episode wears its Romero influences in full view when the survivors are trapped building which pays homage to the shopping mall storyline of Day of the Dead. The rooftop scenes looking down on a city full of the walking dead are breathtaking.

The hugely popular comic book

A second series has already been commissioned which will come as no surprise after watching an episode - it really is that good.

1 comment:

Ray said...

If it hadn't have been for 'Radio Times' I would have missed this little gem. I have it on record so that I don't miss it.
And good to see that the main lead is a Brit.