With its record-breaking ratings, only fools and horses ever doubted there would be a spinoff of The Walking Dead. Now, nearly six seasons into the blockbuster zombie apocalypse series, AMC and TWD executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert are ready to take that bite with Fear The Walking Dead. The spinoff that debuts August 23 is well worth sinking your TV teeth into.
Sure, it’ll be a much-needed fix until the fall for those addicted to TWD. Fear, as my video review above says, is also a strong stand-alone series that actually gives the magnetic original a run for its dramatic money. Yes, there’s a zombie plague pushing civilization to collapse, and in that aspect, the tale of Fear is the same as TWD. However, where the new series — which has a six-episode first-season run and is already renewed for a 15-episode second season for 2016 — differs is the time, tone and locale. And that makes all the difference in this deteriorating world.
Whereas TWD started with Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes waking up in the hospital to the immediate aftermath of what had happened, the Fear ensemble led by Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis as high school teachers focuses on the cracks and tears in our world. Unlike the rural Georgia-based TWD, the lives of the characters here are set in urban and diverse landscape of Los Angeles.
While some may find it too slow in some ways, from what I’ve seen, the measured step-by-step approach instituted by showrunner Dave Erickson and his fellow EPs reflects a terrifying future being born – and I don’t just mean all those too easily mocked Sunset Junction hipsters. With variations of wealth and status, Fear isn’t about those best poised to make it through the worst but those who are scrambling to figure out what is going on — let alone what to do about it as Hell on Earth emerges.
So check out my review of Fear The Walking Dead and tell us what you think. With expectations for big numbers for AMC for the 90-minute premiere, will you be among those watching?
(This review was originally posted August 21.)