Horror Fear The Walking Dead (AMC) (TWD Spinoff - Los Angeles)

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
The AMC spin-off series of The Walking Dead is currently underway with casting. The new series, untitled yet, will be sort of a prequel to TWD in that it will take place right after the zombie apocalypse has started place during the transition period from normal life to the end of society.

It will be set in the US West Coast with most of the action in the Los Angeles area.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
TWD spin-off, named Fear The Walking Dead, will be premiering Sunday, August 23 at 9:00 p.m on AMC. It is set in Los Angeles at the start of the zombie outbreak before life as we know it ended. As time progresses there will supposedly be some tie-ins between the original TWD series and the spin-off but nothing substantial, mostly references.

 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
In the "Nick's Escape" teaser (above) we saw a guy running as fast as he could from a building and just kept on running. AMC has released the first three minutes of the premiere episode of Fear The Walking Dead and we get to see what scared the guy so much.

AMC has given some more details about the timeline of the series that sheds some light on the parent The Walking Dead show as well, in particular Rick's length of time in a coma in the hospital was five weeks. So there you have it, from the start of the zombie outbreak to total apocalypse it only took five weeks for the breakdown of civilization as we know it.

 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
Kev was reading today about how the creators wanted to show how the cities fell during Rick's coma, which is pretty cool for mine, and something World War Z missed from the source novel. But, and a big but, a lot of folk are demanding an answer to what caused the apocalypse, clearly said people don't watch a lot of decent zombie fare as most outings don't actually answer that question.

I would imagine we might get some reports from the CDC during Fear if people hunker down in front of their TVs.
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
This is screening tonite yeah? Sunday in North America, Monday Downunder. Should be able to catch a viewing tomorrow in which case, getting excited here.

The pilot has just been listed, no show as yet.
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
W00t it lived up to the anticipation for mine. A shock 10.1 million people tuned in for the Pilot, a new record for an opening episode on Cable TV in North America. Reviewers seem very positive, we were - loved the character development, with the usual obno horror brigade whinging about lack of zombies. Once again, zombie outings are not actual about the zombies people!

Review coming kids.
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
"If there's a problem, we're gonna know about it. The authorities would tell us." - Madison Clark

After some wait the much anticipated first episode of The Walking Dead spin off dropped last night and I for one rocked out to the pilot of Fear. Ordinary people in extraordinary situations, we're in horror Nirvana folks, let's rock out a review and see why some people are going to hate this one while the vast majority of viewers are going to be sweating on each new episode airing. Viewer records were set folks, can the show retain its audience?

Things kick off with Nick waking up in a dilapidate church, seems Nick is going to be one of our core characters and he's a junkie. He goes searching for his girlfriend Gloria and comes across a body with its throat ripped out! Not the best thing to wake up to and it gets worse when he finds Gloria chowing down on some dude's face, talk about your bad trip. Fleeing the scene, Nick has a good self-preservation sense, he eventual gets run down by a car in a nearby street and rushed off to a local hospital as a result. Think we'll start to call Nick Mr Lucky from here on in. His family duly arrive at his bedside and we get to meet the other three leads. Don't form attachments yet folks, this is The Walking Dead universe, any one of the four could be toast by the end credits of next week's episode.

Travis is a school English Lit teacher who has fallen for Madison, the school counsellor. Nick is Madison's druggie son and her daughter Alicia while highly intelligent is a bit of a princess. Okay with me so far? Travis while trying to form the family unit with the brood also has an estranged wife and a son who wants nothing to do with him. Anyways Nick escapes the hospital and contacts his supplier Calvin, who just happens to be his sister Alicia's boyfriend, to find out if the drugs he took were laced with PCP or something. Like everyone else Nick thinks he might have been hallucinating.

Meanwhile Travis and Madison discover something very bad went down at the Church of the Needle, but there are no bodies or anything. Adding to the general concern is a video that has gone viral which may show an early walker attacking ambulance staff. Rounding out this fandango Nick eventually meets up with Travis and Madison with all three being presented with evidence that there's no more room in hell. Anyone going to mention the "Z" word?

Okay first up I absolute dug what Fear threw in my direction. The Pilot episode took the time to introduce the main characters, though to be honest at this stage I'm surprisingly only bonding with Nick the junkie son, go figure, and had me at least concerned about their continued welfare. There's an ominous atmosphere settling in already, the interaction between Madison and minor character Tobias was awesome - such haunted and fatalistic eyes, lots of single lens shots of background decay. And I got to say the tension was raised to a high level, with even a few red herrings thrown at the audience. When Nick was in Hospital who didn't think he was imminent danger, especially constrained with a clearly dying patient in the next bed. Excellent stuff, just what the Doctor ordered in the modern wham bam world of horror. See what I did there?

What's really a pleasant surprise with the pilot at least is just how grounded in reality it really is. There are a lot of subtle pointers that the "virus" is spreading, the growing number of kids not showing up to school, the gradual breakdown of society - already in evidence, and of course our central characters who are going about their ordinary lives and dramas with the apocalypse only dimming registering on their radars. As state above I wonder if anyone will mention the word "zombie", I'm pretty sure the Writers aren't going to throw on a world where the whole zombie sub-genre doesn't exist. What should be amazing is watching the characters come to the realisation that zombies aren't fictional, they are up and biting in their very own neighbourhood.

In terms of continuity with the parent show Fear is batting a thousand, at least in terms of the zombie angle. You die, you come back, and you go on a feeding frenzy. To take one down you need to shot it in the head, kill the brain etc. Zombies do not move at a fast pace, it shouldn't be very long before one character or another warns others to not get encircled. Oh and zombie numbers increase exponentially, remembering Rick Grime's coma was five weeks. So Los Angeles is going to fall within the next say three weeks, we're talking a rapid collapse here kids, anyone else punching the air with a closed fist! Oh and before I forget the deceased aren't as oozy as the zombies inWalking, decay isn't yet a problem on Sunset and Consume.

While the first episode moves at a snail's pace in terms of getting to the gooey stuff, I was actually surprised there were zombies involved; gorehounds are still going to be happy. We have a couple of scenes that might just be beyond the pale for younger viewers and the promise of a lot more of the red stuff hitting the screen. Don't expect full on zombie shenanigans however, we're talking the outbreak here rather than the post apocalypse. And before anyone asks, nope the episode didn't offer any reason for the zombie shambling. Needless to say T&A isn't going down, not a staple of The Walking Dead universe folks.

Overall I had a good time with the Pilot and for sure will be tuning in next week to see where things might head. The show thus far is logical, people not quite sure what is going down with society starting to stutter around then, and I would expect more to be concerned about in coming weeks as invariably martial law is declared in an attempt to get ahead of the situation by what is left of the Authorities. If after a show that is geared toward adults, and not simply firing off crowd friendly gore scenes, then you are in the right place. Recommended viewing for horror fans and non-fans alike, good wholesome drama with throat ripping.

(Review re-printed with permission).
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
"No one is paying attention, it's like it's not real' - Nick Clark

Travis is starting to work out what's going down and devises a plan to save his nearest and dearest. Load up the truck and head into the desert away from other people, a few others seem to have the same idea and are stocking up in preparation. Naturally Travis has to first find his son Chris, which proves harder than expected as Chris is currently demonstrating his civic rights as the Police try and contain the growing epidemic.

Meanwhile Maddie has to leave Alicia to look after the rapidly ailing Nick as she goes in search of some drugs at the High School to avoid Nick going into cold turkey and not being able to be moved. She finds Tobias in the deserted school halls and learns that Tobias like Nick knows a lot more about what is going down than everyone else. She also runs across Headmaster Artie, who has seen better days. Things are about to get real serious as a kids' party has an unwelcomed arrival.

Okay putting my hand up, got it wrong last week, Alicia's boyfriend is Matt and not Nick's drug supplier as I wrongly surmised. This either means I'm not following things closely enough, always possible, or some of the incidental characters aren't being fleshed out - no pun intended - to enough degree. Anyways moving along as Alicia's Boyfriend is a plot device anyhoo.

The second episode of Fear sees more zombies on the streets with the Police gunning them down, based on evidence presented. Naturally this leads L.A to decide to have riots, which involves damaging property, running rampant on the streets, and turning the hood into a battleground. You know people demonstrating their rights under the constitution. Naturally this isn't going to work out so well as the authorities try to hold back the zombie apocalypse. It certainly doesn't work for Travis and his ex-wife and son who are left holed up in a barber's shop as things go pretty lawless. Guess we are already seeing the introduction of the zombie trope; you have more to worry about than the shambling dead during the apocalypse.

Still not behind all the characters than hoping Tobias and Nick survive the opening season
I'm going with a few sidebars during this episode water cooler talk to try and get out ahead of a few criticisms being levelled at the new show already. On our Monday night discussions, where we try and answer a few reader questions, the issue of the word "zombie" not being used in the Walking Dead universe was raised. Rob pointed out that the universe the two shows are set in never had a zombie sub-genre, forget the evidence for this but read it as fact. Hence no Romero Dead movies, no Haitian voodoo, no nothing. The characters in Fear have never heard of a zombie, hence why they have no idea what they are dealing with, how to put the shamblers down, or how the virus is transmitted. Hence the term "zombie" hasn't been used. So in effect we the viewers are way out in front of the characters when it comes to zombie lore, though Nick and Tobias are certainly joining the dots.

I really like how subtle episode two is as we continue with the fall of Los Angeles. We discover the power grid is beginning to fail, and even worse for the City's female population the mobile network is suffering drop outs! Clearly the Authorities know more than the public with the Police shooting to kill as zombies take to the streets. For mine it's interesting that more than one character remarks that the Government will keep them informed. The two fringe dwellers, Nick with his drug issues and Tobias with clear social awkwardness, have deduced that the apocalypse is going down while the more adjusted members of the cast remain blissfully unaware that things aren't going to suddenly revert to normal. Though admittedly Travis is starting to view the "virus" as something they may need to ride out, apart from other members of the public. Hey who would have thought it, the survivalists were right all along!

Some folks, and Reviewers, are attacking the character of Madison, due to her not helping the family across the road having the kids' party. Well excuse me, do people not get suggestion or shows moving their plots along without getting bogged down in details anymore? Madison clearly heads across the street in one scene to no doubt warn the folks that having a party might not be the best idea, given all the biters and dead people resurrecting. We don't know how that conversation went down as the party animals are clearly another plot device and not crucial to the overall episode. Later in So Close it's the attack of the rabid neighbour as we get the party that dripped blood, though to be honest the party is over at the time. Alicia wants to go help while Maddie wants to barricade the doors. Alicia hasn't actually seen the zombie mayhem go down yet while her Mom is pretty much a veteran at this stage. So for mine Maddie is doing exactly what any parent would do, protect their kids under clearly a dangerous situation, this is really ringing true for me.

Another item of interest popped onto the agenda Monday with one correspondent asking if we thought the first episode rocked a few winks at other zombie outings, notably one scene recalling World War Z. I'm not about to sit down and make a mountain of pancakes over this one, but I did get a hint of Romero's Diary of the Dead of all things, so yeah some nods going down folks though blink and you'll miss them.

Once again So Close highlighted that Fear is based on a real alternative world. I'm having fun times with the characters who simply don't know what's going down, and who react in believable ways. Thus far we don't have anyone showing superhuman abilities or making connections they wouldn't logically make. For example at one stage Travis thinks the virus is passed by bites, after he examines the ailing Matt, he's clearly in for a shock when he discovers everyone inherently has it in latent form. I also like the fact that no one has quite cottoned on yet to needing a head shot to take down a zombie, though Maddie might be on the way there. While Tobias performs the Crazy Ralph function, you know we're all doomed and such, everyone else is thinking about riding the virus out and not being overly concerned as the Government haven't gone national state of emergency yet. Once again a few folks are in for a few shocks. The nice thing about Fear is we all know what's coming, but it's kind of interesting to see the characters start to put the bloody pieces together, looking forward to more of that over the coming month, (first season is a mere six episodes kids).

Okay we have covered a few points doing the rounds, caught up with where Fear is at, and once again been heavily impressed with the show. Naturally we're talking high production values, decent writing, and for the main part good acting. I still get the feeling the show is trying to find its feet, but things are looking promising with four more episodes to come this season and a second season promised for next year. Highly recommended, Fear the Walking Dead could become the best horror show currently on television if they maintain the standards and plot lines without turning the main characters into reflections of Rick Grimes or Daryl.
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
Anyone watching Season 2?

They have certainly upped the anti with Nick turning into a go to guy and one of the other kids going all psycho :bag:
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Anyone watching Season 2?
I have to admit, I'm not. The first several episodes of just S1 just didn't hold my attention and as such it couldn't compete with the bunch of other shows that I was already recording on the DVR.

With the summer season here in the US (and a lot of TV shows going on hiatus till next season) maybe I'll try to give it another shot.
 
I'm still watching this series. At this point, I just need the zombie fix. :zbloodthirsty:
So, new show runners stepping in for the already announced season 4. Gimple jumps in too.
The reasons it's failing-
-They've yet to make us empathize with these characters. I don't care who dies.
-Who is the lead?
-It still rings of a family drama with those pesky rotters thrown in for action. Madison Clark, matriarch, is poorly written/acted. Kim Dickens is a great actress that is a lousy fit for this series.

Yikes
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Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
Icky would agree, simply don't care who dies.

Haven't caught any of season 3 yet, but the ending of season 2 was explosive enough - for the few people invested.
 
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