Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Walking Dead

I will safely go out and say this has to be the best TV show ever produced.

Never has my wife and I been so on edge until the next episode is aired and then laced with uncertainty on what is about to unfold.

The Walking Dead was something I first heard about a year or so ago, as usual it had alot of hype built around it. I don't like hype and jump on things straight away - I've always been funny like that but now I'm wishing I didn't...

Last years Adelaide Comicon had alot of stuff featuring The Walking Dead and I started to gather more interest rather than pushing it away, I had a quick like while at the comicon and it started to sound interesting.

I jumped online that night and started checking out the website trying to find info on what this show was all about. Sounded good so thought lets take a plunge and get Season 1, then go from there.

Thats where the love affair started....

Right off the bat, Episode 1, Season 1, had it all. The main character Rick in a nutshell being introduced and then being placed in a como after being shot through the left shoulder. After months of being in this state Rick awakes in the hospital reliving a memory of his partner Shane talking about flowers his precinct gave to him.

From here Rick goes through the agonising process of trying to work out what has happened to the city, loved ones, friends etc. Its not until he meets Morgan and his son Duane that he starts to see the picture and how the city, if not the world has been decimated by this disease.

Rick however is convinced his wife Lori and son Carl are still alive so he sets out to Atlanta to see if they are at the Refugee Centre, the Centre for Disease Control is also based there..

For one episode introducing us to The Walking Dead it had everything, high speed car chase ending up with three criminals shot dead including Rick. We've then got the unknown part of whats happening to Rick as he wakes up and travels to his house trying to comprehend what has happened, then we have him grasping the reality of whats happened then off to search for his family.

The remainder of the series is just as good as the first episode, packed with action, twists and turns at ever corner and awesome zombie slaying!

The Walking Dead's producers have put real attention to detail, leaving us believing this is a true story or is so damn believable that this is what it will look like.. From the location to the look of the zombies, this is one brilliantly put together story.

The characters have been brilliantly chosen also, My favourites Rick and Daryl are perfect for their roles. Rick the police officer taking charge of leading the group and Daryl as the trusty tracker who is probably the best fighter in the group.

Season 2 the group moves from the centre for disease control and comes across a farm after Ricks son Carl is shot by a member of the farm. The group move in temporarily while Carl is cared for by Hershel.

The writers/producers never fail to suprise us viewers as you can never assume what is about to happen.

Take the change in attitude from Shane, one which I thought would be a major character right through next couple of series, he became enraged and flooded with stalker/jealousy type thoughts when it came to Lori and Rick. Everyone watched with dismay as he hurdled quickly out of control and built such hatred for his best friend, then, lured Rick out to the woods to kill him and make it look as if a walker got him.

The next suprise was Shane then returning from the dead and about to attack Rick, who had his back to him, to then be shot by Carl... Bet Shanes spewing he taught Carl how to shoot now... haha

Next suprise was once that shot was fired it attracted a herd of zombies who were following the sound of a helicopter, sadly they shifted focus from that to where the shot came from and stumbled upon the farm - lives were lost and the group had to leave in a hurry leaving Andrea behind.

As much as I was shocked by the above, the biggest shock for me during Season 2 was the search for Sophia. The group, especially Daryl, looked long and hard for Sophia even as the weeks passed by.

Then as Shane blew his trolley and ran down to the barn and let out the zombies being held in there, one by one Shane and the others cut them down with a flurry of bullets. A pile of corpses remained including that of Hershels wife and people they knew well, then a noise came from the barn, one final zombie remained.

What shocked the group and I dare say nearly everyone watching the TV show was the zombie slowly walking out was Sophia, the hope all clung too that she would once be found was lost and the TV community was wowed at one of the children of the show was now turned to the zombie public.

I remember sitting with my wife watching that episode in pure shock, we were sure Sophia would be found and when she came out it was gut wrenching.

The final episode of Season 2 gave a glimpse of hope for the survivors, a massive prison in the background, this is the sort of place they could take over, fortify and then try reclaim neighbouring areas and maybe attract survivors.

The prison would also give a safe area for Lori to give birth...

Season 3 starts out with a bang as the group comes across the Prison, empty to the living but full of the walking dead. Rick instructs all to take the first part of the prison, just shy of the main buildings. A very very good plan, one, they have a safe area which they can rest for a few days and two, they have two lines of fences between them and the zombies.

The area is taken with minimal resistance and the group takes time to rest, but what is clear to Rick, indoors and beds are what the group needs.

He devises a plan for the group to take one of the cell blocks so that they can then later take the supply areas and wardens blocks. The cell block is taken easily and the group can now rest in peace on beds for the first time in almost a year.

Whilst searching the adjoining blocks for supplies the group are forced into a blocked off area after Hershel is bitten by a zombie which was laying against a wall appearing to be already disposed of. Rushing into the room Rick quickly begins to remove the part of the leg just above where he was bitten, hopefully removing the threat of the bite and saving his life.

A group of prisoners are found hiding in the kitchen area of the room, something isn't right though with atleast one of them, Ricks instinct about them is correct when he ignores their plea for them to stay in the groups cell block.

Rather a plan is revised that Rick and the group would help clear another cell block, then each live seperately without contact. All agree and they proceed to clear out the 2nd block, its what they witness in the clearing that worries Rick and Daryl.

Firstly, Big Tiny, one of the prisoners found is bitten by a walker, whilst the group is deciding what should be done, the main prisoner, Tomas, attacks Big Tiny smashing his skull, he then proceeds to unleash a series of attacks on Big Tiny whilst blood covers him all over. The group including some of the other prisoners look on with caution at what Tomas is capable of.

Secondly whilst in one of the rooms Rick orders only one of the doors to be opened to ensure a slow amount of walkers enter the room, instead Tomas opens both and puts the group under pressure as well as pushing a walker onto Rick.

Tomas claims it was an accident, this was further proof to Rick he shouldn't stay on - with that Rick drives a machete into Tomas's head.

The other prisoners plead their case and subsequently are allowed to live in the cleared cell block.

With this taken care of focus has now shifted from Rick and the survivors to a new group led by The Governer, a helicopter crashes in a forrest further down from the prison, the sole survivor is picked up by the Governer and his crew with Michonne and Andrea watching from a far.

An old foe appears from behind and holds them at gun point, Meryl Dixon, the one all thought had died in Atlanta or in surrounding area was found dying by the Governer and given a 2nd chance.

They along with the pilot are taken to a fortified town with approx 60 survivors who have built walls around and made a mini city. Michonne is extremely cautious and urges Andrea to consider them not staying long as not is all what it seems.

Over the cause of the next few episodes Michonne's hunches are coming to light, The Governer not only kills the pilot but also kills his surviving National Guard group in a nearby camp. He also has a sidekick scientist which is working on captured zombies who produces a weird Tea which the Governer is quite fond of.

Alot of questions are left in viewers minds on what is the Governers plans for the survivors, the scientist etc.

Questions I have:

*Is the scientist looking for a cure to bring the zombies back to life?
*What is this "Tea" made of...
*Why does the Governer keep the heads of zombies alive in a fish tank environment - is this where the tea is brewed from?
*Is the Governer trying to build a new race/breed within the city by getting the women survivors pregnant?

There are just a couple of what I would love to know about this new group added to the series.

Back to Rick's group, a sabatour residing within the prison cuts wholes in the fences from the other side of the compound and lures a hoard of zombies to the group. Choas reigns as the group, already split up with Rick, Daryl and Glenn are on the outside of the main fence.

As walkers flood into the area the group splits up to find safety whilst Rick, Daryl and Glenn speed to come and help. Lori, Carl and Maggie run into the cell block however this is being flooded with walkers, Lori starts getting pain from her stomach so they hide in the boiler room.

Meanwhile T-Dog is bitten on the shoulder whilst trying to close one of the gates, he leads Carol into the cell block trying to get her to safety - when a group of walkers confront them he takes them all on to let Carol leave.

Rick and the group arrive and start clearing walkers, Hershel tells him that Lori and the rest are inside - to make matters worse a loud siren is blaring which is coming from the back up generators.

When the group locate the generators they are met by the mystery sabatour, Andrew. He attacks Rick and they struggle with each other, Rick's gun is thrown but picked up by Oscar, one of the other prisoners. Andrew pleads for him to shoot Rick so that the prisoners can reclaim the prison as theirs. Instead Oscar shoots Andrew allowing them to shut off the generator and go look for the rest of the group.

What happens next is close to the most shocking moments of the three series. Lori, hemorrhaging, instructs Maggie to do a c section on her, Maggie knowing that this will ultimately kill Lori pleads for her to wait til they get back to Hershel and the group. Lori knows her time is up and doesn't want to lose her baby, she tells Maggie there isn't enough time and then assures Carl its ok and the best thing she ever did was to have Carl.

Maggie performs the c section with the help from Carl and delivers the baby, during this Lori drifts off to sleep and ultimately dies. Carl tells Maggie that he will be the one to kill her once she turns.

Wow - I for one didn't see that coming, both my wife and I sat more in shock than when Sophia was found as a walker.

Rick's reaction brought out the reality of what just happened, for what he fought to protect, his wife of so many years was gone, just like that. No doubt he will also blame himself for her being in that position as he swore to protect her and Carl.

Well I'm going to leave the description there, I'm an episode short but I have many questions about Season 3 and with Ricks group:

*What will Rick do now, will he be fit enough to remain in charge?
* How will the group recover from losing two of their main characters?
*All are assuming Carol died, I remain confident she didn't, so where is she?
*The mysterious person watching Carol from the woods, was this Morgan and his son?
*If not, when and where will Morgan reappear?
*Should Rick and the group now take and clear the remainder of the prison with a view to then exploring nearby areas to find survivors and build their group?
*If so, should they trust newcomers into the group?
*Will the Governer locate Rick's group and try to slaughter them?
*If so, will Meryl try to lure Daryl over or will Daryl succumb and kill his brother to defend his new family?

No matter how or if i've described it the right way above, this television series has captured the mind and imagination of millions of people. Since the first episode aired many months ago to the most recent this week I have thought constantly about the series, what would I do, where would I go, wow why did that happen or how did this all come about...

Either way you look at it, its a believable story which guaranteed after you've watched a few episodes, it will leave you wondering!

If your reading this and you haven't yet succumbed to the phenomenon that is The Walking Dead, I urge you to check out the first season and make your mind up from there..

Me - I'm hoping this continues for another 5+ seasons, this is a storyline that could keep going for a long time.