25 May 2014

Review: The Walking Dead - Season One

I hadn't heard much about The Walking Dead until a few weeks ago when I was bought seasons 1-3 for my birthday (Thank you!). All I knew was that it was about zombies, so naturally I thought it would be about surviving a post-apocalyptic zombie world. It is about that, but it's also so much more.

The Walking Dead centres around Rick Grimes, a police officer who has awoken in hospital after being shot only to find that the world as he knew it is gone. It is now overrun with zombies, otherwise known as Walkers. The first season focuses on his attempts to find his family and take them to a safe place. It is based on a graphic novel series of the same name.

At first I did think it was going to be another 28 Days Later. It had the same set-up, with the protagonist waking up in a hospital to find the world has succumbed to zombies. However with this being a TV series, it has the time to be much more in-depth than 28 Days Later, so I gave it more of a chance.

Another massive difference is that The Walking Dead is American. At first, I just could not get my head around the accents. Especially Shane's. It's just such a thick Southern American accent that I found it difficult to understand, but I am now used to it, though sometimes I still have to think about what he just said. I was amazed to find out that Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, is British. I would never have guessed. Then I saw his film credits, and that he was in Love Actually and I knew exactly who he was, admittedly because I didn't see how Keira Knightley could possibly reject him. So I think that shows that he's pretty darn versatile.

I'm also quite sure it's been more than 28 days after Rick Grimes was shot. One rather intriguing thing about The Walking Dead is that it doesn't tell you how long it has been since the outbreak, and doesn't tell you how these people became zombies. I presume that's because eventually we will get to know this through the use of flashbacks and clues throughout the seasons, and I personally can't wait.

The characters are well developed, and you can see why they do the things they do, even if it isn't for the best of reasons. Although I think Rick Grimes is great, has an awesome name and a fantastic moral compass, my favourite character is Daryl. He is basically kick-ass. I think the only things you need to know about him is that he is awesome with a crossbow and quite impulsive but is multi-faceted too. There are quite a few characters, but they are all developed properly and allow you to have insight into what it would be like for them during zombie attacks and in the aftermath of them. Saying this, I am quite surprised nobody has gone mad yet.

There are a few characters I don't like. This is mostly because they're a bit annoying or just plain stupid, but this is a series where anyone could be killed off at any moment, so I'm holding out hope.

Themes of survival, love, betrayal, loss and moral conscience make this series more than just your average zombie-filled offering. It also has the standard gory zombie scenes you would, and definitely should expect.

The Walking Dead is, in essence, everything I could ever ask for. Its got heart (figuratively and literally), guts, gore and great character development and I very much look forward to watching the other seasons.

I'm giving it 8 out of 10. It loses some points because of the few annoying characters and because I know I'm going to have to wait a while for story-lines to be completed and things to be explained. That said, I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.