Title: Fear The Walking Dead Season 1
Creators: Dave Erickson, Robert Kirkman
Stars: Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lorenzo James Henrie
Release Date: 2 March 2016
Review by Dave Griffiths
The danger of spinning off an extremely popular television series is you’ve set yourself a very high bar that sometimes might be very hard to get close to. Game Of Thrones aside, The Walking Dead is one of the most watched television shows, not only currently, but in television history. Not surprisingly the news that the show would be spinning off into a new series called, Fear The Walking Dead, had television fans right around the world chomping at the bit in a way that we hadn’t seen since Buffy fans eagerly awaited the arrival of the first season of Angel.
For those who have decided to wait for the series on DVD (rather than illegally download of course) then you may be in for a bit of a shock because the first things to hit you about Fear The Walking Dead is how different it is to The Walking Dead. While the original series centered around a rag tag group of survivors, Fear The Walking Dead mainly centers around the Clark/Manawa families that were brought together when two High School teachers Madison Clark (Kim Dickens – Gone Girl) and Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis – Risen) start dating. The series also concentrates on their children, including the recovering heroin addict Nick (Frank Dillane – In The Heart Of The Sea) and wannabe journalist Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie – Star Trek).
It is a strange way to describe the show, but Fear The Walking Dead feels more like a family drama style of zombie show. While the original series began amid the zombie apocalypse and soon turned to the lead characters blowing away the undead with shotguns. Fear The Walking Dead sees the apocalypse beginning in a much subtler way, and also finds times to explore topics such as how a family deal with a recovering drug addict as a son, and the jealousy that can surface when a family feel that their Step-Dad is spending too much time with his original family.
While this style means the show lacks some of the suspense that you get from your favourite characters being hunted down and chased by zombies, it does add a completely new element that will win over a whole different style of television viewer to the franchise.
Fear The Walking Dead is one of the shows that does take a couple of episodes to grow on you, but once you start caring for some of the characters you are going to want to keep watching to see if they survive or have their brains munched on.