Tuesday, November 09, 2010

We are the Walking Dead

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to what could potentially be one the best TV series of the decade.  Other than (naturally) when Jedward inevitably get their own Natural History documentary series.  The Walking Dead is a piece of televisual excellence which encapsulates everything good about American television which we've seen in Galactica, Firefly (and the myriad of decent series I missed out on, such as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, etc).  High movie-like production values, an excellent cast portraying interesting, fleshed out individuals and a bloody great storyline.

Adapted from Robert Kirkmans ongoing comic which has been running since 2003 (which Kirkman says he'll continue to write until he's dead, so it's not ending anytime soon) The Walking Dead tells the (not so original) tale about life after a zombie apocalypse.  Our main protagonist is Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes who wakes from a bullet induced coma (so far, so 28 Days Later - but it doesn't matter) into a world populated by the living dead and a small handful of desperate survivors.

Rick Grimes is played by London actor Andrew Lincoln, and does a remarkable job of portraying this everyman thrust into an absolute nightmare.  Only seems fair that Andrew Lincoln gets a shot at fighting the undead after his fellow This Life actor Jack Davenport had a go at fighting vampires in the excellent underrated TV series Ultraviolet (not to be confused with the abysmal Aeon-Flux-wannabe 2006 movie starring Milla Jovovich).

The comic is absolutely awesome, and I can thank Jon, a good friend of mine, for introducing it to me by buying me the first graphic novel as a present.  I've subsequently gone out and purchased the excellent value for money Walking Dead Compendium Volume 1 which collects the first 8 graphic novels into one hefty tome - which as I can vouch is a bugger to transport on holiday and back for sheer weight alone.  If you haven't read it, I can strongly recommend it - and if the pilot episode of Walking Dead the TV series is anything to go by, it's sufficiently different from the comic to keep both fresh and entertaining.  Characters given mere pages in the comic are expanded upon greatly in the TV series.

Whether you're a fan of zombies or not (I personally love 'em, despite George A. Romeros recent attempts to screw up his legacy completely by a run of terrible movies - check out his latest movie Yawn of the Dead), I urge you to watch this.  It's less about the undead and more about the characters of those who have survived the apocalypse - a kind of study of the breakdown of society, if you will.  Although that could be considered a slightly pretentious statement to make about what is effectively a damn entertaining, gory and action packed series about the shambling dead.

The Walking Dead is on FX every Friday at 10 p.m.  Watch it.  Torrent it.  Sneak onto the set and watch it being filmed, kidnap the cast and force them to act out the series in your basement, whatever.

And on a less undead related note, my good friend Neil has posted a lovely warts and all blog post about my wedding.  It's a damn good read, and I'm not just saying that because it's about me.

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