Fans across the globe are waiting as patiently as possible for the Oct. 11 season premiere of The Walking Dead. In the meantime, we have been treated with a spinoff that takes place before the events in our much beloved zombie show. Fear the Walking Dead is set in Los Angeles and features an entirely new cast of survivors.
Nick Clark takes the stage waking up in an abandoned church that has been transformed into a drug den. He stumbles around lazily in search for his girlfriend until he hears screams from below. He fastens his pace and rounds a corner to see a man’s body with blood trailing from a wound in his neck. Nick runs frantically from the scene only to find more bodies and gore, and finally his girlfriend chowing down on another man’s face.
Madison Clark, played by Kim Dickens, is relieved to hear her son has been found relatively unharmed. As she and her boyfriend, Travis, arrive at the ER, the nurses relay that he has been speaking of madness. Tales of dead bodies, blood and cannibals have been spewing from the drug-addicted teen’s mouth. The doctors chalk it up to delusions and madness and strap Nick to his bed.
The vexing aspect of The Walking Dead prequel is the fact that the characters have no idea what they’re dealing with. As Rick and Michonne immediately go for the kill shot (the head) our unbeknownst characters reaction to the “infected” is to help, run, aggravatingly shoot anywhere but the head and run them over.
Fear the Walking Dead offers a much different perspective based singularly on the fact that it’s a prequel. As an audience who has “seen the future”, we’re able to anticipate how certain events are likely to unfold as the characters scramble to get their bearings on a horrifying new existence. Unlike The Walking Dead where we have been invested in the characters for five years, we are able to see how humanity and individuals as a whole dealt with the Zombie Apocalypse from the first signs of infection. Another notable difference is the appearance of the zombies. They have not had time to decay and as a result look more human than not. The only tale tell signs is the distinguished zombie-shuffle, a bit of blood, and their eagerness to have you for lunch.
Apart from a few instances of trouble such as an increased number of school absences and a minority of citizens taking the signs seriously, the lives of the people are very similar to those you and I lead. Due to this fact, it is much easier to relate and picture ourselves in a similar situation which develops a more terrifying show.
The show will air for another five episodes this season, ending just before The Walking Dead season six premiere. Throughout the remaining shows we will undoubtedly see the characters work out the situation and band together to survive. For as Nick stated, “When civilization ends, it ends fast.”