With supernatural drama flooding TV nowadays it is nice to see a new, grittier drama free from vampires and ghosts. The Walking Dead is about life in a post-zombie apocalypse and our hero is a local sheriff Rick Grimes, played by a superb Andrew Lincoln (Teachers, Love Actually). The pilot episode sees Rick wake-up from a coma, after being wounded in a shoot-out, in a world where zombies are abound and infecting everyone. Confused and utterly alone, Rick returns home to find that his wife and son have fled, and now braves the soulless new world in order to find them.
Directed and partly written by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile) this new drama has pace, plot and action. Darabont attempts to portray life as it actually would be if there were to be a zombie epidemic (similar to True Blood’s portrayal of life with vampires). As such he has stripped away all forms of glossiness and fantasy, which swamps the many other spectral dramas and has thus kept The Walking Dead as raw and real as possible. The episode’s final scene of Rick hiding in the army tank, whilst ravenous zombies surround him, makes for both compelling and haunting drama. Andrew Lincoln is a brilliant sheriff, convincingly portraying the terror and surrealism at finding himself in an alien world.
The Walking Dead, ironically, seems to have breathed new life into an oversaturated genre that was starting to lose its fear factor.