Wednesday, 3 November 2010
The Walking Dead: TV show episode 1
Being a comic book fan, I'm a little disappointed in myself that I haven't noticed the Walking Dead series. I can only suppose that I've been preoccupied with buying House of Mystery and Sweet Tooth, and moaning about Air being axed. But blessed be! The Walking Dead has now been transmogrified into the significantly cheaper (for me) format of a televisual spectacular.
Spectacular it certainly is. Episode one packs in gunfights, gridlocked highways, fields of corpses, fantastically gruesome zombie hoards and tons of aerial shots of the lovely American countryside. It's visually stunning, especially the SFX used to create a certain semi-zombie who spends her screen-time enjoying a nice crawl in the park.
In terms of plot, it starts off pretty much as 28 Days Later Goes to America. Dude's in hospital, dude wakes up in post-apocalyptic hell-hole, finds a bit of shelter, makes a few friends. That being said, it's as good a way as any to kick-start a zombie drama, so I'm inclined to overlook the slight lack of originality.
Now, casting... to British viewers of a '90s vintage, Andrew Lincoln will always be, in our hearts, Egg from This Life. To see the chap you always envisaged as a Northern, London-dwelling law-graduate slacker show up as a gun-toting U.S. sheriff's deputy is a slight shock to the system. To add to the weirdness, Lennie James (who I most vividly recall as a cockney geezer in Snatch), then appears in similar nationality-bending mode. However, this quickly ceased to bother me, which is a testament to strong performances and (to my ears, at least) convincing accents. The good folks of the U.S.A. will naturally have to be the judge of said accents, but Hugh Laurie and those blokes off of The Wire seem to have gotten away with it, so signs look good.
To sum up briefly... The Walking Dead: 28 Days Later meets Dawn of the Dead meets Preacher. Complete with horse. I'm certainly giving episode two a whirl.