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The Walking Dead Season 1 Blu-ray Review

“The Walking Dead” could potentially be television’s next great show.

The plot: After being shot, Sheriff Rick Grimes wakes up only to find himself in an abandoned hospital. Even worse, he has discovered that a zombie apocalypse has broken out and that his wife and son are nowhere to be found. Eventually, he sets out on a mission to search for them in Atlanta. Along the way, he encounters hungry zombies and other survivors who may or may not be worse than the zombies. Other stories include weapon retrieval, a journey to the Center For Disease Control, death, and camps of survivors. “The Walking Dead” is based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series of the same name.

From the opening scene of the pilot episode “Days Gone Bye,” it was clear that this show was going to be something special. Not only did it look very cinematic, but it was also a dark, gutsy, atmospheric show that also happened to include zombies. Basically, this is the type of show I have wanted to see for years. How or why a network never aired a zombie series before is beyond me because anyone could see it would be a huge hit. Thankfully, the good folks at AMC and showrunner Frank Darabont had the smarts to make this series and the result is mostly satisfying.

Of the 6 episodes in season 1, I have to say that 3 of them are excellent. The pilot episode (“Days Gone Bye”) is near perfect in that it does everything a great pilot should. It establishes the characters, the setting, the conflict and it hooks the viewers in. The second episode (“Guts”) is a great continuation of the pilot in that it further develops the characters while also showing the horrific world that these characters now inhabit. Episode 4 (“Vatos”) might be the best episode of the season as it not only surprises but offers up some truly gripping and nasty sequences. I could go into more detail about this episode, but that would be spoiling.

As for the other 3 episodes (“Tell It To The Frogs,” “Wildfire,” and “TS-19”), they aren’t bad by any means, but they display some of the show’s weaknesses. The bulk of these episodes are supposed to be character drive, but unfortunately some of these characters and character interactions aren’t exactly thrilling. In fact, some of the characters are downright annoying as is the love triangle between Rick, his wife, and his friend/partner Shane. Another issue of concern is that some of the characters are superemely under developed such as Jacqui, Ed, and Morales. It doesn’t help that the writers put these characters in situations with heavy tensions or conflicts early on in the series. This becomes problematic as we really don’t know enough or care enough about them. The main problem of the series, however, is that the best characters (such as the father and son Morgan and Duane and the crazy Merle) are only in the episodes for a short period of time. Hopefully, they will come back as the show would greatly benefit from their presence. With all that said, these issues can be corrected in the future. The writers just need to stop forcing issues and create characters audiences will be drawn to.  

Summary: After a mere 6 episodes, “The Walking Dead” leaves you wanting more in a good way. There’s so much potential here and I can’t wait to see what happens in Season 2.


The series is presented in 1.78:1 1080p and the show has never looked better. Granted, the image is a little fuzzy in spots, but you can’t ask for a better transfer.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track is a little soft during quieter scenes, but thankfully, the louder action heavy scenes deliver.

* Anchor Bay/AMC and “The Walking Dead” trailers.
* “The Making Of The Walking Dead”- A featurette containing interviews, discussions about themes, zombies, etc.
* “Inside The Walking Dead”- Featurettes on all 6 episodes. Do not watch these before you watch the episodes as they go into spoiler territory about each episode.
* “A Sneak Peek With Robert Kirkman”- No need to watch this as it’s just a sneak peek at the first season.
* “Behind The Scenes Zombie Make-Up Tips”- The special effects make-up artists talk about how to create zombie make-up at home.
* Clips from the panel with Joel Stillerman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nictotero, Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont, Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, and Emma Bell from San Diego Comic Con.
* “Zombie School”- Footage of a zombie training class for the extras.

* “Bicycle Girl”- A featurette on the zombie woman character featured in the pilot.
* “On Set With Robert Kirkman”- Comic creator Robert Kirkman tours the opening sequence set.
* “Hanging With Steven Yeun”- Steven Yeun takes viewers on a tour of the camp set.

* “Inside Dale’s RV”- The title says it all.
* “On Set With Andrew Lincoln”- The star of the show chats about the set and the show.

March 13, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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