By Kevin McCormack
THE WALKING Dead has found much acclaim for its special effects but it is more than just a horror serial. Rather than focusing on the dread and terror of a zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead – based on the graphic novels of the same name - has an effective focus on how extremes can drive people together and tear them apart.
The first season was directed by Frank Darabont, best known for being the director of Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Darabont has a fascinating talent of taking an improbable event and chronicling the effects it would have on society as a whole.
Evident from the first episode of the second season, there are no signs that the show has passed its prime. Continuing on the harrowing atmosphere which made the previous season such compelling viewing, the survivors decide to leave the city for a more secure place. They find, however, among the dilapidated urban wastelands that there are few places to hide from the infected population and have to adapt their survival tactics accordingly.
The zombie sub-culture seems to have embedded itself into our cultural mindset lately. Videogames, films and novels use the blood-thirsty drones as plot devices, so it would be easy for some viewers to see Walking Dead as just another creation in a long line of overused subject matter. This is certainly not the case, the graphic novels have created such a solid basis of character development, and the show is not another zombie-cash-in. Think 28 Days Later, not Dead Rising.
Thankfully, unlike too many other American television shows, UK viewers need not wait too long for new episodes. Latest episodes are shown every Friday on FX, and the first season of The Walking Dead is widely available on DVD and Blu-Ray.