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TELEVISION REVIEW: FTN reviews Fear the Walking Dead – Episode 1

September 6th, 2015 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

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The Walking Dead, the world’s favourite zombie show, got a spinoff. Here are our review and general thoughts on Fear the Walking Dead Episode 1.

Set in LA and revolving around a disconnected family and its acquaintances, Fear the Walking Dead has presented a whole new concept of a zombie show. As you probably already know, this brand new series is a spinoff of the hit TV show The Walking Dead and it gives the audience a look at the world before the zombie apocalypse took place. The Walking Dead prequel left us an impression that it’s more about people and their relations than zombies, blood and chaos. At least that’s what episode 1 has left us believing. So, this is the review of Fear the Walking Dead Episode 1 accompanied with some general opinion about the show’s grand opening.

Right from the start Fear the Walking Dead viewers can notice the main difference between this and its parent show. The Walking Dead hopped right into the zombie apocalypse and gave us five seasons of non-stop action. Its spinoff, however, starts quite differently with one of the protagonists Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) waking up in a ruined church. Even though anyone can be fooled into believing that he gets out in world owned by the undead, the situation is very different. Nick finds Gloria, a person who he was looking for, and understands that she has transformed into something awful. Naturally, fear makes him escape the building and then gets hit by a car in a pretty normal LA morning filled with breathing, living people.

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Fear the Walking Dead is taking its time to develop the story, but it’s not afraid to quickly present us ten brand new characters that we will see on the screen each Sunday night. After we’ve been introduced to Nick, we go on to meet his mother Madison Clark portrayed by excellent Kim Dickens. We quickly find out that she is a guidance counsellor at her daughter’s -Alicia (Alycia Bebnam-Carey) – high school. Another character related to the very same school is Madison’s boyfriend Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) who teaches there. If you are having trouble remembering all these people, prepare for some more characters. Turns out, Travis has an ex-wife Liza Ortiz played by Elizabeth Rodriguez as well as a son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie).

In addition, Fear the Walking Dead shows two more potentially important individuals – Principal Art Costa (Scott Lawrence) and a student Tobias (Lincoln Castellanos). The student, who has brought a knife to school, mutters how Doomsday is coming and that there is something suspicious about the flu bug that the Government refuses to comment.

That is the moment we are aware that something is definitely happening in sunny LA as well as that people are still unaware of the tragedy that viewers know awaits them. Every scene of Fear the Walking Dead, even though slow, has its tension. The reason for this is very simple – The Walking Dead itself. We all expect to see a zombie somewhere on the screen and as soon as there is a homeless person or someone with bloody eyes we think it’s someone that has abandoned the human race. That was, for example, the case with the Principal who acted in a fairly suspicious manner.

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The final moments of the episode are reserved for a zombie closing when Nick has to fight his drug dealer who turned into a dead walker. Nick, Madison and Travis soon realise that Nick’s dealer is everything but a human. Nick repeatedly tries to kill him by running him over with Travis’s truck, but the zombie just keeps getting on his feet, trying to kill them instead. After the final hit, the three of them look at the walker’s body on the concrete as the zombie slowly turns his head and looks straight at them with his glass like eyes. Honestly, this was definitely a scene to remember, even though it’s far away from Rick’s iconic scenes from The Walking Dead Pilot.

I would say that Fear the Walking Dead did a good job in its first episode. Many fans of the franchise complained about the slow story development just like there were people fascinated by the way everything is steadily moving towards apocalypse, yet the human race is far from accepting it. Either way, it received pretty good ratings on the IMDB.

I personally believe the show has a lot to offer and can’t wait to see the direction it will take. There are two things that might be catastrophic at this moment. The first is Fear the Walking Dead to prolong the action until viewers lose interest. The second is to aggressively present the zombies and hop too quickly into zombie drama; that would make it too similar to The Walking Dead and hence unattractive to those who don’t need a completely new cast with the same storyline.

All in all, the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead was as good as I expected it to be, with some cons that can be easily forgiven. I think the show has a lot of potential and I advise all The Walking Dead fans to give it a try.

What do you think about Fear the Walking Dead? Did you watch the first episode? Do you plan to watch it in the future?

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.