Zombies! Zombies! ZOMBIES!
It’s here! IT’S FINALLY HERE!
The Walking Dead
Episode one: “Days Gone By”
It’s tough being a comic fan these days. Now that seemingly everything with word balloons is being optioned as a movie, television show, or even audiobook, there’s the risk of something that you love being ruined by its adaptation, which in turn makes the masses think that the source material is also bad. Exhibit A can be seen here. That being said, it is with much relief and excitement that I can tell you that AMC’s The Walking Dead does not suck. In fact, it is one of the absolute BEST opening episodes for a series that I have ever seen.
The amazing thing that Producer Frank Darabont has done here is not only respect the source material, but also enhance upon it. Darabont directs the opener, which finds Police Sheriff Rick Grimes waking from a coma in a post-zombie outbreak world. He meets Morgan, a fellow survivor who has been camping out in his neighbor’s house with his son. He quickly learns the “rules” of these zombies, as well as returns to the police department to retrieve his uniform and weapons, setting out to find his wife and child.
But that synopsis doesn’t do the series opener justice. Like the comic book, The Walking Dead is less about the zombies and more about the survivors who are trying to figure out how to live life in a very new way. Even in this opener, we are given some amazing moments for these characters, Morgan especially (who really showed up for maybe a few spots in the opening arc). SPOILER The scene where Morgan takes it into his own hands to “put down” the zombie of his wife was absolutely gut wrenching SPOILER. If this episode is any indication, Walking Dead will have some amazing character driven moments.
However, that’s not to say that the zombies don’t look AMAZING. I sincerely hope that they Emmys create a special effects make-up category just so The Walking Dead can win it. Their wounds look real, they walk real, and they are the scariest things I’ve ever seen on network TV. We also get the feeling as viewers that none of these people wanted to become zombies, as there is a very tragic air around many of these creatures, especially the legless zombie that Rick happens upon (which also looks incredible).
If you’re a fan of the comic and are worrying that you already know what’s going to happen, fear not, as creator Robert Kirkman has stated that the story will veer off when allowed to in order to keep things fresh for longtime fans of the comic. Although with an opener this good, I doubt you’ll have to do much to keep the fans interested. This is the start of something big folks. Don’t miss out.