Last Sunday night, the US cable network AMC premiered the first episode of Fear: The Walking Dead—a spinoff of the hugely successful The Walking Dead.
AMC seems to think there’s room for yet another zombie show—with comic book creator Robert Kirkman as one of the executive producers. The numbers so far look promising: according to Entertainment Weekly online, the show became the biggest series premiere in cable TV history in terms total viewers (10.1 million).
Fear: The Walking Dead takes place in Los Angeles around the time Rick Grimes is in a coma. In the first The Walking Dead we see Rick encounter bicycle girl and the little girl in her sleepwear, already turned, the world he lived in resembling a wasteland.
In the first episode of Fear, we still see Los Angeles going about its business for the most part—save that there are little things going awry. People are being told to get flu shots, leaked footage appears of a man who rises from the dead after a police shootout.
Junkie Nick Clark (Frank Dillane, young Voldemort in The Half-blood Prince) wakes up in a drug den and sees his drug buddy Gloria eat a corpse. He runs for his life, and wonders whether what he’s seen is a dark, drug-induced vision or stark, horrific reality.
Nick’s family gathers around him to provide support—mom and high school guidance counselor Madison Clark (Kim Dickens—the detective in Gone Girl), her boyfriend Travis Manawa (New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis) and Nick’s sister A-student Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey from The 100). Travis has an ex-wife and an estranged son who we meet briefly in the pilot.
We’ll have to wait to meet the other characters like Daniel Salazar played by Latin jazz musician Ruben Blades.
The characters so far in the pilot are: high school students, a guidance counselor, a junkie, a dealer, an English teacher and a high school principal—a far cry from deputy Rick Grimes, his partner Shane Walsh and crossbow expert, tracker and hunter Daryl Dixon.
The action, as expected, is a bit slow but it would be interesting to see the ways in which society breaks down, how LA transforms and how these folks will handle or survive an outbreak.
Probably worth checking out the second episode but clearly, if one does not have the luxury of time to watch everything out there, The Walking Dead will suffice. The show has six episodes for season one and 15 for season two. Will all its viewers stick around?