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Review: Fear the Walking Dead S01 E01 – Pilot

FTWDS01E01-1

The creators of The Walking Dead and AMC have just unleashed the pilot episode for the much anticipated spin-off. Fear the Walking Dead (FTWD) follows the footsteps of the main show by doing 3 things right: (1) the writing allows for solid character development; (2) there are character mysteries that draw you in; and (3) good casting sense. FTWD does all of these thing correctly and feels like a completely new show altogether. It’s a different world from the forests of Georgia. Yet, will FTWD be so different that we can’t connect the worlds and stop watching? Read on.

Since the original show started five years ago, FTWD creators opted to use today’s technologically more advanced cell phones as part of the plot. A loophole or a choice? This allows for use of social media to help shed light on the zombie apocalypse in progress. As far as the dysfunctional blended family, it was a good call to start the 6-episode rookie season with character conflict. Maori actor, Cliff Curtis, plays high school English teacher Travis Manawa. The guidance counselor working at the same high school, Madison Clark portrayed by Kim Dickens, is Travis’ girlfriend. He’s got his son and she has her two children – a zombie apocalypse version of the Brady Bunch. So far, we’re dealing with Madison’s children – Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) – in the pilot episode. Nick is a drug addict out of high school while Alicia is the opposite…a straight-A student with well-concealed issues of her own.

Best Performance

It’s just the pilot episode and usually there are no standouts in the acting department with most shows. In 90 minutes, British actor Frank Dillane has just convinced us that he’s a drug addict who’s a little off-balanced mentally. He manages to make us, the audience, forgive him over that span of time. Dillane was so good that the TWD fans I watch the show with complimented his performance before the credits rolled. This is a pleasant surprise as the TWD pre-requisite is to cover a wide range of emotion in a little amount of time.

Best Moment in the Episode

When the original show aired, Rick Grimes was shooting a little girl zombie in the head under 5 minutes into the show. FTWD followed the same formula and did its best 28 Days Later impression by starting it off in an abandoned church. The initial scene went out of its way to remind us that this show inhabits the same Robert Kirkman universe.

Remaining Question(s)

  • Are we going to see origins of the government-released virus?
  • Are there any characters in the Rick Grimes timeline that we’ll see in Los Angeles?

Overall

Frank Dillane’s performance and the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse in Los Angeles are definitely elements of a show that I’m going to keep watching. I’m excited to see what the rest of the cast can do with what’s been laid out. In TWD, Rick Grimes is the only character that’s not allowed to die. The beauty of this new storyline is that no one is safe. We’re off to an awesome start here. Let’s quicken the pace a little bit.

 

 

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Source: Image taken from AMC’s Website

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