utumn heralds the return of The Walking Dead to our screens as Season 8 kicks off on 23th October. In preparation for what is set to be an epic 100th episode, I’m taking a look back at the story so far.
The first season of The Walking Dead sticks closely to the story played out in the graphic novel upon which the show is based. Looking back at the early episodes it is striking how much the characters have developed and grown throughout the seven years the show has been running.
The story begins with deputy sheriff, Rick Grimes, waking from a coma to discover the world has been overrun by zombie type creatures, called Walkers. Through various encounters with both the living and the undead we follow Rick as he reunites with his family, joins a band of survivors and heads to the Centre for Disease Control in search of a cure.
One of the things that is most appealing about The Walking Dead is the human focus. It shows the struggle of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. The wife beater, the jealous lover and the hill-billy all coming together in the name of survival.
Seeing a young and fresh-faced Carl is one of the most striking things from these early episodes. His innocence is driven home as we see him try to catch frogs and ask intently if he can learn to fish. Carl goes on a massive journey through the years and is a prime example of the human story being told.
The Walking Dead isn’t your average zombie show, it examines how people react and cope. Yes, there are brutally violent scenes with zombies being smashed, shot, or decapitated, but the camera focus is more often put on the survivors than the actual blood and gore. When Rick is required to dismember his first zombie the focus is squarely on his face and the faces of the other survivors. The disgust, the shock, the internal moral struggles, all tell so much more than just a story of violence.
I feel the special effects in The Walking Dead needs to be mentioned. Even in the first season, many of the effects are done so seamlessly that an average viewer doesn’t even realise that what they’re looking at is computer generated. The video below gives a breakdown of the digital effects used in Season 1. A fascinating watch, but be prepared for blood, guts and gore.
How do the survivors get on at the Centre for Disease Control? Do they find a cure? Well, without giving away any spoilers, there are 7 more seasons to go…