Fear THe WaLKing DeaD Season One
The times before Grimes
released OUT NOW! 2015 | 18 | Blu-ray/dVd
Creators robert Kirkman, dave
Cast Kim dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank
dillane, alycia debnam-Carey
A prequel spin-off of The Walking Dead? Ain’t that the definition of pointlessness? After all, the very thing which made AMC’s ratings juggernaut feel fresh is that it skips the whole tired business of the zombie outbreak to focus on the postapocalyptic aftermath.
For much of its duration, this first run of six episodes validates that sceptical pre-judgement. Pretty though the series’ chiming score and arty use of slow-mo are, early on it feels dreadfully slow. The dysfunctional dynamics of its central family – mum Madison, junkie/Poundshop Johnny Depp Nick, sis Alicia and stepdad Travis – are pretty dreary, plus they can be a frustratingly thick-headed bunch (when they sit down to play Monopoly instead of boarding up the windows, you despair). And when the streets do erupt in violence it all feels a mite tuppenny-ha’penny. When characters trapped inside a barber shop peer through a slot at the rioting outside it’s hard not to think of the old cliché of the B-movie which, unable to muster the budget for a battle, has characters peeking through a tent flap to provide running commentary.
Stick with it, however, and your patience is eventually rewarded. The arrival of the army at the end of episode three steers the franchise into previously unexplored territory. Episode five brings the series’ first fascinating character in the shape of the dapper, amoral Strand (Colman Domingo). And the barnstorming season-closer finally kicks out the jams.
Extras Just a four-minute promo and an even shorter bit on the characters. Ian Berriman
Absent from this release: plane-based 16part web series Flight 462 – one character from which will feature in season two.