Review – The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season

Robert Kirkman with Walking Dead Zombies
Robert Kirkman with Walking Dead Zombies

What proved to be one of the most anticipated television shows to premiere in 2010, The Walking Dead gets its UK DVD & Blu-ray release on 16th May 2011 with The Complete First Season.

The Walking Dead TV series is an adaptation of the highly popular graphic novels bearing the same title, written by the rather hunky bear Robert Kirkman. The story sees deputy sheriff Rick Grimes awaken from a coma and faced with a world forever changed in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. As Grimes ventures out into the zombie infested America, he searches for his lost family and becomes the leader of a small group trying to survive unbearable horrors.

First all all let me say thank you to the production team who didn’t skimp on the gore. THANK YOU! A zombie TV show without the blood and gore would’ve made for poor viewing. It’s refreshing to see shows from HBO, Showtime, FX and of course AMC, producing more mature content. Shows like Tru Blood, Dexter, Spartacus: Blood and Sand and The Walking Dead prove that there is a place for high quality drama, that just so happens to have a good amount of the red stuff splattering all over the screen.

AMC and Frank Darabont have come up with a great drama series that really does feel like a zombie plague has swept America – has it spread to the rest of the planet, who knows? The production certainly feels like it has a big budget, with dead cities, overturned cars and creature FX that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood blockbuster. Our first sighting of a zombie shows how beautifully crafted the special effects are and that it doesn’t rely much, if at all on CGI. Known as “Bicycle Girl” the below video – one of the DVD extras – shows the casting process as well as how the make-up was designed and fitted. The short video is fascinating viewing, as well as the other featured extras, such as the zombie school, which Shaun of the Dead also had.

Speaking of extras, there’s quite a few to choose from (full list below). Our American cousins grumbled that many of the extras were already available via AMC’s website. However these videos weren’t available in the UK and so are a welcome addition.

At the heart of The Walking Dead is not so much the zombies, but the emotion behind the story. Although The Walking Dead is told from Rick Grimes’s point of view, it is every bit about the survivors he meets and their stories. Some already suffering from their struggles, and some with more suffering to come as loved ones are killed by the undead. The cast do a great job and you truly feel for the characters, even the ones that a just as hideous as the zombies themselves – Merle Dixon is particularly nasty and must’ve been a delicious character for Michael Rooker to sink his teeth into.

Whether you’re a fan of the graphic novels or just a zombie nut, if you like your TV shows to have a bite, then The Walking Dead will not disappoint.

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season on UK DVD & Blu-ray is released on 16th May 2011 .

Synopsis:

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season”breathes new life into the zombie genre as it unfolds a post-apocalyptic saga that follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln, Love Actually), who searches for a safe haven and, hopefully, a new home, far from the undead that now roam the earth hungry for human flesh.  Each episode explores the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies, and the toll it takes on the survivors who now find themselves going to extremes just to see another day. In this horrific world gone mad, each turn brings new surprises and dangers, as the survivors try to regain some semblance of a normal life.

The Walking Dead” is based on the popular Image Comics’ comic book written by Robert Kirkman. The series premiered on AMC Fearfest Halloween night and immediately became the most watched drama series in cable’s history among Adults 18-49 with 3.5 million viewers. It also gained a following among critics (from People to Vanity Fair) who have hailed it as one of the best new series of the year.

Starring:

  • Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
  • Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh
  • Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
  • Laurie Holden as Andrea
  • Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horwath
  • Steven Yeun as Glenn
  • Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
  • Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon

DVD bonus features include:

Featurettes:

  • The Making of The Walking Dead
  • Inside The Walking Dead: Episode 1-6
  • A Sneak Peek with Robert Kirkman
  • Behind The Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips
  • Convention Panel With Producers
  • The Walking Dead Trailer

Extra Footage:

  • Zombie School
  • Bicycle Girl
  • On Set With Robert Kirkman
  • Hanging With Steven Yeun
  • Inside Dale’s RV
  • On Set With Andrew Lincoln

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