The Walking Dead - Season 1 Blu Ray|
The Walking Dead is an epic survival adventure series from the director of 'The Shawshank Redemption' and the producer of 'The Terminator' and 'Aliens'. After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finds the world he knew gone - ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby on the outskirts of Atlanta a small encampment struggles to survive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries will they ultimately survive one another? Based on Robert Kirkman's hugely successful and popular comic book series.from£10.39 | RRP:
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Average Rating for The Walking Dead - Season 1 [Blu-ray] - 5 out of 5
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The Walking Dead - Season 1 [Blu-ray]David Bedwell
The Walking Dead is, for once, everything you could hope for from a horror television series. There have been attempts at bringing horror to TV in weekly installments over recent years with both Masters Of Horror and Fear Itself, but neither set the world alight. They only exist in DVD form now, which shows how unsuccessful they really were. So it was always going to be a risk adapting the best-selling comic book series from Robert Kirkman, one that had a mixture of violent zombie action and risque comedic moments, but somehow it has worked.
The tragically short first season - only 6 episodes - was a hit right from the start, resulting in the network (AMC) renewing it for a second season of 13 episodes. So you can jump into this series knowing there WILL be more, unlike some other shows where you're just left hanging without answers. There's certainly a lot of source material to base the show on, but Frank Darabont and his team of writers are coming up with their own storylines too. So yes, for fans of the comics there are a lot of the same scenes, but with a television twist added on. You don't have to read the original material to follow the show.
Andrew Lincoln (an English actor, familiar from Teachers and This Life) is perfectly cast as the former sheriff's deputy from Georgia, Rick Grimes, leading a group of survivors through various situations. His main motivation is his wife (Sarah Wayne Callies - Prison Break) and son, not knowing where they are and searching to see if they are still alive. This motivation gives Grimes a far more human and down-to-earth feeling than many TV characters that are unbelievable. You really root for him, sympathise with him, and almost step into his shoes and wonder how you'd deal with the situation at hand. After all, The Walking Dead isn't a 90 minute movie where everything is wrapped up quickly. This is a series where we live the moments the characters live. It drags at times, and other times you wish time would slow down. There's a huge realism to the show that makes it a cut above the rest.
The supporting cast is made up of many familiar faces - from Jon Bernthal (The Pacific) as Grimes' best friend Shane, to Laurie Holden (X-Files, Silent Hill and The Mist again with Frank Darabont) as one of the main group of survivors. The casting is exceptional all over, from close families to loners, every one as believable as the next. Even random characters like Merle Dixon (played by Michael Rooker in a memorable role) stand out even if they are only in the show for a short time. But the key is not only the casting, but keeping it quite small. Beyond a couple of groups of survivors, we don't get a huge grasp on how widespread the zombie problem is. Yes, we understand the seriousness, but there's a somewhat claustrophobic nature to the show because of the smaller focus on individuals. They take a global problem and make it more personal, and for me that is the key to the show's success.
Darabont has a fantastic grip on realism - from the zombies themselves, which are not only scary but strangely humane too, to the relationships between both family and strangers. They develop quickly because they have to. Survival depends on it, and it's soon established that anyone will do anything to survive. And that's why The Walking Dead works so well - it's not just a horror series, but one that has the opportunity to develop character, which is something many horrors simply do not do. You don't care who dies because there's no connection, but in this series we feel for them. The characters are different enough to keep the episodes interesting too - some are still selfish, funny, worried, and the whole range of emotions you would expect to feel in a crisis. It's almost about trying to live as normal a life as they can in the middle of such madness.
As I mentioned before, the visuals are top notch with the zombie makeup being amongst the best I've ever seen. And they use a whole range of looks considering how many zombies they have in the show. The locations range from tight closet spaces to more spacious grounds to try and establish the small-town feeling alongside the wider problem. On Blu-ray, this show looks as sharp as anything on TV in 2011, and ranks amongst the best. And you can't underestimate the power of the score, created by Battlestar Galactica veteran Bear McCreary, who gives the show a truly sinister undertone. I can't wait to see what the writers, cast and crew come up with in the second season. This is one of the best shows in the last 10 years, and a must see for any genre fan.
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