Monday, 19 September 2016

The Walking Dead- Season 1, Episode 1: Days Gone Bye

"Is this real? Am I here?"

So, er... about me finishing off Buffy and Angel before I start anything else? I'm on it, really I am, but we have a missing disc from Angel season four that I suspect to be 200 miles away and... Mrs Llamastrangler and I just happened to start watching The Walking Dead. So I might as well blog it.

This is an extraordinary looking piece of television and, while pilot episodes are never the best ones as they have so many jobs to do and are setting the stage for good stuff later, you can tell that this is going to be a well-written, well-acted and thoughtful take on the zombie apocalypse

I watched Teachers back in my university days at the turn of the millennium, so first impressions of seeing him as a sheriff in Georgia with an accent to match are bloody disconcerting, but once I'd got past that barrier it was easy to appreciate his strengths as a sympathetic everyman, a hero with problems in the form of a rocky marriage- very much a hero in the Marvel mound; being a trained cop is very much a superpower after the zombie apocalypse.

Yes, this origin story, with Rick waking from a coma to find that the zombie apocalypse has happened, is more than a little Day of the Triffids, but it's also a neat short cut; we all know the zombie tropes, which also helps. It's an extra-long opening episode, but a lot of its work has already been done with the tropes being familiar. Including the cop show stuff at the start, which was pure Dukes of Hazzard.

The only possible criticism I have of this is to ask who carries a match in the twenty-first century, but that's a minor quibble. And I have to raise an eyebrow at both Rick and exposition man Morgan are American characters played by British actors, but this is brilliant, constantly and gradually revealing the true horror of the situation. We end with Rick trapped inside a tank, surrounded by the extremely large zombie population of Atlanta...

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