The Walking Dead TV Show – Episode 1“Pilot” (Directors Cut) Review
Posted by geeksyndicate on October 11, 2010
Like most of geekdom I’m waiting with baited breath to see the TV adaptation of the awesome Walking Dead Comic. It seems, however, that a few of us couldn’t wait that long as our mates over at Blogomatic3000 have score themselves an exclusive look at the first two episodes. The guys have generously allowed us to post their review of episode 1 here.
Beware of some spoilers…you have been warned!
Big thanks to everyone at Blogomatic3000 and here’s their review of episode 1.
Based on the Robert Kirkman created comic, The Walking Dead follows a group of survivors led by police officer Rick Grimes in search of a safe place to live after a zombie apocalypse. And so it begins… Yes, one of the most eagerly awaited TV shows finally arrives in the UK. Was it worth the wait? Yes. Does the finished product justify the hype? Hell yes!
The Walking Dead starts as it means to go on with an awesome opening scene that sees Andrew Lincoln’s Officer Grimes blow away a zombie-child, for all intents and purposes laying down the ground rules for what is to follow. It’s almost like in that one scene Frank Darabont and co. are saying “Forget everything you know about television because you’ve never seen television like this before!” And they’d be right.
I’m not going to go into detail about the plot in this review because I don’t want to spoil the episode for those like me that haven’t read the comic (yes, I ashamed to admit that it’s one comic I have never had the pleasure of reading), but suffice to say this first episode marks the series as the premiere show on television today… There I’ve said it. The Walking Dead is THE best show on TV. Period.
But why is The Walking Dead so good? There’s only one answer for that. Frank Darabont. Episode one is both written and directed by Darabont, and you can tell. There have been many big-name movie directors who’ve turned their hand to directing television in the past, but on those occasions it has always seemed like their vision has been compromised for television – both in scale, scope and budget. But not here. Here Frank Darabont has made a pilot episode that has all the hallmarks of his critically acclaimed movies – there’s an epicness to every shot, and Darabont makes some bold directorial choices, especially considering this is television, with a number of overhead crane shots that wouldn’t look out of place in the grandest of Hollywood blockbusters. That’s what’s key to why The Walking Dead for me is now the best show on television – there’s has been NO COMPROMISE in bringing this comic to the television, well none that shows on the screen at least.
But it’s not all down to Darabont – yes he wrote the teleplay and yes he directs it like a Hollywood movie, but there’s also a GREAT cast at work in this episode. I’ll freely admit I have never been a fan of Andrew Lincoln. Well until now that is. I don’t know what happened to Lincoln between the last time I saw him (in the ITV series Afterlife) and here, but his performance literally blew me away. From the moment his character awakes from his coma that has seen him sleep through the zombie apocalypse, to the final scene on the streets of Atlanta, Lincoln’s performance was truly mesmerising. But whilst the first episode is all about Lincoln’s Rick Grimes, there are two superb guest stars – fellow Brit actor Lennie James as Morgan Jones and Adrian Kali Turner as his son Duane. Their brief appearance – bringing Grimes’ up to speed on what has happened while he’s been ‘asleep’ – has an incredibly touching emotion core that I won’t spoil here, but lets just say James matches Lincoln beat for beat and brings the same sort of gravitas to this role as he has done to many of his other television appearances.
Seriously, I could go on and on and on about the cast, the direction and the awesomeness of the show overall, but that would make for a ridiculously long review, however… I can’t finish this review without mentioning the superb score by Bear McCreary. Like everything else about this extended “Directors Cut” pilot episode of The Walking Dead, McCreary’s score is spot on – a balance of extended periods of silence, eerie dramatics,and a understated grandiosity that matches Darabont’s epic direction perfectly. As for the closing music – Wang Chung’s “Space Junk” – well that’s just sublime.
For me, watching The Walking Dead really does feel like watching something special. This truly is event television.
GS Reporter: Nuge