What would you do if somebody told you people were coming back from the dead and biting into any living thing that went near them (even horses)?
If you’re an avid consumer of the AMC hit series, The Walking Dead, you’ve probably already prepared a detailed answer that includes the weapon (Michonne’s swords) you’d use to tear into the walkers’ heads and kill off the virus.
We’ve become somewhat desensitised to the idea of a world overrun by resurrected and practically indestructible beings that sniff out the living for consumption.
It’s our norm. We know the ins and outs of how they move, how to avoid them and how to kill them.
But then somebody hit the rewind button, we’ve travelled back in time to a world barely touched by walkers and fans now have the opportunity to see how people would react at the very start of an undead apocalypse.
Through the Clark family – mother Madison; stepfather or boyfriend Travis; the 18-year-old drug addict son Nick; and the teenage daughter with an attitude Alicia – we are re-introduced to these unusual creatures. We don’t know where they’ve come from, what’s giving them a never-ending supply of lives and why they’re eating living beings. But most of all, we don’t yet know how to kill them.
They’re a complete unknown and for the first time since seeing Rick come to terms with their existence at the start of The Walking Dead, these walkers are drumming up fear in society.
In true The Walking Dead-style, Fear the Walking Dead focuses on human or civilisation’s reactions to the unknown.
In the situation where video footage captures a seemingly dead person come back to life and munching on a paramedic or when a character is a little high and happens to walk in on his girlfriend chewing into a random’s face – some think they’re losing their minds (Nick), others trust authorities to solve the issue (Madison), a few try to investigate the situation themselves (Travis) and then there are those that enter complete denial (Alicia).
As well as seeing people’s initial reactions to the craziness, a highlight of the show so far are is the subtle introduction of walkers or ‘the infected’. This will particularly excite fans of The Walking Dead. Like when Tabias – the awkward high school student – whispered ‘we’re safer in numbers’ or the panicked response hospital staff had to the passing of Nick’s hospital room mate.
Writers discreetly and thoughtfully weaved in little familiarities to a fresh plot, giving fans something to connect to while offering something completely new.
Only one episode in and Fear the Walking Dead has me hooked. I can’t wait to rediscover the walkers from another perspective and learn a few things Rick and his crew are yet to discover.
This show may even change the way we view The Walking Dead.
What did you think of the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead?