The Walking Dead is a flawed show, but I still love it, it has done incredibly well and it’s one of my favourite shows. Mainly it’s cause I love zombies, and any new zombie film or show is a big thing for me, especially when its a zombie show because there aren’t many of those. Now we get ‘Fear the Walking Dead’, a prequel series to its parent show, with a new location, a new set of characters and set at the beginning of the apocalypse.
Let’s cut to the chase. It’s great. It has flaws, the character archetypes aren’t particularly original, certain events are telegraphed wildly and it does, every so often, drag a little, but, in the end, its an effective pilot that makes a considerable effort to distance itself from its predecessor, namely by taking its time in setting up the characters, drip feeding us zombie stuff, and hoping that we, the audience stays interested enough.
One of ‘The Walking Deads’ biggest problems has always been with its character development, granted in the past season or two it has managed to change its approach and has produced far more nuanced characters, but it’s always been criticised for its writing and not its brain smashing approach to zombie dismemberfication.
Thus ‘Fear’ is taking a risky tactic in approaching its new show with character rather than jumping straight into bloody carnage. This is somewhat the point of the new show, differentiating it enough by aspiring to have deeper people and not focusing so much on the zombies themselves. This may change, of course, the first episode has one fairly subdued attack at the beginning and them a slow build up across the rest of the episode.
This is what I like, my favourite part of a zombie apocalypse has always been the beginning, the slow unravelling of society and panic that ensues when people go missing, paramedics get attacked and the dead start to rise. So ‘fear’ has every possibility of being better that its parent show, but does it live up to it all?, is it better?, is it different?
Well, firstly its not a better pilot episode than ‘The Walking Deads’ phenomenal first episode, but, it’s also a very different beast. It is slower, and its city dwelling characters are different creatures to the other show’s cast, but, as it is, it makes for an engaging pilot that moves a lot of pieces into place, but also tries to tell a story that wants to make us care.
The show has the same grimy impressive cinematography of its parent show, the music is atmospheric background and the performances are all round good, especially Frank Dillane as addict Nick. We’ll see where the show takes us, as there’s only 6 episodes in season 1 I imagine that it could continue to take its time in building up the apocalypse or do something different all together, as it is I look forward to it very much.
This is a show, that, at present will divide people, some thinking its too slow, some enjoying the difference in pace. I will continue to watch, and possibly review each new episode, and I will look forward to each new one with glee.
Rating: B 7/10