Some time after being shot on duty, Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes awakens in hospital to find it deserted with bodies strewn everywhere. He returns to his home to find it abandoned but believes his wife and son may still be alive. He meets Morgan Jones and his son Duane who explain to him that the world has been overrun with zombies (aka walkers). The disease usually started with an infection and high fever followed by re-animation. The creatures are attracted to sound and eat flesh to survive. Morgan tells him that he thinks there is a refugee center in Atlanta and Rick sets off in the hope of finding his wife and child. Once there, he finds himself surrounded by the undead with little apparent hope of escaping.....until he hears a voice over the radio. Written by
In an online interview, Frank Darabont revealed having envisioned several self-contained episodes that would not continue the main story. One such episode would have been the season two premiere. It would have involved Sam Witwer (who played the tank zombie in The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye (2010) and Darabont cast in The Mist (2007)) as a soldier in a Black Hawk Down (2001) styled Atlanta. Witwer's character would have encountered several of the cast before being bit and locking himself in the tank. See more »
The tank which Rick hides in is a Cheiftain Mk10. It is a British Army tank designated FV4201, manufactured by Leyland and used by the British Army between 1966 and 1995. The tank in the episode (along with those seen outside CDC later in the "Wildfire" episode) are all painted tan and feature the inverted black "V" which was used to identify Coalition troops during the First Gulf War. This model of tank was never in service with the American Army and as such it would be highly unlikely to see four of them abandoned in Atlanta as depicted. See more »
[in a flash-forward, Rick sees a little girl walking on a deserted street]
Little girl? I'm a policeman. Little girl.
[the little girl stops]
Don't be afraid. Okay? Little girl.
[when the little girl turns around it's revealed to Rick that she's a walker by a part of her face missing]
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I've been waiting for this for a long time. First the early rumours from the States, then the massive adverts all around our underground stations, then we started to get bombarded by adverts on TV. FX clearly believe that this is going to be the next big thing on TV. And they're not completely wrong There's a lot to like and appreciate from this first episode and I am definitely going to mention all the things I love about it, but first, let me just talk about what I didn't like, so that I can get it off my chest. Was it just me or the whole idea about somebody walking up in a deserted hospital, after a sort of coma to find out the world has been taken over by zombies is just absolutely identical to "28 days Later" by Danny Boyle? I was really shocked to find out similar it all felt (even the fact that Andrew Lincoln wakes up very very thirsty, just like Cillian Murphy did). I suppose the problem with doing anything about Zombies today is that we've seen so many of them over the years that the genre seems to be pretty exhausted. Zombies are not as sexy as vampires, they don't talk, most of the times they move pretty slowly and all they're interested about is flesh. In other words, let's face it: zombies are dead boring! Furthermore, after Shaun of the Dead it's even harder to take them seriously.
However "The walking Dead" does manage to bring back, not just the scary part of Zombies, but also that more poignant and sad side of them. Let's all not forget who zombies are. They are first and foremost dead people, and not just anybody. They could very well be your recently deceased grandfather, or grandmother or, like in this first episode, the recently deceased wife and mother. The scene where Lennie James tries unsuccessfully to shoot down his wife, is one of the highlights of the episode and one of the most heat-breaking. All of a sudden you can see the potential of a series like this. It might even became a sort of cross between Six Feet Under and A Zombie movie. Technically, we are really into feature film territory here. There's nothing that says TV to me, unless we consider TV like the more refined brother of cinema (at least when it comes to series like the West Wing, Six Feet Under, The Wire, 24, Dexter and so on), in which case, this is really like the best TV can be. The photography is excellent, the camera-work really impressive and so are the special effects, the make up and the stunts. I really loved how the music was really spare in this episode (this is actually a trade-mark on AMC, I've noticed). We are so used to hear music pretty much back to back in these sort of films, that it's a big relief to find something so brave, competent and sure of its own merits that it refuses to fall into that usual trap of music overload. The silence in those hospital corridors, along those empty streets, during those darkest nights, it all works perfectly and it enhances the eerie mood and uneasy feel that permeated the whole hour or however long this first episode was. We've seen very little of all the other actors in the series, a part from our hero Andrew Lincoln and the already mentioned Lennie James. They are both very good indeed and I am looking forward to seeing where it all leads to and how their characters will evolve So, to wrap it all up, though not completely original the series seems to walk through a path which is somehow fairly familiar and yet it is all so handsomely done that I really want to be patient and give it the benefit of the doubt. I shall definitely be watching the second episode and unless that is a complete disaster I'll carry on till the end. AMC has really put a lot of money in this series and it shows. The production values are all there on the screen. After their incredibly good work on series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad or Rubicon, they have all my respect and my trust. The least I can do for them is to give them an hour of each week for the next five weeks. Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out. This is my review of episode 2: http://wp.me/p19wJ2-4L
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