The Walking Dead, Season One Blu-ray | DVD
Based on the Comic Book Series Created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore,
and Charlie Adlard, Developed for Television by Frank Darabont
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Norman
Reedus, Steven Yeun
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: March 8, 2011
When I first heard about AMC’s The Walking Dead, I was very intrigued. Not many networks take chances on comic book properties, let alone one that has nothing to do with tights or flights. I had read a few issues of the comic prior to watching the series and liked them very much, but for the most part I went into the series not really knowing what to expect, and I think that’s why I was so taken aback by what I saw.
From previews and television spots one could surmise that the show would be a relentless gore fest. While there is plenty of gore, The Walking Dead doesn’t rely on that to propel its incredible story. Producer Frank Darabont has an immense passion for this show, one that shines through in each episode on the recently released DVD/Blu-ray sets.
The series follows Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia. After being shot in a gun fight, Rick is taken to the hospital where he lays in a coma. Upon awakening, he finds that the hospital staff is gone, and the world he once knew is no longer the same. Wherever Rick turns, he is met with horror upon horror. The hospital is in shambles, and is teeming with things that were once human, but are no longer. Their expressions are lifeless, their clothes tattered, and rotting flesh falls from their bodies. These “walkers”, as they are referred to, stagger from place to place, biting and clawing at whatever moves. After making his way out of the hospital, Rick finds a young boy and his father who take him in and explain how the world has changed during his coma. These new creatures are everywhere, in every major city all over the world. All they want is to eat, and they prefer fresh meat. If you are bitten, you will become one of them, and there is nothing to stop that process other than death.
What unfolds over the rest of the six episode season is a compelling examination of what it would be like to live in such a world. The show becomes less about the supernatural happening, and more about how those still surviving cope with their surroundings. We meet people from all walks of life, learn how they live, and why they continue to go on in search of hope in the face of such a bleak outlook. None of them is safe in that world, and the writers make that abundantly clear with each episode.
Perhaps because only six episodes were produced, each is crafted with the utmost care. The main cast, comprised of Lincoln, Jon Bernthal (Shane), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori), Emma Bell (Amy), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Jeffery DeMunn (Dale), Norman Reedus (Daryl), and Steven Yeun (Glenn) all give stellar performances throughout. The series has a cinematic quality, filled with heavy emotions, unique visuals, and effects that look flawless on Blu-ray. The “walkers” themselves are incredible. Thanks to combined make up and CGI when necessary, nothing is held back. Season one’s finale, “TS-19″, stands out among the others as particularly emotional for the group. It answers enough of the viewers questions to feel satisfied by its conclusion, but leaves you longing for more. I, for one, will be glued to my television when the series returns this October.
If you are a fan of things that go bump in the night, this series is tailor made for you. If you love TV dramas, there is enough intrigue and suspense to satisfy even the toughest critic. Whatever your preference, AMC’s The Walking Dead DVD/Blu-Ray set will make a great addition to any collection.