Review: AMC's The Walking Dead "Days Gone Bye"
Review: AMC's The Walking Dead "Days Gone Bye" AMC's THE WALKING DEAD Episode One: Days Gone Bye Directed By: Frank Darabont Produced By: Frank Darbont Gale Hurd Robert Kirkman Charles H. Eglee David Alpert Release Date: October 31st 10pm Eastern/9pm Pacific Network: AMC This Sunday if your doorbell happens to ring, keep in mind that it might not just be the trick-or-treaters looking for some candy, but a “Walker” from AMC and Robert Kirkman’s new television show, The Walking Dead! Halloween night at 10pm Eastern/9pm Central the world of Image Comic’s The Walking Dead comes to life! And it starts out with a bang - literally! For those fans perhaps worried the show will not be able to live up to the standards set forth by the likes of TWD artists Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard with it being televised on regular cable - worry no more! The opening scene puts down that notion just as Rick puts down one of those munchers! It’s pretty awesome! Probably the only difference that sets this apart from say a Showtime or HBO series would be the lack of vulgarity, which thinking back I didn’t miss. However, now that I recall the comic there are numerous “f-bombs” dropped, so there is that. In general, I don’t think it will detract much. To be expected with Greg Nicotero on board, the zombies looked excellent! Nicotero is the special effects and make-up creator who previously won an Academy Award for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Definitely, no qualms there. How about the acting? Playing the part of Rick Grimes, Andrew Lincoln delivers. He portrays the “Rick” from the comics quite well I thought. Lincoln gives us the needed emotion that comes with waking up in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world yet still retaining his police officer instincts of survival and leadership - two qualities that Rick exudes. Being a huge fan of the comic, I looked for this quality right away and was happy with Andrew Lincoln’s performance as that is a main component of the comic book. Similar to the comic, Rick meets up with Morgan Jones, played by fellow British Actor Lennie James, and his son Duane. Fans of Jericho will remember James as he guest stars here. Similar to Lincoln, James gives us that protective father role refusing to give up. There are two emotional scenes one with Morgan, the other with Rick, played out in alternating sequences that is quite touching. Rick chooses to deal with a “crawler” and Morgan with a departed loved one. Adrian Kali Turner offers up the supporting role to Lennie James as Duane which adds to the drama. Very good. James is a most welcome addition to the pilot episode and makes it that much better. Now I purposely didn’t re-read the first few issues of the comic as I wanted to get a fresh take (of sorts) on the television show. The first episode seemed to go into a lot of detail with Rick, his best friend Shane and Laurie - Rick’s wife. As a fan of the comic, Kirkman is the master of the cliff-hangar ending and leaving the reader guessing. I thought the show didn’t give us much of that particularly with Shane. I’m not going into spoilers, but the Rick/Shane/Laurie triangle seemed to move awful quickly. Could be TV for you, so there is that as there are only six episodes debuting in the first season. However, I think they should have had the audience find out the same time as Rick. The music score could use an improvement. I felt it was not eerie enough and didn’t add to the drama much; definitely lacked the needed horror element. There seemed to be instances where it was too quiet - maybe the version I watched was not the complete show we will be seeing on Halloween, so I do hope that improves. Overall, if you are a Robert Kirkman “zombie” and love the comic book you should be quite satisfied. It is faithful enough to the book yet fresh enough to give you something new. Those of you who may not have picked up the comic (yet!) should be more than pleased. Fans of the zombie genre will go away satisfied as we get the blood and guts - and other gross body parts - that are a necessity to living dead films. I'm definitely excited for this and feel it is going to be huge hit. AMC’s The Walking Dead crawls into your living room Halloween night! So lock your doors and whatever you do - don’t make a sound as you watch the best new fall show to debut this year!