The Juggernaut That is “The Walking Dead”
Live Wire Staff Writer
Published April 7, 2014
We have reached the end of the fourth season of AMC’s epic series “The Walking Dead” and the creative machine behind the show is in full swing. Not only are there 124 issues of the comic book, there are also six video games, one of which has garnered multiple Game of the Year awards, a pioneering companion show and a developing spinoff, as well as lunch boxes, Funko dolls and themed Monopoly games. All mean that “The Walking Dead” is here to stay.
I am most looking forward to the spinoff show and hopefully it will be like the original webisode idea, in which the story is about a soldier during the fall of Atlanta and the backstory of the Tank Zombie from season one. The original actor planned for this role was Sam Witwer, whose show “Being Human” was not renewed. Dave Erickson has signed on to write and produce this series, and his work on “Sons of Anarchy” was amazing, with great characterization and action sequences.
As a fan of comics in general, I am excited at just how well this property does. Warner Brothers DC Comics and Disney’s Marvel could learn a thing or two from AMC network on how to use a comic property, especially now that the series will be syndicated on MyNetworkTv. Marvel studios has done very well with its properties, but they have had twice the time “The Walking Dead” has had getting to the point they are at now.
DC has had hits with TV shows “Smallville” and “Arrow,” but these are not a shared universe, and efforts by both companies pale compared to the success AMC has had. Ratings for the “The Walking Dead” keep rising higher and higher even though, in my opinion, the fourth season was pretty good, but not great. I think that the first half dragged on finishing the Governor story and developing a new culture for the characters.
The second half of the season was better, using standalone episodes for character development. Episode 9 was my favorite episode as it was a major revelation for the character of Carl. Many other fans thought the plot line involving Lizzie and Carol, was a bad retelling of a plotline that was used to develop Carl in the comic book, and was not nearly as emotional and thought provoking as the source material.
I am looking forward to Season 5 as the concept of Terminus should be more exciting as it is not mentioned in the comic. But with the visual cues that have been revealed so far, I am less than enthusiastic about the plotline. Given that Mary is always cooking meat, even though there is no livestock at Terminus, and with the cultish looking room with the candles, I believe that they are expanding on the cannibal storyline from the comic.
With some minor characters such as Bob and Tara who are not in the comic we will still see some characters eaten, but the main cast will live on to fight another day.