It’s very hard to make a good zombie flick, one that doesn’t slip straight into the realm of bump-in-the-night thriller. I appreciated the fact that The Walking Dead moved slowly, poignantly through Rick’s awakening and introduction to the zombies. That’s not to say it was paced perfectly, or that certain scenes couldn’t have done with some punching up. Overall though, the premier told me that this was a long term project, that would deal as much with character development as it would with the undead.
As an avid fan of Robert Kirkham’s ongoing comic series, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the AMC television adaptation. At the same time, I’ve been dreading what would happen if the show, well, sucked. Right now we’re only one episode in, but so far, so good. My problem is now I can’t wait to see things that happen two years down the road. I appreciate the fact that the series is supposed to stay fairly true to the comics, while also being it’s own entity, with some of its own characters and storylines. My one real hope though is that the characters in the television series are treated with the same gritty disregard as in the comic. Remember, when we’re dealing with the undead, nobody is sacred. Nobody.
There have been a lot of comparisons to 28 Days Later, particularly because of Rick’s coma-awakening. I’m glad they kept this in the series rather than removing it and coming up with some other reason for Rick being separated from his family when the zombie dawn came along. The alternative way in which the series was introduced though, offing a child in the opening minutes, was just perfect. This type of brutality, when coupled with Rick’s principled humanity, sets the show off on exactly the right foot.
It’s too early yet to really review The Walking Dead, as it is truly a character driven series that will (eventually) have to be viewed as a whole body of work. Hopefully the show will find it’s legs, and its audience, and enjoy a long, strong run. And if it does get cancelled at some point, I only hope that there’s enough warning to give the show a fitting end.