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manifesto HOOK is a bi-monthly magazine dedicated to the best TV shows on air at the moment. Join us this issue as we take an in-depth look at AMC's The Walking Dead. From recaping and reviewing the show so far in our resident feature rewind, to going into the detailed past of the star of the show Andrew Lincoln. If you're a die-hard The Walking Dead fan like us be sure to check out Swag Bag and the Cult Corner, for the best merch and fan content around! If this doesnt quench your thirst for all things zombie check out the four sides section, for a selection of the best zombie themed meda; from books to games, ďŹ lms and other TV shows HOOK Magazine has it all!

APRIL 2013


To cap it all o we take a look at the future of the show in our feature Horizon, for all the latest news on season 4, from cast and sta changes - to Q&A's with the cast members will get you all hyped up for the next season of everybody's favourite zombie show!





Season 1 of The Walking Dead premiered on October 31, 2010 on AMC and BBC and concluded on December 5, 2010. The TV Series is based on the graphic novels of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard; it was developed for television by Frank Darabont, who wrote and co-wrote four of the season's six episodes and directed the pilot, Days Gone Bye, and also produced by Gale Anne Hurd.

The first season of The Walking Dead received universal acclaim from critics, garnering a score of 82 out of 100 on Metacritic TV Guide's Matt Roush called the show "a stark and harrowing survival parable... visually stunning and daring in its artful use of silence." Simon Abrams from Slant Magazine awarded the season three and a half stars out of a possible four; "To say that Darabont has kicked his series off with a bang would be a serious understatement... [he] has fashioned a fully realized alternate reality and it's a thrilling thing to experience." Heather Havrilesky of Salon gave the series a grade of A, saying "A film-quality drama series about zombies? Somebody pinch me!”


EPISODE 1 DAYS GONE BYE HE ONE WHERE Small-town cop Rick Grimes wakes up in a hospital after being shot to discover that while he’s been sleeping, there’s been a zombie apocalypse… VERDICT Finally! We’ve waited so long – far too long – for a zombie TV series to arrive, and the quality of Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s ongoing comic is such that it’s been well worth the wait. Our only disappointment is that the series’ initial order is just six episodes. IT’S NOT ENOUGH! The teaser alone is enough to convince you of that; featuring Lincoln’s Sheriff shooting a little zombie girl in the forehead, it’s extremely tense and really sets out the show’s stall; this is not a series that will flinch from depicting violence. A couple of fabulous creations by effects guy Greg

Season:1 AIRDATE: 31ST OCT 2010 Nicotero – a half-eaten corpse in a hospital corridor; a legless zombie pitifully dragging itself along the ground – soon underline that point. Here’s a little touch that’s representative of the care that’s been taken here: the flies. When Rick stumbles out of the hospital to discover great piles of corpses (a great moment), they’re swarming the little buggers. So is a body sitting in a car – did they rub that poor actor with poo? Whoever wrangled those babies (and if they’re all actually CGI, please don’t ruin the illusion for us…) deserves some kind of special technical award. It’s a little touch that really adds a sense of verisimilitude, and reminds you just how revolting zombies are – they’re rotting corpses.

rewind By the end, your patience is fully rewarded. As Rick travels into Atlanta we’re treated to impressive shots of deserted cityscapes. With tanks and helicopters abandoned in the streets and a huge crowd of zombie extras, there’s a sense of scale here that’s seriously impressive. What’s most exciting of all is the amount of new material. Sure, some of it is familiar, but much of it is all Darabont (a self-confessed geek, remember – he’s one of us, not just “the Shawshank guy”), which means that even for dedicated fans of the comic, there are new twists and turns to enjoy, with the promise of more to come – an exciting prospect. If the series continues to maintain this level of quality, it’s going to be something truly special.

directed by: Frank Darabont written by: Frank Darabont rating:


EPISODE 2 guts THE ONE WHERE Rick, trapped in Atlanta, teams up with a group of scavengers. Together they devise a plan to escape, which involves wearing coats smeared with zombie guts… VERDICT Tense and bleakly funny, with some satisfyingly gory axe-to-head action and a punch-the-air climax, this is another terrific episode. Although it has to be said that there’s something a little ludicrous about the subplot which gives it its name. As our heroes start lurching down the street, doing their best zombie impersonations, it’s hard not to think of Shaun Of The Dead. Still, it’s clearly meant to be humorous – albeit comedy of the blackest form. In particular, the moment after Rick’s moving eulogy to the stranger they’ve just chopped up with an axe, where someone points out that he was carrying an organ donor card elicits a sick snicker. Even this delightfully edgy fare is topped by the introduction of Dixon (the superb Michael Rooker), an unapologetic racist with a line in snarled put-downs – kinda like Sawyer from Lost, if he’d been a white supremacist asshole. He’s a fascinating character that we could really grow to love… to hate.

Season:1 AIRDATE: 31ST OCT 2010

rewind directed by: Michelle MacLaren written by: Frank Darabont rating: A SUGGESTION If zombie guts are such an effective camouflage and the only problem is rain washing them off, why not move somewhere sunny, like California? It’d be worth a bit of stink to be able to walk around in the streets safely, surely?


EPISODE 3 tell it to the frogs THE ONE WHERE Rick heads back to the camp and is reunited with his family, but then decides to go back into Atlanta and free Merle from his handcuffs. Oh, he’s so damned noble. VERDICT This is, essentially, the episode that lays out the basic dynamics of the group, and as such it works pretty well. After the first two instalments it’s comparatively low-key, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It can’t be headshots-a-go-go every week, and there are some neat character moments here, like the conversation between four of the women of the group in which they discuss how much they miss little home comforts like coffee makers and, er, vibrators… The continuing enigma that is Shane continues to fascinate. Straight away, I decided the guy was a smug asshole. Then he turns out to be good with kids. Then he leaps to the defence of a battered wife. But then he gives Ed, said wife-beater, a face-pounding of such unnecessarily prolonged intensity that it’s crystal clear he’s taking out his own frustrations on the guy… and I’m back to square one. BEST BIT The heartstring-yanking moment when Rick and his son Carl clock one another. Gulp.


directed by: Gwyneth Horder-Payton written by: Frank Darabont rating:

Season:1 AIRDATE: 14TH NOV 2010

.................... Season:1 AIRDATE: 21ST NOV 2010

EPISODE 4 vatos THE ONE WHERE Rick heads back into Atlanta to collect his dropped guns, and gets caught up in a dispute with another group of survivors who want the weapons, leading to Glenn being abducted. But all is not as it seems… VERDICT I like the way this episode plays with your preconceptions. As audience members, we’re very quick to assume that Rick and co are up against a bunch of gangbangers just out for themselves. In fact, it’s just a stereotype they’re playing up to in order to protect the old and the sick. It’s a clever, surprising rug-pull.


directed by: Johan Renck written by: Robert Kirkman rating:

The end of the episode, where zombies over-run the camp, is mighty powerful, and there are some excellent character moments, like the opening conversation between sisters Amy and Andrea, which subtly sketches out their relationship through, of all things, a discussion about fishing techniques, and makes Amy’s eventual death all the more harrowing. Only downside? I am starting to get a little weary of seeing the characters running around the same few blocks of Atlanta. A change of scene is due.



Season:1 AIRDATE: 28th november 2010


rewind directed by: Ernest Dickerson written by: Glen Mazzara rating:

THE ONE WHERE The residents of the camp deal with the aftermath of the zombie incursion… then decide to move on to investigate a Center For Disease Control facility. VERDICT For those in the UK, the developments at the end of this episode are likely to feel a little more familiar than they will for Stateside viewers – well, for those who watched Survivors, anyhow. I whooped with delight at seeing the group finally leave the woods, but I’d rather see them hitting the road than holing up in some locked-down underground lab. Ah well. No matter. What this episode is really all about is showing us the process whereby people become zombies, both quickly (in the case of Amy) and slowly and painfully (in the case of Jim). Some pretty compelling human drama results, with the debate concerning what to do with Jim touching on such issues as euthanasia and whether it’s right to risk the lives of the many to save the few. Both Andrea’s grief and Jim’s stoic acceptance of his fate are beautifully played by the actors concerned.

IT’S WOSSISNAME! CDC guy Dr Jenner is played by Noah Emmerich, who you may recognise from his role in The Truman Show – he played Marlon, Truman’s best friend.


EPISODE 6 TS-19 THE ONE WHERE Rick and co discover that the CDC facility is not the refuge they’d been dreaming of when Dr Jenner tells them that it’s running out of fuel, a clock is counting down to self-destruct, and they’re all locked in… VERDICT A first-class finale to an outstanding debut season, about which our only complaint is that six episodes ISN’T ENOUGH! When our heroes rolled up at the CDC base, we feared they were going to hunker down there for an age – there’s not much drama in clean sheets, hot showers and impenetrable shutters. So it’s something of a relief to find that this will be a brief sojourn. Countdowns are an obvious way to create tension, but hey, it works. There are also some top-notch character moments, particularly the one where the depth of Dale’s feelings for Andrea becomes apparent – something followers of the comic would know about, but that hadn’t really worked its way to the surface in the series.

rewind directed by: Guy Ferland written by: Adam Fierro rating:

Season:1 AIRDATE: 5TH DEC 2010 The way the scriptwriters handle the character of Shane continues to fascinate. Flashbacks to how he came to leave Rick in his hospital bed once again give us cause to consider that perhaps we’ve misjudged him a little; but then we seem him assault Lori, confirming that he is a copper bottomed asshole.

Of course, we’ve suspected that from the start, thanks to some sexist dialogue right at the start of the first episode – an insight into character that some seem to have mistaken for the production team’s manifesto on sexual politics. INDUSTRIAL SHITE AND TRAGIC The explosion of the CDC base is a bit pants, isn’t it? Did they hire the same people who brought us the mining project going kaboom in Doctor Who’s “Cold Blood”?

NITPICK Everyone’s very quick to accept Shane’s explanation as to how he acquired some vicious-looking scratches on the face. That doesn’t seem very realistic, particularly for a drama set in a post-apocalyptic world where a zombie scratch means infection, death, and danger for everyone.










The second season of AMC's television series The Walking Dead premiered on October 16, 2011 on AMC and featured 13 episodes. The series is based on the series of comic books of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard; it was developed for television by Frank Darabont, who serves as executive producer for the second season along with Kirkman and Glen Mazzara. The season ďŹ nale episode was viewed by 9.0 million viewers, making it the highest rated episode of the series to that point, and the most viewed episode of an original series on AMC in history, up until the premiere of the show's third season, which was watched by 10.9 million viewers.

The second season received generally positive reviews with a score of 80 out of 100 based on 22 reviews on Metacritic. Some critics have been less than enthused with the second season.


EPISODE 1 TS-19 THE ONE WHERE Our heroes encounter a “herd” of zombies after the RV breaks down on the highway; then Carol’s daughter Sophia goes missing… VERDICT It starts well enough: sequences where our heroes play a deadly game of hide and seek with the zombie “herd” are utterly gripping. Unfortunately, after about 25 minutes, the episode really starts to drag. I’m sick to the back teeth of horror films (or TV episodes, for that matter), where people just wander around in the woods; it’s easy on the budget, but makes for dreary viewing. By the time we’ve sat through not one but two monologues-to-Jesus, the episode’s become downright tedious. When someone pipes up, “This is the whole plan?”, you’re tempted to cry, “This is the whole story?”


To be fair, maybe viewers who are parents will find the lost child subplot much more involving. And there are still some great moments: the gruesome kills; the surreal sight of zombie parishioners seated on church pews; the heated exchange between Andrea and Dale. It’s also interesting to see the issue of why only the guys get the guns addressed. By the looks of it, Andrea will hopefully soon be trained up and ready to step up to the plate as a fully-fledged zombie killer.

Season:2 AIRDATE: 16TH oct 2011

rewind WHO THE HECK? “Ardeth Bey” is another pseudonym for Frank Darabont. INFLUENCES The sequence where Rick and Daryl slice open a zombie’s stomach to see if it’s been snacking on Sophia is so reminiscent of Jaws that you half expect them to pull out a car licence plate. NITPICKS Rick’s opening walkie-talkie monologue suggests that the last episode of season one took place “the day before last”. So how come there’s no sign of the nasty scratch on the face that Shane got from Lori? Can he heal like Wolverine? Why does Daryl seem to be the only person in the group who’s carrying a knife? You’d think everyone would be packing one by now. Finally, the corpse that Daryl pulls down on top of himself to hide from the walkers is very obviously a lightweight dummy.

directed by: G. Horder-Payton written by: Ardeth Bey rating:



Season:2 AIRDATE: 23RD oct 2011 HE ONE WHERE Rick takes the injured Carl to Hershel’s farm, and Shane heads off to find the medical supplies needed to save the boy’s life. VERDICT Does it feel to anyone else like The Walking Dead has become more of a Romero-style shambler than a sprinting Infected this year? Maybe that’s just the impression you get if you know the comic, in which Carl’s gunshot wound is a matter dealt with surprisingly quickly and easily; here, it’s magnified into a life-threatening situation that’s the focus of an entire episode. Perhaps that says something about the difference between writing for an audience of horror buffs and writing for a more general audience who are used to drama with a more domestic focus. We’ve already had “lost kid”, now we’re getting “dying kid”.

Still, getting shot isn’t the trivial business which Robert Kirkman suggests in the comic more than once, so this new treatment does have greater verisimilitude. T-Dog’s blood infection underlines the point being made here about the fragility of our heroes’ lives – in a world without casualty departments and ambulances, almost any kind of injury is liable to prove fatal. There are numerous neat little character moments, perhaps the best of which is Shane’s pep talk to Rick. The duality of Shane’s nature continues to fascinate: is he a wife-stealing attempted rapist, or a courageous, loyal man striving to do the right thing? The chief thing that lets the episode down is, once again, the continuing hunt for Sophia, which is really starting to drag on now. It’s entirely lacking in drama, partly because Carol doesn’t seem that upset: shouldn’t she be screaming blue murder every time someone declares that it’s time to call off the search for another day? This subplot really better pay off – and soon. STAR TURN Andrew Lincoln delivers a superb performance, preventing the episode ever veering into lachrymose Hallmark Movie Of The Week territory by powerfully conveying Rick’s feelings of helplessness and his terror that his son might die.

rewind directed by: Ernest Dickerson written by: Glen Mazzara rating:


EPISODE 3 SAVE THE LAST ONE THE ONE WHERE Shane brings back the medical supplies needed to save Carl’s life… but in the process, makes a horrifying choice. VERDICT Episode of the season so far – but only just, and only because of an utterly breathtaking finale, which channels all the darkness and moral complexity of the original comic. Up until that point, this is pretty much a case of more of the same, with Rick and Lori hanging around Carl’s bedside looking anxious, and the interminable search for Sophia continuing to drag on and on and on – honestly, I’m beginning to wish they’d just find her half-eaten remains. Still, at least Carol actually shows signs of being affected by the disappearance of her child this week. In previous episodes she’s looked about as traumatised as someone who’s mislaid their car keys. For every great character moment, such as Rick and Lori’s harrowing discussion about whether Carl would be better off dead, there’s something dreary to balance the scales, like the desultory attempt to drag religion into it as Glenn asks Maggie whether she thinks God exists – what a pointless shrug of a scene that was.

Season:2 AIRDATE: 30TH OCT 2011

rewind directed by: Phil Abraham written by: Scott M. Gimple rating:

But oh, that ending. Admittedly, it’s undermined by the unsubtle foreshadowing. Kicking off the episode with an ominous teasing shot of Shane shaving his head was a bad idea – they might as well have flashed the words SHANE’S GONNA DO SOMETHING BAD on screen. But not for a moment did I expect him to murder Otis to create the breathing space needed to escape the undead. And it’s a horrible, brutal, animalistic killing too. It’s a fascinating choice, because it’s so morally complex. Shane does it to save Carl’s life, not his own… but then, perhaps his motivations are muddier than that. Does he think that by returning as the hero there’s a chance of worming his way back into Lori’s affections? Whatever his motivations, thank god they didn’t kill the character off. You never know what Shane will do next. At the moment, he’s the best reason to keep watching.


EPISODE 4 CHEROKEE ROSE THE ONE WHERE There’s a zombie down a well, Lori’s up the duff, and Glenn and Maggie have it off. VERDICT Another beautifully played episode, but one which doesn’t move things on as much as it could. The whole episode with the well seems like an unnecessary diversion, and lowering Glenn in to lasso the trapped zombie is a monumentally stupid plan. Still, it gives Greg Nicotero the opportunity to work his magic, and the results are memorably grotesque – that’s gotta be the nastiest beastie in a well since Ring.

Season:2 AIRDATE: 6TH NOV 2011

The chief delight of this episode, though, is the budding relationship between Glenn and Maggie: the contrast between his rather pathetic attempts to chat her up (“I’m a loner, y’know…”) and her no-nonsense approach is extremely amusing. NITPICKS When Glenn is pulled out of the well, it’s extremely obvious at times that they’re tugging on a slack rope. Also, Maggie and Glenn seem incredibly casual about their little shopping expedition. A pharmacy means people, which should mean zombies, but they don’t encounter any – or even seem to consider it a possibility. They’re so casual in fact, that they shag right there in the store! Now that’s unsafe sex.

The chief delight of this episode, though, is the budding relationship between Glenn and Maggie: the contrast between his rather pathetic attempts to chat her up (“I’m a loner, y’know…”) and her no-nonsense approach is extremely amusing. NITPICKS When Glenn is pulled out of the well, it’s extremely obvious at times that they’re tugging on a slack rope. Also, Maggie and Glenn seem incredibly casual about their little shopping expedition. A pharmacy means people, which should mean zombies, but they don’t encounter any – or even seem to consider it a possibility. They’re so casual in fact, that they shag right there in the store! Now that’s unsafe sex.

rewind directed by: Billy Gierhart written by: Evan Reilly rating:


EPISODE 5 CHUPACABRA THE ONE WHERE Daryl gets hurt looking for Sophia, Andrea learns how to shoot, and Glenn discovers what’s in Hershel’s barn. VERDICT When Daryl fell off his horse and tumbled into the river, my heart immediately sank. “Oh god,” I thought, “They’re not going to spend four episodes looking for him now, are they?” Fortunately not. Still, for all of my whinging about the ongoing search for Sophia subplot, this week it does actually prove to be serving a purpose, by widening the philosophical chasm between Shane’s fatalism and Rick’s idealism, their argument in the woods is a very powerful two hander. It also allows for the return of Merle – or at least, a vision of Merle, voicing Daryl’s subconscious insecurities. It’s great to see Michael Rooker back, in whatever form. For fans of the comic, who are accustomed to see traumatised characters holding conversations with dead loved ones, it’s a device that’s a perfect fit with this universe.

Season:2 AIRDATE: 13TH NOV 2011

rewind directed by: Guy Ferland written by: D. Leslie Johnson rating:

Meanwhile, Dale gets some great one-liners; the opening flashback (the best yet) may be pointless, but has an impressive sense of scale (ooh, helicopters!); and the final revelation is a doozy. Even if you can’t help wondering how none of Rick’s lot heard all those zombies groaning before… DON’T YOU HATE IT WHEN… They flash the name of the returning guest star up over the opening scene? It would have been so much more exciting if the return of Michael Rooker had been kept a surprise.



Season:2 AIRDATE: 20TH NOV 2011 THE ONE WHERE Glenn lets the cat out of the bag about Lori’s pregnancy and the zombies in the barn, and Lori tells Rick about her fling with Shane. VERDICT Another episode which downplays action (Shane and Andrea’s tip to the zombie infested housing area seems like a very token effort in that direction) in favour of focusing on group dynamics and character. Fortunately, the fact that so many secrets are bubbling to the surface combines with some outstanding performances to prevent things ever getting too dreary – in particular, Jon Bernthal is downright chilling during Shane’s confrontation with Dale. It also helps that the tedious search-for-Sophia subplot is put on the back-boiler.

rewind Lori’s dilemma over whether to abort her unborn child is interesting too, although there’s a feeling that we’re retreading old ground at times, given that the Grimes discussed whether this is a world fit for children a couple of episodes back. It makes sense to lay the foundations for her decision, but sometimes it’s more effective when things come out of leftfield – like when Andrea suddenly grabs Shane’s cock! Either that guy has some remarkably powerful pheromones, or shooting zombies in the head is more arousing than you’d think… If anything disappoints about the episode, it’s the calmness with which Rick receives Lori’s confession of infidelity; that particular firework just fizzles out after the blue touchpaper is lit. But of course, there’s plenty of time for that subplot to explode further down the line. NITPICKS For the second time, our heroes treat a trip to the pharmacy like it’s a stroll to the shops. This time they’re disabused of the illusion that it’s safe, but still: wouldn’t it make better sense to bring back all the drugs they can carry, rather than just a small bag? Will they be nipping back in a couple of weeks time, once Lori’s run out of conditioner?

directed by: David Boyd written by: Angela Kang rating:



Season:2 AIRDATE: 27TH NOV 2011 THE ONE WHERE Shane forces the issue by letting the walkers out of Hershel’s barn. VERDICT The leisurely pacing of this season helps the storytelling in some ways. For example, the budding relationship between Glenn and Maggie is way more convincing here than in Robert Kirkman’s comic: in that, they seem to hop in the sack one day and be head-over-heels in love the next. Unfortunately, it also means that I had one week too many to ponder questions such, “Why is the Sophia saga dragging on so long? Where’s it heading?” and “When are they going to deal with the zombies in the barn?” and managed to spoiler myself by putting two and two together… Darn it!

Even if you did guess it in advance, the shock ending of this mid-season finale is pretty powerful, paying off so well that it atones for all the tedious searching the woods stuff we previously had to sit through (well, almost). The barn break out has more of an emotional wallop than it did on paper – even though the comic version ended in deaths.

It’s a tremendously tense episode: once Glenn makes his announcement, the clock starts ticking towards a Shane-shaped explosion, and Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of a man primed to blow is – as ever – superb. Along the way there are some extremely effective two-handers: Hershel and Rick, Dale and Shane, Lori and Shane… I also got something in my eye when Glenn expressed his protective feelings towards Maggie. This is something the series really excels at, and it keeps you hooked during episodes that are pretty low on incident. the show needs to up the scales tip just a little towards action and plot development; I don’t expect every episode to be replete with zombie carnage or changes of scenery, but occasionally this first run has felt a little too defanged and domesticated. NITPICKS Unless I blinked and missed something, at least one walker seems to fall to the ground dead despite only getting shot in the chest.

rewind directed by: Michelle MacLaren written by: Scott M. Gimple rating:


EPISODE 8 NEBRASKA THE ONE WHERE The dead are mourned, Hershel goes AWOL, and Lori crashes a car. VERDICT Gawd, The Walking Dead can be frustrating sometimes. Why do they keep on playing out the same patterns? In this episode we have a. someone falling sick b. someone going AWOL and c. Rick going to search for them. These are all the kind of plot elements that have already become over-familiar. It doesn’t help that these similarities are underlined by all the discussion about the search for Sophia and the fate of Otis. My other big gripe? Lori. What the hell is she up to? First she tries to convince Rick not to go on his Hershel hunt. Then she goes traipsing off after him – presumably without telling anyone – for no good reason. This is completely moronic behaviour, and totally uncharacteristic. It’s an insult to the character, frankly, and smacks of a desperate attempt to create some jeopardy, even if it must be through completely artificial means. Still, there’s plenty to admire about this episode, including a heap of fine acting – Scott Wilson’s performance as Hershel is particularly powerful, while Jon Bernthal is dependably brilliant as Shane. There are some neat touches too: the sequence where Carol angrily tears up a patch of Cherokee Roses (the flowers Daryl discussed with her in episode four) is a lovely way of symbolising her grief, and much more effective than any snot-nosed, teary speech.

Season:2 AIRDATE: 12TH FEB 2012

rewind directed by: Clark Johnson written by: Evan Reilly rating:

But the highlight is the confrontation between Rick and those two strangers from Pennsylvania, Dave and Tony – it’s incredibly tense, but unlike that car crash, never rings false. Although his instincts are vindicated in the end, there are moments when it feels like perhaps Rick is being unreasonable. What right does he have to deny others shelter? How do you know who to trust in a world like this? Ultimately, you can’t. Anyone you encounter could be a bandit pretending to be a decent sort, planning to slit your throat when you sleep. This brief encounter perfectly illustrates the paranoia-inducing nature of the dangerous world they now live in. I just hope we get back into that world, and away from the farm, sooner rather than later.



Season:2 AIRDATE: 19TH FEB 2012 THE ONE WHERE Rick, Glenn and Hershel get caught up in a shoot-out, and Shane goes after Lori. VERDICT The Walking Dead goes all-action (well, at least for the first half of the episode) and it makes a refreshing change after what has, overall, been a pretty talky, static season. It’s just a shame I spent so much time squinting to try and make out what was happening in the midst of all the gloom. As ever, there are some great one-on-one exchanges: Daryl chewing up Carol (the character was in danger of getting cuddly); Glenn explaining to Maggie that his feelings for her caused him to let down Rick and Hershel; Shane and Lori’s discussion, where he insists that what they had was “something real”… But for all of the gunplay, emotional exchanges and impromptu attempts at amputation (!), the high point of the episode is the scary look of determination on Rick’s face at the end, after Lori whispers poison in his ear about the danger Shane represents – she does everything but press a loaded gun into his hand. The conflict between the two of them that’s been simmering away for so long is going to come to a head very soon, and I can’t wait. I can’t see the production team killing off either the lead or the most compelling character on the show, but the fireworks should be pretty spectacular.

rewind directed by: Billy Gierhart written by: D. Leslie Johnson NITPICKS We join Rick, Glenn and Hershel back at the bar at the exact same moment we left them last week. Wasn’t it daylight then? Now suddenly it’s pitch black! Also, Lori is exceptionally lucky to crawl out of that car wreck with nothing but a few cuts and bruises. HORROR CLICHÉ OF THE WEEK Attacked by zombies, Lori drops not one but two weapons before finally finding her gun. When will people learn? Hang on to your blunt instrument/stabbing implement – you might need it again in a minute! SPECULATION What will happen to Randall, the injured “enemy” they’ve taken in? Will Shane kill him… or is that too obvious? Now that their alliance is strengthening my money’s on Andrea doing it, maybe in a way that ensures none of the rest of the group finds out – ambushing Randall further down the road after they’ve patched him up and let him go, perhaps.



EPISODE 10 18 MILES OUT THE ONE WHERE Rick and Shane take their prisoner Randall miles away to release him, and end up coming to blows. VERDICT Great episode – the best of season two so far. It has everything: action, explosive arguments, difficult decisions. Best of all, much of it takes place out in the world, away from Hershel’s bloody farm. We’ve been waiting for the situation with Rick and Shane to come to a head for such a long time, and when it does, it doesn’t disappoint. The scenes where Rick lays down the law and explains how it has to be from now on are intense, and the punch-up between the two of them is no-holds-barred, dirty and brutal (love the moment where Shane tips a motorbike on Rick’s head!). It’s shocking when Shane hurls a wrench at Rick’s head, but even more shocking that Rick is prepared to cut and run and leave him for dead. Rick’s change of heart when he looks down at the two dead walkers on the floor and is reminded of the friendship between himself and his former partner is a beautifully played moment, which speaks volumes without a single line of dialogue being uttered. The fact that, come the end, he’s willing to trust Shane again after all that has gone on between them is genuinely touching.

Season:2 AIRDATE: 26TH FEB 2012

rewind directed by: Ernest Dickerson written by: Scott M. Gimple rating: For once, even the subplot pays off. Beth’s misery doesn’t look like a particularly promising avenue to explore, even when it becomes clear she’s intent on suicide – you expect the situation to be resolved with a pep talk and a hug. Then Andrea intervenes, leaving Beth with the option to follow through on her threats, and gambling with the girl’s life. It’s a jawdropping moment. How she walks away from it without earning a slap in the chops from Maggie, I’ll never know. Indeed, Andrea is at the heart of much of what’s great about this episode – it’s so good to see her climb down from the roof of the RV for long enough to get some interesting material. The argument between Andrea and Lori is crackerjack stuff. Offering an alternate perspective on the thorny issue of why it’s generally the show’s female characters who get lumbered with the household chores, it’s fascinating – no matter whether you disagree with Lori or not.



Season:2 AIRDATE: 4TH MAR 2012

JUDGE, JURY, EXECUTIONER THE ONE WHERE Dale tries to convince the rest of the group not to execute their prisoner, Randall. Oh, and then dies. VERDICT It’s hugely satisfying to see The Walking Dead recovering its mojo – this is the second cracker of an episode in a row. It’s so good, in fact, that it doesn’t matter that it all takes place within the confines of that damn farm and its surrounding woods. Of course, you can’t really go wrong with an episode like this, where people struggle with

The thorny issue of justice in a post vapocalyptic world. Even Survivors (both the recent remake and the ‘70s version, which generally specialised in dull kitchen-table discussions of crop rotation) got some corking material out of that scenario. But still, praise is due. Dale’s impassioned speech is extremely powerful, and beautifully played. Along the way, there are some lovely little exchanges too: Hershel giving Glenn his blessing (and his daddy’s pocket watch); Carl talking back to his Dad; Dale taking on the seemingly impossible task of trying to change Shane’s mind. Sure, it’s a slow-burn episode, but for once this slow build-up pays off, building real nerve-jangling tension. That tension becomes almost unbearable by the time Rick and Shane take Randall to the barn for his execution. Watching him beg for his life is difficult to watch. (Sons of bitches really drag it out, don’t they? It’s worse than the judges on The X Factor…)

And the manner of the resolution is really quite clever: it’s not words that change’s Rick’s mind, but being confronted with what his son is turning into. Then there’s the death of Dale: so sudden, so unexpected, and so damn arbitrary. It’s another reminder (alongside the continuing survival of Shane) that in this series, nobody’s safe; how long they survive in the original comic means nothing. The fact that it’s indirectly Carl’s fault, because the zombie came into camp after him, is the decomposing cherry on the cake. IT’S A DOG’S LIFE Is T-Dog ever going to get something interesting to do again? Or even, y’know, a couple of lines of dialogue?

rewind directed by: Gregory Nicotero written by: Angela Kang rating:

And what if Shane is right? What if Randall does exist, and brings down his people on the farm? Here’s another thought: Randall’s people aren’t in the comic, and we know that the key role of The Governor, the ruthless ruler of Woodbury, has been cast, but in the comic he doesn’t turn up until issue 27. Perhaps the plan for the TV version is that Randall’s people are actually led by The Governor (and we skip the prison altogether)?



Season:2 AIRDATE: 11TH MAR 2012

BETTER ANGELS THE ONE WHERE Rick kills Shane. VERDICT Wow. Didn’t see that coming. The Walking Dead, we have misjudged you. We thought you’d lost it. We thought that life on the farm had turned you soft. We were wrong. This final run of episodes is such a step up from the opening half of the series. This writing team has guts. Killing off Dale was bold enough. Killing Shane? That’s offing your best character, the guy you can rely on to shake things up and create conflict; he’s practically the fulcrum of the series. Of course, their hand might have been forced: maybe the actors wanted out? Maybe there was bad feeling over the departure of Frank Darabont? We can only speculate. But the effect is the same: this series is now completely unpredictable. It could be Andrea next, or Daryl, or Lori or Carl, maybe even Rick. Nothing can be ruled out anymore

The confrontation between the two former best buds is a thing of beauty too, appropriately played out in darkness beneath a bad moon. Andrew Lincoln’s howl of anguish sends a shiver down the spine, leaving you wondering how Rick will recover. He crossed a moral line in the comics too, but by shooting a dangerous convict, not stabbing his former friend in the guts. The group may not be broken, but is Rick? Which way will he turn now that he’s strayed from Dale’s moral path?

rewind directed by: Guy Ferland written by: Evan Reilly rating:

And finally, for the first time in an absolute age, we have zombies en masse too. Can’t help wondering where the hell they came from, or why the stink of their rotting mass doesn’t reach Rick’s nostrils (hey, maybe he’s not down-wind…), but boy, it’s good to see ‘em. We’ve had enough of the farm. Time to trash the joint. Here’s hoping that zombie horde thins out the cast a little in the process. There are two or three characters knocking around whose names we’d struggle to remember even if they had them tattooed on their foreheads… IN THE COMIC… it’s Carl who shoots Shane dead, so it’s a neat fan-pleasing touch to have the kid gunning down the zombie version. SPECULATION A few episodes back, our heroes speculated that a scratch was enough to infect someone. Wrong. In this episode, both Randall and Shane “turn” despite not being bitten. Do the survivors carry some kind of virus that activates upon their death? Could that knowledge be what Jenner whispered in Rick’s ear at the end of season one? Could be that why he pumped so many bullets into those guys in the bar? That’s a major game-changer. It means that if someone carks it in their sleep, you’ll end up with a zombie crashing about the house. Best start locking your bedroom doors at night, guys. IT’S A DOG’S LIFE T-Dog actually gets a few lines, and something to do! Okay, it was only carrying some boxes, but still, we imagine IronE Singleton punched the air, let out a whoop of delight and ran for his highlighter pen when his script arrived.


EPISODE 13 BESIDE THE DYING FIRE THE ONE WHERE The farm is over-run and abandoned, and Rick reveals that they all carry the infection. VERDICT A fantastic episode, which consolidates a strong run of stories, ends the series on a high, and leaves us confident about its future. Those pedestrian early-season episodes are now just a distant memory. The Walking Dead is more about character than zombie carnage, so expecting to see some in every episode would be missing the point quite spectacularly. Still, we deserve the occasional bit of blood and thunder, so it’s hugely satisfying to be presented with so much thrilling action here – Glenn’s hanging-out-of-a-car heroics are a particular highlight. There are some artful images (like the burning barn collapsing, with zombies silhouetted in the flickering flames), and some great character moments. Glenn’s declaration of his feelings for Maggie is a real “sorry, got something in my eye” scene, but Rick’s confession to Lori – where he goes into much greater depth about his feelings than he had any real need to – blows it out of the water. Breathtaking stuff, perfectly played by Andrew Lincoln.

rewind directed by: Ernest Dickerson written by: Robert Kirkman rating:

Season:2 AIRDATE: 18TH MAR 2012

Then there’s that bombshell dropped by Rick. We guessed what Jenner whispered in Rick’s ear last week, but it remains a game-changing revelation – albeit one that doesn’t change their day-to-day reality all that much (all it really means is that the old and infirm must henceforth be treated like a ticking time bomb). Rick’s “my way or the high way” speech as he tires of having his decisions questioned is arguably more significant when it comes to series’ furure path. Rick’s morality became much muddier in the comic, but there was no guarantee that the TV version would follow suit, and no guarantee that killing Shane would make him more ruthless. Well, it looks like it has.

IT’S A DOG’S LIFE T-Dog gets to drive a car, and have a brief argument with Lori! By the Dog’s standards, that’s an eventful day. NITPICKS Why don’t Rick and co leave a note for Andrea in the place where they left the supplies for Sophia, in case she has the same idea about heading back to the highway? At the very least they could scrawl “heading east”.




Lincoln's first big break came when he was cast as Edgar 'Egg' Cook in the popular UK drama series "This Life" (1996). Various roles followed including that of teacher Simon Casey in the Channel 4 series "Teachers" (2001), and as Mark in the hit film Love Actually (2003). In 2010, he was cast in "The Walking Dead" (2010), a live action drama series based on the comic of the same name. Lincoln plays the lead character of Rick Grimes.


English actor Andrew Lincoln is the son of a civil engineer father and a South African mother, a nurse. He spent his early childhood in Hull before his family relocated to Bath when Lincoln was 10. He was educated at Beechen Cliff School in Bath, and then the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Birth name: Andrew Clutterbuck From: London Birthday: 14 September 1973 Height: 5ʹ 10 Hair: Brown Eyes: Blue Provides voice-overs for both television and radio advertising, as well as narration for documentaries


His brother is a teacher and he went to school with him for a few weeks to research his part in “Teachers” He attended Beechen Cliff Secondary school in Bath In 2006 he married Gael Anderson His mother is a nurse and his father is a civil engineer


FILM Boston Ki c kout (1995) Role: Ted UNDERSTANDI N G JUNE (1998) Role: Party Stonehead 1

Human traffiRole: c (1999) Felix

ARole: MAN’Man S BEST FRIEND (1999) Notes: Short Film

GANGSTER NO, 1 (2000) Role: Maxie King offending angelsRole:(2000) Sam LOVE ACTUALLY (2003) Role: Mark

Nominated for:

PFCS Award Best Ensemble Acting Empire Award Best Newcomer

ENDURIRole: NG LOVE (2004) TV Producer THESE FOOLI S H THI N GS (2006) Role: Christopher Lovell

Height: 5' 10" (1.78 m) D.O.B: 14th Sep 1973

Spouse: Gael Anderson (10 June 2006 present) 2 children

MADE IN DAGENHAM (2010) Role: Mr. Clarke

HEARTBREAKER (2010) Role: Jonathan Andrew attended Beechen Cli Secondary school in Bath, Somerset (UK), before going on to attend RADA.

Scenes of a sexual nature (2006) Role: Paul HEY GOOD LOOKI N G! (2006) Role: Paul


TELEVISION DROP THE DEAD DONKEY (1994) Role: Terry n7 (1995) Role: Andy OVER HERE (1996) Role: Caddy BRAMWELL (1996) Role: Martin Fredericks THI S LI F E (1996-97) Role: Edgar "Egg" Cook Notes: 32 episodes

THe woman i n whi t e (1997) Role: Walter Hartright MERSEY BLUES (1999) Role: Narrator BOMBER (2000) Role: Captain Willy Byrne ARole: LIKENESS I N STONE (2000) Richard Kirschman

IGN Award Best Hero (2010) Satellite Award for Best Cast – TV Series (2012)

The walki n g dead (2010-present) Role: Rick Grimes

StriRole: ke Edgar Back Linton (2010) Moon Shot (2007) Role: Michael Collins WutheriRole: ng Hei g hts (2009) Hugh Collinson THIS LIFE +10 (2007)

Role: Edgar "Egg" Cook

Afterli f e (2005-06) Role: Robert Bridge Notes: 14 episodes

liRole: e wiDIthWillmeTomlinson (2004) His brother is a teacher and he went to school with him for a few weeks to research his part in "Teachers" (2001).

WHOSE BABY? (2004) Role: Harry Flint Holby Ci t y (2004) Role: Boyfriend of Hepatitis C patient The Canterbury Tales (2003) Role: Alan King State of Mi n d (2003) Role: Julian Latimer Trevor' s World of Sport (2003) Role: Mark Boden TEACHERS (2001-03) Role: Simon Casey Notes: 20 episodes

Q&A: THE WALKING DEAD'S ANDREW LINCOLN This season of AMC's The Walking Dead,has found our favorite zombie apocalypse survivors tested in ways they probably never imagined. Instead of worrying constantly about flesh-eaters, they've had their hands full with The Governor (David Morrissey) and the Woodbury community — actual people hell-bent on making sure they're controlling the future (whatever that may be). To make matters worse, the survivors have been largely left to fend for themselves, as their fearless leader, Rick Grimes, has descended into madness and despair, following the loss of his wife. The British actor Andrew Lincoln as that leader this season has somehow managed to find that sweet spot where he's portraying a man coping with his new status as a widower, being a father and a leader of a survivalist group, and now acting as a general of sorts, leading his troops into a showdown with The Governor. We spoke to Lincoln recently about turning into Grimes, becoming Americanized, and romantic comedy. ESQUIRE.COM: Rick is a little crazy these days. ANDREW LINCOLN: You're not wrong there. He's been crazy-town for quite some time. Rick's breakdown since Lori's death has been a long time coming. He's one of these guys who've been able to front and keep going for so, so long. And suddenly, he had his legs taken away from him. ESQ: What have been the challenges of getting him to that place? AL: I guess making it as real as possible. I did quite a bit of research about grief and the different stages of grief. I also read a lot about war and war fatigue. I think all of these characters are living in a warzone. I think it's a really bold move for AMC and the writers to have a leading character be pushed off the edge. What it does to the rest of the company is fantastic. It changes the group dynamic.

ESQ: Well, everyone's on a different level of the spectrum. Rick's at the worst end.

ESQ: You and David Morrissey have an excellent pissing match going on.

AL: So much of the show moves so quickly. This season, the pace of it has been very connected. People are dying and you don't have time to process a lot of this stuff. The interesting thing about this show and certainly in the comic book — eventually they do get space and time to process this crazy world. The effect that it has on people's psyche is fascinating. That I'm very excited about exploring. How do human beings reinvent themselves?

AL: It's fun because there's that loathing and there's also that common bond of leadership. They've never been able to have this conversation before. There's this cat-and-mouse and I hate him. But it was such fun playing those scenes.

ESQ: There has been a lot of human on human violence and loss this season. Is the point that even in a world where zombies are trying to eat us, we still want power over each other? AL: I believe the world would have imploded millennia ago if there wasn't an inherent sense that we do want to get on and we do want to live together and we do believe in profound connections with other human beings, rather than blood, destruction, and power. That's me personally. This is a hell that these people inhabit. They've enclosed themselves in this prison. I love that from the comic: Rick sees the prison and says, "We're home." I believe it's a moral story we're telling. ESQ: Lori's death was one of the most heartbreaking scenes of this season. What do you remember about that day on set? AL: The only downside about this job ... This it the greatest role of my career and I love working, but we lose incredible friends and great actors. It's just the worst thing.

ESQ: I've noticed you're not booking any movies during the show's downtime. Why is that? AL: I'm very keen to reading scripts that are sent to me. I take each script very seriously. But there is also the fact that there are 16 episodes now. It's seven and a half months work and a lot of publicity. I have a young family, and I owe it to them to come out and be dad. Don't get me wrong: I will be doing a film soon. I haven't gotten one yet. I know when it will be right. ESQ: I read last year that the president of Universal Pictures wants a sequel to Love Actually. Maybe that could be your next gig. AL: [Laughs.] That doesn't surprise me. Richard Curtis [writer and director of Love Actually] is an amazing man, full-stop. I would love to reprise those cards.

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The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct XBOX 360 The Walking Dead VOL 1: Days Gone Bye An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. Rick Grimes ďŹ nds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and ďŹ nd his wife and son.


The Walking Dead: The Board Game from Z-Man Games transforms the Robert Kirkman comic book series into a board game, giving "fans the opportunity to play Rick, Shane, Andrea, and other favorite The Walking Dead characters as they deal with zombies, collect supplies and pick up the pieces of their lives", according to a press release announcing the game. Encounter and location cards recreate scenes and events from the comic book series.


The Walking Dead Ice Cube tray






On October 25, 2011, The Walking Dead was renewed for a third season by AMC after the Season 2 premiere broke cable ratings records in the 18–49 demographic. Season 3 picks up in the spring with Rick and his group finding the prison. It also introduced The Governor and his town, Woodbury. This featured the introduction of The Governor and Michonne, plus the return of Daryl's brother, Merle. Following the release strategy of Season 2, Season 3 was yet again split in half with the mid-season finale, which aired on December 2, 2012 and the second half debuting on February 10, 2013. Season-three finale shattered the zombie drama's own ratings record yet again, scoring 12.4 million total viewers in its initial 9 p.m. broadcast and 8.1 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. The numbers represent series bests in total viewers and the demo.

Season-three finale shattered the zombie drama's own ratings record yet again, scoring 12.4 million total viewers in its initial 9 p.m. broadcast and 8.1 million in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. The numbers represent series bests in total viewers and the demo.


EPISODE 1 SEED THE ONE WHERE Several months on from the events of “Besides The Dying Fire”, Rick and co find a prison, and decide to make it their new home. VERDICT Last year, Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara promised that the show would maintain the sense of urgency and level of action we saw in the latter stages of the season. “Seed” backs up his words. Viewed as a statement of intent, it inspires huge confidence for the rest of the season. Audaciously, it skips forward several months in the lives of the characters – arguably a risky move. Of course, practical factors were surely key to that decision: the logistical problems of filming wintery scenes in the blazing heat of an Atlanta summer are probably insurmountable. Skipping forward also makes the fact that young Chandler Riggs (Carl) is visibly (and audibly) ageing a little easier to deal with. True, the idea that Rick and co have been going round in circles ever since they left the farm (without, somehow, ever stumbling across the prison!) is a little hard to swallow. And it’s sad to realise that we won’t be seeing any snowy vistas peppered with frozen zombies. But in general, the leap forward is a welcome development, because it revitalises the characters.

Season:3 AIRDATE: 14TH OCT 2012 Suddenly, Rick is no longer the man we knew; he’s been hardened by his experience, and his relationship with Lori has all but disintegrated. Fans of the comic knew that the character would evolve into a darker character, but that process seems to be happening slightly faster in the TV series, and the prospect of seeing how far it goes in this year’s run of 16 episodes is exciting. There are other promising changes too. In another step forward for the show’s female contingent, Carol is now pretty handy with a gun (it’s also noticeable that Maggie is included in the hack-and-slash crew team that enters the prison). Little Carl is growing up fast, has got pretty bad-ass (how does he even carry a gun with a silencer that big?!) and seems to have developed a crush on Beth. Most shockingly of all: T-Dog actually gets something to do! Add an updated

title sequence, and it’s almost as if we’re watching a new show. Those who thought that our heroes’ extended sojourn at Hershel’s farm was, for the most part, far too sedate and bloodless should be immensely satisfied by this episode. As Rick and co clear the grounds of the West Georgia Correctional Facility (a magnificent looking set, beautifully lit), it’s practically non-stop carnage. The sequences where they explore the prison’s labyrinthine corridors, lit only by their flashlights, are tremendously tense, with echoes of the Resident Evil games. It’s a surprisingly ruthless episode, too. You’d have thought that after offing Shane and Dale (plus some other walking bags of meat no one really cared about…) at the end of season two, we might get an episode or two of respite. But no – Hershel gets bitten, resulting in one of the nastiest bits of gore in the entire series, as Rick hacks his leg off with a hatchet (Did we really need that last close-up?

rewind directed by: Ernest Dickerson written by: Glen Mazzara rating: But there’ll be plenty of time for that later. The episode where they discovered the prison was always going to be a hackfest, and they did a sterling job of it. As the credits rolled, I suddenly realised something: I didn’t miss Shane one little bit. So let’s chalk this one up as a success.



Season:3 AIRDATE: 21ST OCT 2012 THE ONE WHERE Rick teams up with five prisoners to clear more of the prison… but ends up ruthlessly killing two of them. VERDICT Well, we can sum this one up in five words: “Rick’s become a right bastard”. For a while, “Sick” looks like it could be a disappointing episode – mainly when we’re sitting around the bedside of Hershel, waiting to see whether he’ll live or die. I’ve seen more than enough bedside blubbing in this show.

I’d much rather have hung out with Carl during his trip to the infirmary, and seen the little fella offing a couple of zombies. However, Rick’s ruthlessness gives the episode some real kick. It’s shocking enough when Rick plants a machete in psycho prisoner Tomas’s skull (despite the fact that the man is clearly a threat to all of the group). What’s really chilling is the cold-blooded way he chases down a second prisoner, Andrew, and leaves him locked in a yard full of zombies to be torn to pieces. This chilling illustration of how Rick has changed since killing Shane confirms that leaping forward a few months was a good move.

rewind Interestingly, once again, it seems he’s influenced by Lori, who absolves him of all his sins in advance of their commission. After an opening episode that was almost non-stop carnage it’s good to see the balance shifting more in favour of intimate character moments. There are some truly really fantastic performances this week, in particular Maggie’s speech to her unconscious father and the final exchange between Rick and Lori, which suggests that the ice between them may be beginning to thaw. In a lesser series, a moment like that would have turned into melodrama, but the supreme awkwardness of their interaction really has a ring of veracity. NITPICKS There is a downside to leaping forward a few months. In the comic, it was just about plausible that the prisoners locked in the canteen might still be hoping for the arrival of a rescue party. But it seems downright absurd when they’ve been stuck in there for the best part of a year.

directed by: Billy Gierhart written by: Nichole Beattie rating:



Season:3 AIRDATE: 28TH OCT 2012

WALK WITH ME THE ONE WHERE Andrea and Michonne are found by the Governor’s men – and Merle – and taken to the town of Woodbury. VERDICT This is one of those The Walking Dead episodes that’s a completely different experience depending on whether or not you’ve read the comics. Of course, that’s nearly always true to an extent, but the difference is particularly marked here, thanks to the degree to which “Walk With Me” confounds readers’ expectations. In the new novel The Road To Woodbury (a prequel to the comics), the town has a fearful atmosphere; on entering you can immediately sense that something is wrong, if not what. The TV Woodbury is very different; with people strolling about in pastel polo shirts and shorts (did they raid a Gap?) raking lawns and tending to flowerbeds, it seems implausibly unspoilt. For a comics reader, the town is so different from what you’re expecting that you can’t help

rewind directed by: Guy Ferland written by: Evan Reilly rating: wondering… hmm, how to phrase this? Wondering whether the TV townsfolk entertain themselves the same way as their comics counterparts.

David Morrissey’s Governor is quite a surprise too – and not just because he’s missing the trademark moustache. This guy is a charmer, with barely a hint of menace; it’s hard to square this character with the madman whose idea of interior design is decapitated heads in fishtanks. Of course, that make the final scene (and the sequence where he and his men slaughter a bunch of troops) even more shocking.

Indeed, this take on the Governor is so smoothly persuasive and seemingly decent that you can see why Andrea is quickly seduced (she has a history of being taken in by assholes, too… remember Shane?) The only troubling detail is this: Andrea knows full well that Merle is a racist asshole. Wouldn’t that raise some doubts in her mind? What kind of a leader of a shining utopia would make Merle their lieutenant? Speaking of our favourite redneck amputee, the long-overdue return of Michael Rooker is an absolute delight. As for Michonne… well, let’s hope that Danai Gurira gets to flex some acting muscles other than the facial ones that control pouting and scowling sometime soon. Given how impenetrable the character’s protective walls are, we might have to wait a good while, though. If the episode has one big disappointment, it’s the speed with which the mystery of the helicopter is resolved. The fact that we saw the chopper fly over in both season one and season two seemed to suggest that it might have a greater significance than it does in the comic. When it transpires that its function is still just to transport in some cannon-fodder characters so that the Governor’s ruthlessness can be established, it’s a bit of a let-down. All the same, “Walk With Me” is a success, holding your attention from beginning to end – despite the fact that we don’t so much as clap eyes on Rick Grimes for the entire episode. Hope Andrew Lincoln got to enjoy a few relaxing days off!



Season:3 AIRDATE: 4TH NOV 2012 THE ONE WHERE T-Dog is eaten alive, and Lori dies in childbirth. VERDICT Is “Killer Within” the best episode of The Walking Dead so far? On balance, perhaps not: the concluding two episodes of season two provide some stiff competition. But it’s certainly the most emotionally distressing story so far. If you can make it through Lori’s death scene without welling up then please, seek psychiatric help: you’re clearly a sociopath and a menace to society. It’s an episode that just keeps piling it on for our heroes, with one horrendous development after another. You can sense something is coming, but not the magnitude of the storm that finally hits. When T-Dog is bitten, we’re suckered into thinking, “Ah, so that’s it”, but that’s just a bloody hors d’oeuvre before the main course. Alarms ringing, T-Dog eaten, Lori going into labour, Lori dying,

Carl having to shoot his dead mother in the head… After all that, it would come as no surprise if Lori’s new-born opened its eyes to reveal blank pupils, and made a pathetic, gummy effort to suck some blood out of Maggie’s arm. If I have one small reservation, it’s that what happens to Lori seems rather like TV labour, rather than the real thing: it comes out of nowhere, and happens fast. We might also have benefited from a few carefully seeded reminders about how near to full-term she is. But then, what do I know? Unlike your average white male Republican candidate, I can’t claim to be an expert concerning the female reproductive system…

rewind directed by: Guy Ferland written by: Sang Kyu Kim rating:

That’s of no consequence, anyhow. What’s important is how affecting Lori’s death is – and it’s so harrowing it’s almost unbearable to watch. Her farewell to Carl is beautifully written and incredibly moving. And Andrew Lincoln’s performance as the grief-stricken Rick, emitting inarticulate howls of despair that say more than any dialogue could, is simply immaculate. The Walking Dead has demonstrated time and time again that it can surprise, shock and horrify its audience, but moving us to tears…? That’s something new.

IT’S A DOG’S LIFE … and a Dog’s death too. It’s good to see IronE Singleton bow out dying a hero’s death, as T-Dog allows himself to be eaten alive to save Carol, and it’s been pleasing to see him get a little more of the spotlight this season… but it’s still far too little, too late. It feels like the writers’ room never really got a handle on the character. If you had to describe T-Dog to someone who’d never seen the show, what on earth would you say? Will anyone really miss him?



Season:3 AIRDATE: 11TH NOV 2012


THE ONE WHERE Rick goes loopy, Michonne walks, and Andrea’s treated to some unusual entertainment. VERDICT Many wondered if the TV version of The Walking Dead would dare to get to grips with the true darkness of the Woodbury storyline, as it emerged in the original comics. This episode provides further evidence suggesting that it won’t, with a key element quite literally rendered toothless. In the comics, Woodbury has an arena, and what goes on there is a considerably more disturbing, brutal business than the sanitised version presented on-screen. Now, there’s good reason to make changes, because the arena was one of the elements of the comic that was a little difficult to swallow;

it wasn’t easy to see how it might have come about, or why there was a need for it to exist in a community with such a tiny population. But a WWF-style pantomime where Merle’s the star of the show isn’t really an adequate substitute. Frankly, the whole thing looks a little silly. Of course, we don’t know what future episodes hold – it may be that this family-friendly spectacle will be twisted into something far more deadly and perverse. But at this stage it feels like it might have been a better idea to skip the whole idea, rather than reinvent it so it’s in keeping with this bunting-and-lemonade alternate Woodbury.

rewind directed by: Gregory Nicotero written by: Angela Kang It makes for a deeply anti-climactic big reveal for an episode that doesn’t move things on very much, or have that many involving plot threads. Michonne and Andrea’s ongoing “should we stay or should we go?” debate isn’t exactly fascinating; neither is Daryl and Maggie’s search for baby formula. Still, a lull is rather to be expected after an episode as shocking and incident-packed as “Killer Within”, and “Say The Word” does have its moments. Michonne’s confrontation with the Governor is intense, and there’s some superb FX work on display in the sequence where she slices and dices zombies. The scene where the Governor lovingly combs his zombified daughter’s hair is downright bizarre, its warped tenderness arguably even more disturbing than the comics equivalent, and the final shot of a ringing telephone makes for an intriguing cliffhanger – well, unless you’ve read the comics, in which case you’ll know exactly who’s on the line…

rating: The highlight, and the one thing that lifts this above being a pretty forgettable instalment, is the sight of Rick as he teeters on the brink of insanity. Andrew Lincoln doesn’t speak a single word, but his performance is compelling – frighteningly disturbed, yet utterly believable. He carries the episode.

this place is

not what they

say it is


EPISODE 6 HOUNDED THE ONE WHERE Merle hunts Michonne (but captures Glenn and Maggie instead), The Governor beds Andrea, and Rick talks to dead people. VERDICT For all its bloody carnage, brought to us courtesy of Michonne and Merle, the highlight of this episode is Andrew Lincoln’s performance. Rick’s rage and anguish are immensely poignant. For someone who’s read the comics, it’s difficult to judge whether the big reveal about who’s on the phone would have surprised anyone (in those, Rick carries a phone about with him for quite a while, using it to “talk” to his dead wife), but it seems so unlikely that a phone would still be functioning – and that someone would ring enough random numbers to eventually get an answer – that it’s hard to imagine too many of the audience buying the idea. Still, that doesn’t really matter: as a device for getting Rick to open up and share the feelings he’s bottling up, it works pretty well. It’s also a neat touch to have Rick talking to Amy, Jim and Jacqui as well as his Lori – especially since they’re all played by the original actors. Bet they never expected to get another paycheck from The Walking Dead!

Season:3 AIRDATE: 18TH NOV 2012 Elsewhere… what the hell is it with Andrea? The last guy she had sex with was Shane; now she’s hooking up with The Governor. To be fair, it’s not like there are that many available options when it comes to single men, but still… is she irresistibly drawn to psychopaths? Mind you, given that she’s developed a taste for killing herself, maybe that makes perfect sense.

rewind NITPICKS I have to return to a previous grouse: why were the group so quick to jump to the conclusion that Carol was dead, when they hadn’t done a thorough search? I’m not really sure I buy the fact that Carol’s been stuck behind a door for days, either, when the only blockage seems to be a dead body. Wouldn’t it be possible to push that out of the way? (Hmm, there’s an experiment to try… ) And wouldn’t she have heard people’s voices outside at some point, and attracted their attention by banging on the door or crying out?

directed by: Dan Attias written by: Scott M. Gimple rating: Also, isn’t it slightly odd that Michonne is only now discovering that zombies will ignore you if you’re smeared with their guys? Andrea certainly knows that, and you’d think it might have come up during all their months together. Or has this become one of those shows like Lost, where nobody ever thinks to pool useful information? BITERGRAMS You’ve gotta love Michonne’s unique way of leaving Merle a note, using zombie body parts. Leaves you wondering what other messages you could spell out that way. LEG IT, maybe? HANDS OFF? How about U R A COCK?


EPISODE 7 WHEN THE DEAD COME KNOCKING THE ONE WHERE Merle and the Governor torture Glenn and Maggie to make them reveal the location of their camp; meanwhile, Michonne leads our heroes to Woodbury. VERDICT This is the episode every fan of the comics has been wondering about: the one that shows just how far the TV show is willing to go in matching the nihilism of Robert Kirkman’s original vision. The answer? Maybe halfway.

Season:3 AIRDATE: 25TH NOV 2012 See, the version of events presented in the comics (spoilers ahoy) is incredibly dark: The Governor horribly beats and rapes Michonne. It is, frankly, no surprise that didn’t make it to the screen – even for a cable show like The Walking Dead, it’s pretty tough material. That doesn’t mean the TV show wimps out, though. In a way, there’s something even more disturbing about the way the television version of the Governor acts; a perverse tenderness to his interrogation techniques (politely asking permission to sit down; sniffing Maggie’s hair) that is even creepier than outright aggression.

rewind And the decision to make Glenn and Maggie the torture victims is a masterstroke; we know them much better than we do Michonne, and their mutual concern – beautifully played by Lauren Cohan and Steven Yeun – really ramps up the tension. On the downside: the experiment with old Mr Coleman came across as rather risible, because it’s so poorly thought through. Why didn’t they strap the zombie’s head down to ensure that it can’t bite? Dumb. The scene would have paid off if we’d learnt that Walkers can maintain vestiges of memory – imagine how Andrea would have felt, considering that she put her sister down? As things stand, it seems a little pointless.

directed by: Daniel Sackheim written by: Frank Renzulli rating:



EPISODE 8 MADE TO SUFFER THE ONE WHERE Rick and co get caught up in a gun battle; Michonne puts down the Governor’s undead daughter; and Merle and Daryl are reunited in rather unfortunate circumstances… VERDICT A nail-biting, action-packed episode, with some stunning setpieces. True, the way in which the various surprise reunions have been set up does still seem a tad artificial, but that’s forgiveable, because the final stages of the wait for the other shoe to drop are almost unbearably tense. Will Merle and Daryl come to blows? In the midst of the fog of war (or, at least, the smoke-bomb cloud of war), will Andrea end up killing one of her friends? There’s a real sense that anything could happen. It’s an episode which sees several of our ensemble step up to the plate in jaw-dropping fashion. We got a glimpse of how badass Glen has become in the previous episode, but that’s nothing to what we see here, as the former pizza delivery boy rips off a zombie’s arm and fashions a bit of bone into a lethal stabbing weapon – holy cow! Guess that’s what love can do to you. Similarly, it’s good to see Carl get a chance to be the hero, as he saves Tyreese and co from Walkers (Tyreese! Dunno about you, fellow comics fans, but I never thought that I’d see that character in the TV series). But the queen of badassery is Michonne; her brutal, crunching, no-holds-barred fight with the Governor is simply stunning. However, the highlight of the episode isn’t that rumble, or even the cliffhanger ending which pits Dixon against Dixon in Woodbury’s arena, but Rick’s vision of a bearded

Season:3 AIRDATE: 2ND DEC 2012 Shane bearing down on him in slow-motion. It’s a delicious moment, which teases fans with the possibility that perhaps – just perhaps – we might be treated to more of Jon Bernthal’s sublime performance. After all, if Rick can talk to his wife on the phone, why can’t he hold a conversation with Shane?

rewind AN EYE FOR AN EYE Greg Nicotero is a fan of Italian director Lucio Fulci, which probably explains why The Governor’s blinding is so reminiscent of an infamous eye-popping moment in 1979’s Zombie Flesh Eaters. NITPICKS All things considered, The Governor does seem to cope with having a shard of glass slammed in his eyeball rather well. Wouldn’t a trauma like that cause you to lose consciousness – either that, or to scream blue murder for about the next half hour? Maybe not; maybe the endorphins would kick in. Plus, of course, you could argue that he’s far more concerned with losing his daughter than losing an eye.

directed by: Billy Gierhart written by: Robert Kirkman rating: SPECULATION Two men enter; only one man can leave… How on Earth will they get out of that? My money’s on Andrea. She’s in the audience, she’s seen that her beau has a collection of severed heads, and now that she’s clapped eyes on Daryl it must have dawned on her that the so-called “terrorists” are Rick’s group. Surely the shades will fall from her eyes and she’ll intervene?



Season:3 AIRDATE: 10TH FEB 2013


Perfect: that’s the Governor that fans of the comic wanted to see, and now we’ve got him.

THE ONE WHERE Rick’s gang rescue Daryl, but the Governor is left standing. Both sides regroup and plan their next move, but an unexpected visitor throws everything into chaos.

Rick is also acting up. Refusing to take Merle in was probably a good call given his history, but it comes at the cost of losing Daryl – a big mistake, given how outnumbered they are. It’s a good thing they’ve got Michonne and Tyreese’s gang on hand to help, you might be thinking… only Rick pushes them away too. Smart, Rick. Real smart…

VERDICT So far, The Walking Dead‘s third season has been relentlessly paced and furiously exciting. But if you come to “The Suicide King” expecting more gun-play and zombie carnage, you may be a little disappointed. After the initial skirmish, as Rick’s team storm Woodbury and snatch away Daryl and Merle, the episode switches gear, slowing down considerably. It’s far from dull: this is clearly the calm before a very bloody storm, as the two opposing forces reassess the situation. And rather like the way Game Of Thrones presents you with every side of a conflict, it’s becoming easy to see the Woodbury lot’s point of view. To them, Rick’s team are marauding pirates, swooping in and killing their friends. You almost feel sorry for them. Almost, but not quite – they’re still, broadly speaking, a faceless lot. It would be good to get to know them better before they inevitably die horribly. Not so the Governor, of course. He’s now wandering through Woodbury with the thousand-yard (and one-eyed) stare of a truly broken man. He was already bad, but now the Governor has become truly insane. He’s surprisingly candid with Andrea about her friends (and yet still she sticks by him – Andrea is an idiot), casually shoots a guy in the head in public, and is clearly not going to rest until all of Rick’s group are all dead.

There’s a reason, of course. Like the Governor, Rick is finally cracking up. He was already hearing voices, and now he’s seeing Lori’s ‘ghost’. That the show has become a drama about the battle between two mad men is an electrifying development. The question now isn’t which side will win (that’s been obvious from the start, right?) it’s who will be left standing on either side when Rick and Phil have finished with each other.

rewind directed by: Lesli Linka Glatter written by: Evan Reilly rating:

I had a few quibbles with other aspects of the episode. Michonne got short shrift, and while Chad Coleman is an instantly likeable, down-to-Earth Tyreese, Allen may as well have “expendable” tattooed on his forehead. His attempts to look innocent after discussing plans to conquer the prison were comically inept. There’s also the slight sense that Merle and Daryl’s self-imposed exile is merely marking time until they’re needed again. They’re bound to end up back at the prison eventually. Still, it was a strong opening installment for the second half of the season, that had the confidence to take its time and establish an atmosphere of overbearing dread. As Rick says at one point, “we started something last night”. The Governor is sure to respond, and I can’t wait to see him bring the pain…



Season:3 AIRDATE: 17TH FEB 2013 THE ONE WHERE Darryl and Merle bicker, Glenn plots revenge, Rick wibbles on… and then the Governor launches an assault on the prison. VERDICT Heh… They had me worried there for a second. The first half of “Home” is similar in tone to last week’s episode: ominous, character-focused, a bit too talky, frankly. It worked well as a breather last week, but another episode in that mould would have been a mistake. Like Lori plodding around in the grass, the ghost of season two still haunts this viewer. Happily, it was something of a ruse… So, the first 20 minutes focus mainly on Rick’s group wondering what to do next. Glenn is still super-pissed and hungry for revenge. Hershel reckons he’s being reckless, but to my mind, he’s just being proactive. Given the dire circumstances, his suggestion that they sneak into Woodbury and assassinate the Governor kind of makes sense. It’s not the moral thing to do, perhaps, but in the circumstances it’s probably the most sensible. He’s clearly developing strong leadership skills in Rick’s absence. Ah yes, Rick. He’s still seeing dead people, though not quite all the time. As I said last week, I love the idea of the two leaders in this war coming undone and making questionable choices. But I found the scenes with Lori’s spectre the least interesting here. Sure, it’s a handy visual way of illustrating Rick’s breakdown, but it’s been done before on other shows, and better.

rewind directed by: Seith Mann written by: Nichole Beattie rating:

Over in Woodbury, Andrea is still being charmed by the Governor. She’s a little suspicious, but his suggestion that she takes over the running of the town turns her head. That’s a smart move – it gives her more of a reason to stay there, and makes her look less of a blind idiot..

Out in the wilderness, Daryl and Merle are tramping about on their own. And, of course, they’re already bickering. It leads to a brilliant set-piece, where they stumble upon another group of survivors surrounded by zombies on a bridge. Daryl rushes in to help, while Merle stands laconically back and watches. There’s some nice direction here (I loved the claustrophobic shots of the woman with the baby trapped in the car). The fact that, at the end of it, we don’t know anything else about these people is also brilliantly offhand. It’s just a snapshot of everyday life in zombieland.

After the battle on the bridge, you’d be forgiven for expecting the episode to settle back into talky-talk mode. And it does, briefly. Axel is suddenly being weirdly chatty, nattering away to Carol. Hmm… suspicious. My mind immediately flashed back to the prison serial killer subplot from the comics, which has so far been ignored by the show. Was Carol about to be threatened by the previously mild-mannered redneck…? No. Because he got his brains blown out by the Governor, in a moment that made me yelp with surprise. Sure, that’s Axel’s fate in the comics, but the framing of the scene is so low-key and casual, it really did come as a huge shock.


What followed was one of the season’s most exciting set-pieces as the Governor’s men attacked the prison, forcing the regulars to take cover. Rick, of course, wasn’t much help – he was too busy arseing about in the fields looking for ghosts. Hooray then for Daryl (rapidly becoming the star of the show) and Merle who – with eye-rollingly predictable timing – arrived to help stave off the attack. Not before a van-load of zombies was dumped on their doorstep, mind. Ooh, that’s a low blow. So, while it was a little predictable and contained one of the rankest lines of dialogue in the show’s history (“I may be the one that’s leaving, but you’re the one who’s walking away”) it was also surprising, and at times thrilling. Yes… this is more like it.



rewind directed by: Gregory Nicotero written by: Angela Kang rating: THE ONE WHERE Everybody hates Andrea. Tyreese makes friends with the Governor and Rick considers giving up leadership. VERDICT I have one big problem with The Walking Dead this season. Just one. And it’s name is Andrea. This week should have solved that. It should have either wrapped up the thread with her hanging out with the Governor, or at least given her a credible reason to still be in Woodbury. It didn’t and – given how much of the episode is about precisely that – that’s annoying. The thing is, I like Andrea. Laurie Holden is a good actress and I’ve enjoyed the character’s transition from victim to sharp-shooting leader. In some ways she seems to be on an inverse trajectory to Rick. While he falls into despair and madness, she is developing strong leadership skills and confidence. So why the cock is she still hanging around with the bloody Governor?! Last week, Philip dangled the carrot of looking after Woodbury in front of her nose. That was a smart move. If Andrea thinks she can help people there, it gives her a solide rason to stay in town. She’s had doubts about his sanity for some time now, but this (plus her attraction to him) helps her to avoid facing the truth for a little bit longer.

Season:3 AIRDATE: 24TH FEB 2013 But after the scene this week, where the Governor virtually says, “I am going to murder you and all of your friends,” and she’s just like, “Oh, okay then,” she vanished over the believability event horizon for me. An ongoing theme in the comics is that, while Rick’s group are the protagonists to us, to other groups they must look terrifying. So… Andrea returns thto e prison and sees that Rick has become unhinged. But then everyone else in the group tells her what’s been going on (in a scene that felt like the character was getting her own personal, “Previously on AMC’s The Walking Dead”) and she still kept on defending the man who has instigated all of this.

What’s up with this? What the hell is wrong with Andrea? Has she developed Stockholm Syndrome, or something? Eventually, Andrea did swing around to the notion that, yeah alright, the Governor probably is a bit evil. But she still ended the episode back in Woodbury, and so it goes on…

Anyway, the rest of the episode was fairly light on action or plot, but there was some decent character stuff. Merle is quickly being assimilated back into the group (his attempts to get along with Michonne were hilariously half-arsed). Hershel said what we’ve all been thinking to Rick: “Get your head together and do something.” And was anyone else seriously chilled when the Governor started talking about arming Woodbury’s children for battle? Then again – that’s pretty much exactly what Rick’s done with Carl. There was also another inventive – and disgusting – zombie kill. Excellent! The most interesting development was Tyreese’s group coming into contact with the Governor – and joining his team. That’s new! They’ve got reason to fear the prison crew, so their alliance makes sense, even if Phil seems almost physically incapable of not looking shifty throughout their meeting. Then there was the brief, but sweet, scene between Rick and Carl, where the youngster pointed out to his dad that maybe it was time for him to take a break and step down from leadership. Wise words kid.



Season:3 AIRDATE: 3RD MAR 2013

CLEAR THE ONE WHERE On a scavenging mission, Rick, Carl and Michonne come under fire from another survivor – only to discover that it’s Morgan, the man who rescued Rick way back in season one. VERDICT This week, The Walking Dead took time out from the Governor/Woodbury storyline to tell a small scale one-off that, rather than being filler, turned out to be one of the best of the season – if not the series as a whole.�� A large part of that was, undoubtedly, down to the unexpected return of Morgan. Fans have often wondered what happened to him, and now here he is, holed up in a room alone, going nuts. His son and his wife are dead, but he lingers on, mad with grief and surrounded by guns. It’s fantastic to see Lennie James back in the role, and a real surprise when he is unmasked. He puts in a fine performance that ranges from traumatised and psychotic, to heart-broken to reaching some kind of calm – if not peace – at the end. More importantly, it forces Rick to confront what he could become, should he let his grief over Lori’s death consume him. It may be only a subtle shift, but Rick at the end of this episode is different to how he was at the start. There’s a thawing of the tensions between him and Michonne, and he even cracks a smile when talking to Carl.

rewind directed by: Tricia Brock written by: Scott M. Gimple rating:

While he’s never going to get over Lori, this could (and hopefully is) the beginning of the end of his seeing ghosts and talking to people who aren’t there. Michonne, meanwhile, gets her first meaty subplot for weeks as she accompanies Carl on his search for a family photo. As ever, there’s an economy to her dialogue and emotional responses, but in helping out Carl and opening up to Rick (albeit only slightly) at the end she has become more than just a sword-wielding scowl machine. Plus she looted a rainbow-coloured ornamental cat, which was pretty hilarious.

On the production side of things, the deserted town looked splendidly eerie covered in Morgan’s manic scrawls (I especially liked his “not shitting you!” warning sign), and the entry into his base felt like a hardcore Home Alone. The battle in the café was also impressively staged. The fact that, three seasons in, this show still makes fighting zombies exciting is an impressive feat in itself. Above all, it was just really refreshing to get away from the prison and Woodbury and Andrea for a little while. I’ve (mostly) loved this season, but honing in on just Rick, Michonne and Carl for a change worked wonders. It also bodes well for season four that this episode was written by the new showrunner-in-waiting, Scott Gimple. Season three, so far, has been great for action, but perhaps lacking in characterisation (something that has been a weakness with this show from day one). Gimple could just be the man to tie it all together. Oh… and on another note, the rats (or were they Guinea Pigs? I couldn’t quite tell) on skateboards trick was inspired.



Season:3 AIRDATE: 10TH MAR 2013


THE ONE WHERE Rick and the Governor finally meet, and Andrea tries to broker a peace treaty between the two parties. VERDICT Well that was a surprise! After weeks of build up, the Governor and Rick finally meet – and it’s in the pre-titles sequence. “We have a lot to talk about,” deadpans Phil with a grin, and settles down to a natter with his mortal enemy.

rewind directed by: David Boyd written by: Ryan C. Coleman rating:

This is another episode that plays with the show’s regular format, with only a handful of scenes set at the prison. Instead, it concentrates on an uneasy encounter between the two groups in an abandoned town. There was a definite western vibe, with Rick’s hand remaining close to his weapon and the Governor keeping a gun strapped underneath the table. Meanwhile, outside, their respective gangs eyed each other nervously

Anyway, Andrea arranged the meeting in an attempt to bring peace to the area, even though that’s obviously never going to happen while the Governor still lives – and therein lies my beef with “Arrow On The Doorpost”. The scenes between Rick and the Gov would make a brilliant centrepiece to an episode. Instead, they are the episode. And given that we all know, with no doubt whatsoever, that this is going to end badly, those scenes end up feeling awfully padded. On the plus side, both Lincoln and Morrissey are excellent. The Governor has rarely been so loquacious and menacing – though his faux-contrition at one point is as see-through as a stripper’s knickers. Rick, meanwhile, seems far more stable after his encounter with Morgan last week. He keeps his cool, but is clearly frightened by his opponent. By the end, he is preparing his crew for war… while also seriously considering handing over Michonne to the enemy. Outside the meeting there are some nice individual scenes. Milton and Hershel get one of The Walking Dead‘s rare moments of humour, as Milton asks to see his stump. Daryl engages in a “Christmas truce”, chatting away to Martinez and the Woodbury soldiers. Everyone there is aware that, in all probability, they will be trying to kill each other soon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t hang out in the meantime. And back at the prison Glenn and Maggie patch things up and have sex. That scene is actually a very welcome moment of warmth and humanity that, for once, isn’t about death or despair.

This is a transitionary episode. By the end, all the pieces are in place for one hell of a showdown. Even so, it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed by how slight it felt. The recent run of episodes has been highly variable in quality. Hopefully the final three will be a triumphant return to form..



Season:3 AIRDATE: 17TH MAR 2013

PREY THE ONE WHERE Andrea flees Woodbury – only for an angry Governor to come after her… VERDICT Oh, good, an Andrea episode… I’m sure I wasn’t alone in groaning like a walker when it became clear that this week’s Walking Dead would avoid Rick and the gang (almost) entirely, and concentrate instead on the show’s most unloveable character. But hold all of your horses! Because “Prey” turned out to be a rather decent episode. When people talk about The Walking Dead, they often say, “Oh, it’s not really about the zombies.” And they’re right, this is primarily a character drama that uses the end Bof the world premise as a starting point. But once in a while, the show reminds you of its horror roots. That’s exactly what “Prey” does, though not in the way you might expect. This isn’t a big episode for the walkers – it’s a slasher movie. As the Governor hounds Andrea across fields and stalks her through abandoned buildings, it’s hard not to be reminded of both Night Of The Hunter and A Nightmare On Elm Street (indeed his whistling seems like a direct nod to Robert Mitchum’s terrifying Reverend Powell in Hunter). It’s spooky stuff, and there’s a couple of nice jumps (though the scene where a zombie ambushes Andrea in the woods just leaves you wondering why it was hiding behind a tree in the first place). The Governor even gets an unlikely back-from-the-dead moment, like all good slasher villains.

Sure, it’s hardly a prime example of the genre, but it does help make Andrea a sympathetic character again. Not because she’s in danger (if anything, the fact that she ends the episode tied up in the Governor’s dungeon felt clichéd – the show doesn’t need to go down the damsel-in-distress route) but because it forces her to face the truth and be proactive again. By the end she’s certainly under no more illusions about who this guy really is…

rewind directed by: Stefan Schwartz written by: Evan T. Reilly rating: It’s also the third episode in a row that breaks from the usual format. This week (save for a brief glimpse of Rick in the closing minutes) steers well clear of the prison. That meant more to do for Milton – a character I’m torn between finding enigmatic and just plain irritating. Like Andrea, he’s having serious doubts about the Governor’s sanity. His sudden pleas that she kill him come a little bit out-of-the-blue, but then again, he knows better than anyone just how dangerous this guy can be.

Sure, it’s hardly a prime example of the genre, but it does help make Andrea a sympathetic character again. Not because she’s in danger (if anything, the fact that she ends the episode tied up in the Governor’s dungeon felt clichéd – the show doesn’t need to go down the damsel-in-distress route) but because it forces her to face the truth and be proactive again. By the end she’s certainly under no more illusions about who this guy really is…

There was also – hail Jandek! – screen time for Tyreese. Yes, he’s still in this programme. Unfortunately, he appears to have taken up Andrea’s mantel as the show’s stupidest character. Here, he’s presented with some fairly compelling evidence of just how dodgy the Governor and his crew are, but is talked around with a few glib lies. Given how important Tyreese is in the comics, it’s disappointing to see him handled this way. Hopefully by season’s end he’ll have seen sense – that is if he isn’t immediately killed off. That would certainly be a curveball.


EPISODE 15 THIS SORROWFUL LIFE THE ONE WHERE Rick plans to hand Michonne over the Governor, and encourages Merle to take her to him. He changes his mind – but it’s too late to stop the bloodshed. VERDICT The first part of season three’s finale is a deceptively low-key affair. For a good 25 minutes or so, the main dilemma here is if Rick will hand over Michonne to the Governor, or if – as Merle predicts – he’ll buckle and change his mind. The question of whether Rick should sacrifice one of his own for the good of the group is a fascinating one. It’s the sort of quandary

Season:3 AIRDATE: 24TH MAR 2013 that the ’70s Survivors did so well. Unfortunately, it’s rather let down by the fact that we know that it’s not going to have any real effect… Even if the Governor does get his hands on Michonne, he’s still going to attack the prison. And if we know that, surely Rick must be equally aware. No matter. It’s really just an excuse to get Michonne and Merle on the road together. Given that they’re the season’s best characters by far – and that they hate each other’s guts – that’s a recipe for great drama. And indeed the episode delivers. What’s fascinating here is how Michonne manages to tease the humanity out of Merle. It’s always been there, buried beneath the spite and snark. As the two travel to Woodbury, she taunts him into revealing his self-doubt and long-buried compassion.

We learn how many people he has killed (16 – though that figure has gone up by the end of the episode) and that all of those were after the apocalypse, leaving you to wonder what sort of a man he might have been in his former life. Basically, they do a Spike from Buffy on him – humanising him, without removing his snark. Which brings us to the episode’s big twist. By the end, Merle has let Michonne go, and launched a suicidal one-man assault on the Governor. But after taking out several of the Woodbury soldiers, he has a brutal fight

with, and is killed by the Governor. It’s a shocking moment, but it also leaves the show lacking one of its most memorable characters. For all its many qualities, this show doesn’t exactly have a surfeit of compelling leads. Now there’s Michonne and Daryl and, er, that’s about it. Game Of Thrones can get away with slaughtering it’s characters willy-nilly. The Walking Dead may have a harder time filling the Merle-shaped gap – especially given how badly they’ve screwed up Tyreese’s character so far. On the plus side, the final shoot-out is brilliantly tense and exciting. And kudos to Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl’s despair perfectly. He doesn’t hold back or play it cool – it’s a full-on breakdown, followed by his bloody despatching of Zombie Merle.

rewind directed by: Gregory Nicotero written by: Scott M. Gimple rating:



Season:3 AIRDATE: 31ST MAR 2013 So, farewell season three and goodbye Glen Mazzara, who turns in one final episode before departing to less zombie-filled pastures. Fittingly, “Welcome To The Tombs” feels like both an ending and a new beginning for the series. The Woodbury arc is wrapped up, the Governor cut loose, and there are the first hints of a major new problem to tackle, in the unlikely form of Carl. Let’s start with the Governor. The episode opens with an extreme close up of his eye, just to ram home the point that, yes, he’s gone a bit mad. His main focus this week is leading the assault on the prison. The Woodbury crew has got more people and guns than Rick’s gang, so it should be a pushover, right? Wrong.

Clearly Philip has never seen Home Alone, because he leads everyone straight into a series of booby traps. There’s no paint tins on string though, sadly. Alas, the big battle when it came, was disappointing. Glenn and Maggie driving the invaders off felt like the end of the first stage of the assault, not the actual end. But yes, that was it. This shambolic defeat was then followed up by the Governor – in a moment of self-defeating madness – killing all of his own people. Yeah, it’s the sort of thing a psychopath might do, but it also felt like a hurried, and rather too neat way of wrapping up the Woodbury arc. All of those pesky survivors? Not a problem now. Handily, not present were Tyreese and Sasha who elected to stay behind in Woodbury. By the end of the episode they’ve aligned themselves with Rick. Hopefully season four will do something interesting with them.


EPISODE 16 WELCOME TO THE TOMBS And so off the Governor skipped to live and fight another day. I’m not sorry that he survived – David Morrissey makes for a marvellously malicious villain, and I’ll be glad to see him return. But at the same time, you’ve got to wonder if his character arc has run its natural course. He’s gone from being a nasty dictator, to a foaming-at-the-mouth madman. Where else is there left for him to go? Happily, while the battle was a let down, the conclusion to Andrea’s storyline was much more satisfying. She spends the episode locked in the Governor’s sex dungeon with a dying Milton. It looks like Rick & co will turn up just in the nick of time. But, er, they don’t. Instead, Milton turns, bites her, and she takes her own life, with a heartbroken Michonne at her side. It’s another big diversion from the comic (where Andrea remains alive and well to this day), but is a solidly emotional payoff to the season. For all of the character’s uselessness recently, it’s a shame to see Laurie Holden go. But what an exit!

Season:3 AIRDATE: 31ST MAR 2013

rewind directed by: Ernest Dickerson written by: Glen Mazzara rating:

There was another lesser, but still effective twist in the episode: Carl’s cold-blooded murder of an innocent teenager. The kid is clearly surrendering, but Carl shoots him anyway. He’s obviously aping his dad’s callous actions earlier in the season, and it’s satisfying to see some consequences to Rick being a giant douche. Quite where this will go in season four is anyone’s guess… I can’t imagine Carl becoming a threat to the group. Still, it’s going to take a lot to drag him back from the brink of real darkness. The Walking Dead has been both brilliant and frustrating this season. The first half was almost uniformly excellent, bringing both a renewed sense of tension to the series and making Rick a far more interesting lead. But the second half missed as often as it hit. There’s still a sense that this show still hasn’t quite found the right balance of horror, action and characterisation. But season four promises a fresh start: a new showrunner, new characters and a stated ambition to make the zombie’s properly threatening again – something season three moved away from by focussing on the human enemies for so long. If they can fix that, work out what to do with Tyreese, introduce a strong female lead (Michonne is great, but so one-note she’s barely human) and develop Carl further, it’ll be great.




.................. Rick Grimes is the main protagonist of The Walking Dead. He is a former police officer of the King County sheriff's deputy who was shot in the line of duty and fell into a coma only to wake up and find himself in the middle of an undead apocalypse. He travels to Atlanta, Georgia searching for his family, Lori Grimes, his wife, and Carl Grimes, his son, who have traveled to Atlanta with his best friend, Shane Walsh, in search of a safe-haven. Rick and Shane were childhood friends, with Rick being the more subdued individual. He had few girlfriends during his years of high school, in contrast to Shane who was "How you live and how you die, it isn't always the center of attraction to girls. up to me. I'm not your Governor." He and Shane both went to college —Rick to the group. together for police administration and became sheriff deputies at the King Actor: Andrew Lincoln County Sheriff's Department. He and First Appearance:"Days Gone Bye" Lori met at a young age and after Last Appearance: N/A dating for a short amount of time, Status: Alive married and had a son named Carl. They lived as in a typical suburban neighborhood. As their son grew older, his and Lori's marriage became increasingly strained. He constantly distanced himself from her, hesitating to open up and absorbing himself in his work.

.................. Philip Blake, better known as "The Governor," is the main antagonist of Season 3 of The Walking Dead. He is a survivor of the undead apocalypse who is in command of the fortified town of Woodbury after the outbreak.

Philip was a family man, having had a wife and daughter named Penny. He was dissatisfied with his plain, mediocre life. He was an office drone, working for a younger boss who frequently hounded him. His wife died in a car accident eighteen months prior to the outbreak, leaving him and his daughter to rely on one another. Milton Mamet reveals that he knew Philip before the apocalypse. "In this life now, you kill or you die...Or you die and you kill." —The Governor to Milton after stabbing him. Actor: David Morrissey First Appearance: "Walk With Me" Last Appearance: N/A Status: Alive

.................. Michonne (pronounced MI-SHOWN) is a female Katana-wielding survivor who made her first appearance in the season finale episode, "Beside the Dying Fire", in Season 2 and appears in Season 3 of The Walking Dead. Michonne and Andrea became close friends throughout the winter until they enter Woodbury. Later on in the Season, Michonne leaves Woodbury and becomes a strong member of Rick's group. Not much is known about Michonne prior to the apocalypse due in part to her keeping details of her life secret. It is suggested that even Andrea knows very little about Michonne's past, as detailed in the episode "Walk With Me" when she confronts Michonne about how little she knows about her to which Michonne retorts, "you know enough." She also at some point started dating her boyfriend whom died in the apocalypse.

"Well, I'm not going anywhere." —Michonne to Andrea just before Andrea's suicide.. Actor: Danai Gurira First Appearance: "Beside the Dying Fire" Last Appearance: N/A Status: Alive

.................. "I might be the one walkin' away, but you're the one that's leavin'...again." —Daryl to Merle. Daryl Dixon is one of the main Actor: Norman Reedus protagonists and survivors of the First Appearance: zombie apocalypse in The Walking "Tell it to the Frogs" Dead. He is the younger brother to Last Appearance: N/A Merle Dixon and makes his debut Status: Alive appearance in "Tell It to the Frogs." Daryl is an expert at hunting, tracking and navigating. Due to his survival skills, Rick Grimes values him as an important member of the group. Following the deaths of her husband and daughter, Daryl has developed a close bond with fellow survivor Carol Peletier. Daryl and Merle lived within the mountains of North Georgia, under the roof of their neglectful parents; their father being an abusive alcoholic and their mother being both that and a chain-smoker. When Daryl was old enough to ride a bicycle, they lost their mother to a house fire that had been caused by her cigarette when she was asleep (or possibly drunk in bed). Merle was at least 12 years old when their mother died, as he was in juvenile detention at the time. Merle raised Daryl to share his beliefs and be tough like a grown man. However, he too was often absent from Daryl's life; part of that had to do with the fact that he was frequently in juvenile institutions. This led to Daryl having to frequently fend for himself. Once, after their mother's death, but before Daryl reached age 12, he got lost in the woods for nine full days and lived off of wild berries and used poison oak as a substitute for toilet paper. Merle was again in juvenile detention. When Daryl managed to find his way home, his father had not noticed his absence. He walked in through the back door and then made himself a sandwich.

.................. "I don't know why I do the things I do. Never did. I'm a damn mystery to me." —Merle to Rick about the things he has done. Actor: Michael Rooker First Appearance: "Guts" Last Appearance: "This Sorrowful Life" Status: Dead

Merle Dixon is a survivor of the zombie apocalypse and older brother to Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead. He makes his debut appearance in "Guts." After displaying racist and aggressive behavior to other survivors, Merle is handcuffed to a pipe on a rooftop in Atlanta by Rick. He is forced to amputate his own hand when Walkers are approaching the roof through a door, since T-Dog had accidentally dropped the key to the handcuffs. Merle cauterized his own wounds and survived. Eventually he was found by a man named Philip and is taken to Woodbury. However, after Rick's group attacked the town, Merle was considered a traitor and fled Woodbury with Daryl.

Andrea is a main protagonist and survivor of the zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead. She and her sister, Amy were saved by Dale Horvath during the initial outbreak and eventually joined a group of survivors at a camp. After the Greene Farm was overran, Andrea met Michonne and was taken to Woodbury several months later. At Woodbury, Andrea started a relationship with Philip, better known as The Governor.

"I tried." —Andrea's last words. Actor: Laurie Holden First Appearance: "Guts" Last Appearance: “Welcome to the Tombs Status: Dead

.................. Carl Grimes is a main protagonist in The Walking Dead. He is the son of Rick Grimes and Lori Grimes. During the initial outbreak, Carl believed his father to be dead, so he and his mother followed Shane Walsh to Atlanta to stay safe. Carl was a normal 12 year old who lived with his parents in King County, Georgia where he attended school during the day. One morning, Carl witnesses his parents fighting and having an argument about whether or not Rick cared about the family or not. Later that day after he finishes school, Lori comes to Carl and informs him that his father, Rick, was shot and is in a coma. After Rick was shot, Carl wanted to donate blood for his father as they are of the same blood type, his mother had to talk him out of it.

"I did what I had to do." —Carl to Rick about killing Jody to defend the group. Actor: Chandler Riggs First Appearance: "Days Gone Bye" Last Appearance: N/A Status: Alive

.................. Actor: Sarah Wayne Callies First Appearance: "Killer Within" (Alive) “Welcome to the Tombs” (Hallucination) Last Appearance: N/A Status: Dead

Lori Grimes is the wife of Rick Grimes' and mother of Carl and Judith. Believing Rick to be dead, she joined Shane to Atlanta, and counted on him to keep her and Carl safe. Lori married her husband Rick at a young age. The two of them eventually had a son named Carl. They lived as a typical suburban family in King County, Georgia. Lori was a stay-at-home mother, while Rick was the main financial provider by working for the local Sheriff's department. Over time, their marriage became increasingly strained with Rick distancing himself from her. His unwillingness to talk about his feelings and their problems resulted in fights, where harsh words were spoken by Lori. It had even reached the point where she began to question his love for her and Carl. Lori confided in a friend (and fellow housewife), Paula, to ease the stress and seek advice. Days before the apocalypse breaks out, Lori finds out through Shane about Rick's injury, and shares the sad news with Carl. As the apocalypse breaks out, Shane convinces Lori and Carl that Rick is dead, and she and her son pack their things and leave with Shane to head to a safe zone in Atlanta. Shane, Lori, and Carl get caught in a traffic jam on the way and befriend Carol and her family. While stopped outside the city, Lori and Shane watch in horror as Atlanta is bombed by napalm helicopters. As time progresses, Lori becomes extremely vulnerable and, believing Rick to be dead, begins a sexual relationship with Shane.

.................. Glenn is a main protagonist in The Walking Dead. He is commonly the main supply runner for the group. Glenn makes his first appearance physically in "Guts" and helps Rick Grimes safely escape the walkers on the street and meet up with his group. Eventually, after the group stays on the Greene Farm, Glenn is engaged to Hershel Greene's daughter, Maggie Greene.

He knows the city fairly well and can navigate his way through back alleys and the streets . When the outbreak began and the city was converted into a refugee center, Glenn, being resourceful, was able to survive despite the city slowly being overrun by walkers. In the episode, "Nebraska", Glenn talked about his mother and revealed that he has multiple sisters, but their fate after the apocalypse is currently unknown.

Glenn was originally from Michigan, born of Korean immigrants. He moved to Atlanta sometime within his adult years, he delivered pizzas for a living. As it turned out, his knowledge of every shortcut in Atlanta proves extremely useful to the group's scavenging needs. In the episode "Cherokee Rose", Glenn wears a shirt that has some Boy Scout markings on it, a sign that he might have been a Boy Scout. Actor: Steven Yeun First Appearance: "Days Gone Bye “(Voice only) ”Guts” Last Appearance: N/A Status: Alive

"He tied me to a chair. Beat me, and threw a Walker in the room. Maybe I could call it even, but he...he took Maggie to a man who terrorized her. Humiliated her. I care more about her than I care about me." —Glenn to Daryl about forgiving Merle

.................. "What I wouldn't do to keep you two safe." —Hershel to his daughters.

Hershel Greene is a former farm owner who lived in Rural Georgia and had lived there for many years with his family. Hershel is the father to Maggie and Beth Greene. He has been married twice, his first wife was Josephine Greene and his second wife was Annette Greene, who brought along her son from a previous marriage.

Actor: Scott Willson First Appearance: “Bloodletting” Last Appearance: N/A Status: Alive

Hershel's family originated from Ireland. As a young child, he was given a pocket watch by his father, whose own father had passed to him. He had kept the watch until he gave it to Glenn.

"Do what you're going to do, then go to hell..." —Maggie to The Governor. Actor: Lauren Cohan First Appearance: “Bloodletting” Last Appearance: N/A Status: Alive

Maggie Greene is the eldest daughter of Hershel and Josephine Greene, step-daughter to Annette Greene and half-sister of Beth and step-sister to Shawn. A tomboy and farmer's daughter, Maggie wears jeans, boots, and rides a horse. She has a steely personality and is engaged to Glenn. Maggie has spent her first 22 years on Hershel's Farm. Her mother had died when she was young, and this had led her father to marry another woman, who left her distraught (wanting to smoke and shoplift). Despite this however, she grew to have a loving relationship with her step-mother Annette and step-brother Shawn. She also had a good relationship with Otis, who had been their ranch foreman for several years. It's known that she graduated high school and attended

In an alternate universe, The Walking Dead aired in 1995. Here's the intro. An homage to the terrible and amazing television intros of yore. More to come. Music: "Flight Path" Video from AMC's The Walking Dead

Check out the Hilarious 1995 version on youtube (just scan the QR code!) by goestoeleven, be sure to check out the Breaking Bad 1995 Style video too.

This gets a slow clap from everybody but Merle.

We spoof 'Dumb Ways to Die', Walking Dead style and tell a cautionary tale from the Walker's point of view. WARNING: Spoilers and Gore.

Brace yourselves, The Governor is coming.

Hershels Zombie Storage tee’s!.

A KickStarter project to create an epic zombie print which is bursting at the seams with undead action where backers get to be part of the zombie horde as they are illustrated as one of the living dead. Maggie's really come a long way since the farm.

Norman Reedus appearance in Lady Gaga’s Judas video

You're gonna need some bandages for that burn, Lori. The Walking Dead cast as we’ve never seen them before!

the zombie survial guide world war z


Shaun of the dead dawn of the dead wORLD WAR Z REC

ZOMBIELAND In the flesh

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of the world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

Drawing from reams of historical data, laboratory experiments, field research, and eyewitness accounts, this comprehensive and illustrated guide is the only book you'll need to face the greatest challenge mankind has ever encountered. Granted, you probably already know that skills such as wilderness survival, leadership, and basic first aid are important when fighting off hordes of the undead. But The Zombie Survival Guide doesn't stop there, Filled with lots of helpful illustrations and a sample 'Outbreak Journal' that should be kept on your person at all times, The Zombie Survival Guide is the only guide you will need to survive a most certain pandemic. 'Ignorance is the undead's strongest ally, knowledge their deadliest enemy,' Brooks writes. 'Personal choice, the will to live, must be paramount when the dead begin to rise. The choice is up to you.'

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to decimate humanity itself. Pitt gave a brief intro to some exclusive footage, saying, "Four years ago, I knew nothing about zombies, wasn't really interested. Now I'm an expert." He added, "I wanted to make this film because I wanted to make a film my sons would enjoy before they get old. You will see we got a little carried away. I hope you enjoy it as much as my boys are. They're going to love it." It's not "just" a zombie movie "For me, this is not just a zombie film," said Forster. "It's a film about a global crisis. Yes, it's a zombie film, but it speaks about some global issues." Pitt added, "We found much more than a zombie film. We found this global apocalypse, this 'zombie epidemic as worldwide pandemic' and that really interested us." The movie's stunning visual twist of zombie swarms is also a metaphor "The idea we had for the zombies came from nature, sort of this flocking and swarming," Forster explained. "In the George Romero films in the '70s, zombies were such a great metaphor for consumerism. For me, the metaphor was more about the overpopulation today and that there are less and less resources. Their swarming is like their going after the last resources especially when the feeding frenzy starts."

Don't expect a lot of gore Although Forster said he's a fan of TV's "The Walking Dead," "World War Z" will be rated PG-13: "Most of the gore and blood, I avoid it on purpose." Do expect a "Contagion" approach to the zombies Pitt's character is a former U.N. employee who's spent time problem-solving in hot spots like Africa and Bosnia. "He was able to come out alive out of these places, so at this point in the story, it's up to him to go on a quest to find 'Patient Zero'," Forster explained. Pitt's search takes him to Jerusalem, where the striking "zombie swarm" from the trailer occurs as they try to make it inside the "Salvation Gates" erected to keep them out. "World War Z" won't be campy. Forster's goal was to make the action feel "very real, that it could happen right now. It's a pretty intense ride. You're on the edge of your seat pretty much from beginning to end." These zombies turn in an instant "It's 12 seconds," Forster said of the ultra-fast conversion process. "There are some people who turn faster than others, which [Pitt] discovers that when he sees the first person change in Philadelphia," although as the virus mutates, some people transform faster than others. The catchphrase from this just might be... Forster quotes a line about the "World War Z" approach to taking out the undead: "'Spines are divine but knees are just fine,' So just basically if you hit them in the knees, they start crawling."

Many people have tried to emulate the cinéma-vérité/home movie trick of The Blair Witch Project… but few of them have succeeded. However [REC] uses a similar style and employs it to good effect. The set-up is beautifully conceived and simple. A film crew — bubbly blonde reporter Ángela (Manuela Velasco) and unseen, behind-the-lens cameraman Pablo — are following a late-night fire crew around for a TV show. When a call comes in about an old lady trapped inside a Barcelona apartment, firemen Manu (Ferran Terraza) and Álex (David Vert) respond to the emergency, with Angela and Pablo tagging along to film proceedings. What they find are coppers already assembled at the scene, the building’s other residents gathered in the lobby, and the woman, herself, rabid and covered in blood. When she takes a bite out of one rozzer’s neck, all hell breaks loose and the place is soon quarantined, trapping both living and dead inside, with no way out. And that’s it

[REC] serves up horror that’s frenzied and hardcore. Spanish directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza show everything through the filter of Pablo’s camera, plunging the audience directly into the chaos. It’s immediate and effective and even Cloverfield’s minor “Why is he still filming?” flaw is overcome by the fact that Pablo’s a professional – of course he keeps shooting. Still, he’s only human and as the terror increases so the camera becomes

increasingly shaky and the images served up are harder to focus on. Then the power goes out in the building, blacking the frame and leaving the camera spotlight as the only illumination. Then that fades, night-vision mode clicks in and things get really creepy... Balagueró and Plaza know better than to inject anything beyond a hint of character, preferring to amp up the terror, tension and claustrophobia, with regular explosions of viscera and violence. More of a rollercoaster white-knuckle ride a than movie, at barely 80 minutes [REC] is too frantic to overstay its welcome. Gripping, unsettling and truly horrific, [REC] is much more than the gimmick suggested by its title. Prepare to squirm, wince and wonder at how a potential Blair Witch knock-off is quite so grimy and engrossing. And don't eat dinner before you see it.

When Sex Lives of the Potato Men came out, I suggested the dilemma facing the British film industry was whether to put the gun barrel to our heads or in our mouths. But with the release of Shaun of the Dead, I'm inclined to say the dilemma is whether to opt for MoĂŤt or Veuve Clicquot. Because this cheerful horror comedy, starring and co-written by Simon Pegg of Channel 4's Spaced, is as smart as paint. It's pacily directed, nicely acted and boasts a script crammed with real gags. Pegg is Shaun, the hopeless assistant of an electrical store who shares a house with Ed (Nick Frost) his dodgy slacker mate, in London's Crouch End, a location I like to think has been chosen as

a tribute to the childhood home of Gillian "X-Files" Anderson. His girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) has just chucked him, when an unexplained plague hits Britain and the streets are filled with vicious, flesh-eating zombies. So Shaun makes a desperate bid to save Liz from their clutches, and win her heart again.

The spoof genre is usually so tricky but this brings it off: it's spirited, good-natured, likable and funny, with great support from Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy as Shaun's mum and stepdad. If it sometimes looks like a feature-length episode of Spaced, well that's a good thing. My only regret is that a bigger part couldn't be found for the excellent Jessica Stevenson. I laughed a lot at the gag about whether or not dogs can look up, and also the description of a zombie's air of resentful melancholy: "Like a drunk who's lost a bet."

This is Dawn of the Dead, George Romero's grand vision of the zombie holocaust, arguably the greatest zombie movie that's ever been made and possibly will be made. The storyline revolves around a small group of survivors comprised of two SWAT members and two TV broadcast personnel, who grab a helicopter looking to seek refuge outside of Philadelphia. They ďŹ nd an abandoned shopping centre (mall) which they make their home. Of course life in the zombie apocalypse never runs smooth for long and the group ďŹ nd themselves having to cope with one ordeal after another.

Much ado has been made about Dawn's social commentary, it's investigation into consumerism, violence in America, etc, etc. Is it this quality that makes it so impressive in the (very saturated) world of horror movies? Well, i guess it does play a part but there's more to Dawn than that. Dawn of the Dead was a groundbreaking original that's clearly inspired more movies than you could shake a stick at. It does bear similarities to one of George Romero's earlier movies called The Crazies but in the time period that Dawn was released, you really won't ďŹ nd another movie that can touch it for it's scope and for it's execution. One thing about Dawn that's always impressed me is it's ability to give a strong 'feeling' that the Earth is being consumed by hordes and hordes of zombies when in fact we really don't get to see that much. Sure they've got a relatively large crowd of em outside the mall but you get the impression that the real horde is just over the horizon. Dawn also manages to create a superb sense

of doom due to clever cinematography, direction and music. The score by Goblin is fantastic. The acting quality is sound. We get to see a young Ken Foree as one of the SWAT members struggling to survive. His character brings weight and thoughtfulness to Scott Reiniger's Roger (the other SWAT member) who's generally more care free and impulsive. All the characters are great and it's thanks to Romero's writing skills that we can be thankful (as well as the actors too obviously). Being a movie made in the late 70's it looks a bit dated in comparison to the icks we're used to these days. Often it's pace is slow, the blood looks too vividly red, the general fashion at times is laughable but these are really just nitpicks on what is a great and enthralling movie at times, which will not only put fear in you it'll make you think and that's getting rare these days. There is simply no reason not to see this movie if you haven't already. Dawn of the Dead (1978) is recommended without reserve.

The Walking Dead (also known as "The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series") is a ďŹ ve-part 3D survival horror / visual novel / adventure game series developed and published by Telltale for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade), PlayStation 3 (via PlayStation Network), PC, Mac, and all iOS devices, between April 24, 2012 and November 21, 2012. It was later released in retail for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on December 11, 2012. Set in the same universe as Robert Kirkman's comic book series (of the same name), players follow the story of Lee Everett, a 37-year-old convicted murderer who gains a second chance in life (as the guardian of a 8-year-old girl named Clementine) throughout Georgia, U.S.A. at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Making moral decisions is a pillar of the series, complete with branching consequences that tailor the player's story to the pressured choices they are forced to make. Characters met throughout the story learn form and react according to dialogue choices Lee makes, which also aect key parts of the story. Like the comic book and television series of the same name, the game focuses on creating interactions between the human characters, rather than killing large numbers of the undead (as most zombie-related games tend to rely on).

Players take control of the main character Lee Everett and guide him through his survival of the zombie apocalypse. Players have full control over the character's movement, and using the on-screen reticule, can interact with and use objects. Players will have to search through shelves, cars, and other objects to help other people you've found along the way survive. The game focuses on interactions with other human characters through dialogue trees, often with limited time to make a choice. Characters will remember things you have said before and will often realize if your story doesn't add up. These interactions can also aect where the story progresses as well.

Combat isn't a priority in the game, and is handled similarly to the rest of the gameplay, only more urgent and time-based. You'll find yourself needing to use items you've gathered throughout the game to chop down zombies or load guns with bullet shells you've found laying around. Choices you've made previously can also affect how you fight against zombies, such as possessing different equipment or having other characters with you.

Unlike most other shooters, Left 4 Dead hinges on cooperative multiplayer. You and three friends must shoot, tear and slash through an unrelenting mass of raging zombies. From the moment you leave the safe house to the final rescue chopper, you are completely dependent on each other and constantly hunted by special boss zombies that behave with their own aggressive, strategizing intelligence. Thanks to Valve’s omniscient “AI Director,” the zombies spawn differently every time, the special infected try alternative attacks, and even weapon drops are changed based on your performance. This makes every single playthrough slightly different, and the resultant strategy to survive much more organic and integral than any other FPS on the market. Just like Street Fighter is much more than mashing on buttons, Left 4 Dead is far more than mindless shooting. Played properly, L4D offers 100+ hours of unrivaled co-op insanity.

Surprisingly, Left 4 Dead 2 is able to out-gore, out-scare and out-explode the original in just about every way. Instead of a very grey, kinda boring cityscape, you’re running through hotels, swamps, plantations, riverfronts, malls, abandoned highways, amusement parks… we could go on. The diversity is staggering and ultimately makes each movie-like campaign more exciting, tense and memorable than the first game.

There’s also a sense of immediacy to the new campaigns not present in the original. L4D2 begins just as the government realizes the infection is widespread and not containable, so you see evidence of the underwhelming CEDA response (that’s a knock at FEMA, btw), and eventually the military’s “blow it to hell” ultimatum. This makes the entire trip, from Dead Center (a blazing hotel) to The Parish (an amazing scramble across a bombed bridge) a hellish nightmare of not just the zombie apocalypse, but also how harshly the outside world is willing to deal with the threat. This in-your-face, “apocalypse in action” scenario is further bolstered by the addition of vicious melee weapons like crowbars, axes and katanas. Regardless of how good you are, at some point there’s gonna be a wall of zombie flesh up in your shit, scratching and pounding without rest. Normally you’d have to shove them back, shoot and turn to help your friends out. Now you can swing blindly and chop these guys into bloody stumps. Seriously, the blood and gore are much, much nastier this time around. And finally, no zombie game/movie/book is complete without a shrieking, rusty chainsaw. Mysteriously absent from the first game, you can now get your zomberjack fix in the most gloriously violent manner possible.

Dead Space built its reputation on tension. In previous entries, it came in the forms of fear and anticipation. But in Dead Space 3, tension comes in a different flavor. Here, it's created by the stress of fighting wave after wave of Necromorphs, sometimes in groups so large that you won't be able to discern legs from arms from gaping maws. For all of Dead Space 3's new additions--optional cooperative multiplayer, a surprisingly deep weapon crafting system, and enjoyable side missions--the biggest change to come to the series is its evolution to an all-out action game with freaky monsters. As such, survival horror fans may be left wanting.

That transition isn't immediately apparent. During the introductory hours, Dead Space 3 feels like a natural extension of the series. You'll explore the harrowing hallways of spaceships abandoned long ago, hopeless and alone. You'll solve simple but enjoyable puzzles using a mixture of Stasis, Kinesis, and your own intelligence, and float through Zero-Gravity while avoiding numerous life-threatening perils. You'll even get to fly around gaping sections of space, filled with the debris and remains of a 200-year-old fleet. Granted, there's not much to do while free flying in space, but floating through the gorgeous, deadly vastness of it all is entrancing.

About halfway through the game, you'll ďŹ nd yourself on the the icy planet of Tau Volantis, the supposed Marker Homeworld. The setting is refreshingly new at ďŹ rst; the hostility of a never-ending blizzard is almost as isolating as the vacuum of space. But your eyes will beg for a change of scenery after a few hours of exploring the same-looking ice caves and abandoned storage facilities. The secrets buried on Tau Volantis, however, make the whole trek worthwhile. You'll ďŹ nally get some answers about the nature of the Markers and Necromorphs: What they are, what purpose they serve, what their end-goal is. Dead Space 3's main story feels like the conclusion to a trilogy, and you'll be pleased with the amount of closure it provides. The glee that comes with making shiny new

the glee that comes with making shiny new toys will likely taper off before the credits roll, as Dead Space 3 can easily surpass the 20-hour mark depending on how much time you spend tinkering with weapons or completing side missions. Three or more hours could've been shaved off, because there's very little here to punctuate the non-stop carnage. Memorable stand-out moments are few and far between; pacing is definitely not Dead Space 3's strong suit. Sure, there are some really cool cliff-climbing segments, and plenty of explosions and flash, but these bits pale in comparison to the original Dead Space's creepy opening sequence, or the Sprawl's haunting daycare center inhabited by Necromorph-ed children. As a solo experience, Dead Space 3 is the weakest entry in the series. The tension's still there, but it's the kind you can kill bullet by bullet until nothing is left except the dull pangs of tedium. But when you are killing Necromorphs with a friend at your side, it becomes a greatly enjoyable cooperative adventure. Just don't expect to feel much of that distantly familiar fear-based anxiety--in Dead Space 3, that's one terrifying monster that's nowhere to be found.

It’s an undisclosed period of time after the Willamette zombie outbreak of the first game. You play Chuck Greene, a father who’s visiting Fortune City – a thinly-disguised parody of Las Vegas – in order to compete on Terror is Reality, a zombie-slaying game show that has emerged as a reaction to the spreading infection. He’s here to win money in order to pay for his young daughter Katey’s Zombrex treatment, Zombrex being the new drug released to suppress the effects of zombie bites in newly infected victims. Yes, she might be an angelic – and surprisingly well-acted – pre-teen, but unless treated every day, Katey’s tantrums will have your face off.

In a turn of events as surprising as the way last night turned out to be a bit dark, the show’s stock-pile of conveniently dismemberable reanimated props breaks loose. Publicly framed for releasing the feral gut-munchers, Chuck takes Katey and seeks refuge in the large communal safehouse attached to Fortune City’s main entertainment complex. But with no military help coming for three days, and that help liable to arrest whatever’s left of Chuck after

it’s shot the living crap out of him, he will have to venture out, combating and evading zombies at every turn, as he attempts to clear his name and forage a daily Zombrex supply for the little one. On first glance, Dead Rising 2 doesn’t differ a great deal from the formula of the original game. Or on the second. Or for that matter, on glance number three. You find yourself in a mini open-world made up of contrasting but connected areas, all of which are packed out with shambling, stinky offal-scoffers. The game’s story plays out over a three-day period in accelerated game time. Over the course of those three days you’ll be given a series of compulsory story missions and a boatload of optional ones. All missions need to be completed within a certain time after their announcement or they’re gone forever, and failure to complete a story mission results in a stout booting back to your last save point. As such, you can enjoy Dead Rising 2’s hilarious gratuity without the constant fear that a sudden difficulty spike could send you right back to the beginning. Masochists may be disappointed, but everyone else can rejoice. Most of the time.

Picking up about two weeks after the movie’s events, “Zombieland” initially opens with a fun pre-apocalypse sequence set in an office building, with a couple of desk-riding employees droning on about meaningless issues, oblivious to the fact that the world is ending just outside the large picture window behind them. It’s a fun scene, and is the one sequence in the pilot that truly recalls the wit and style of the film (it also makes for a nice surprise intro to one of our leads). Cut to post-Zombieland, as we catch up with our four heroes: Tallahassee (Ward), Columbus (Ross), Wichita (Walsh), and Little Rock (Vidovic). The thrust of this initial outing concerns our heroes trying to find more living humans in order to build a community of sorts. They are guided to fellow survivors by a former OnStar employee named Detroit (Fountain), who acts as their “eye in the sky”. As our heroes meet up with various non-zombies…well, I’ve leave it to you to discover the group’s “curse”. While the basic idea is amusing, the setup/payoff for each meeting is telegraphed well in advance, and is never as funny as it might have been with a surer hand at the helm.

This pilot is at its most successful when it’s focusing on our core four. The interplay amongst them is light and lively, and captures the fun of the original film’s relationships (even though the pilot plays a bit unfair by having Columbus and Wichita no longer an item – a contrivance to keep the lovelorn lad constantly pining after the gorgeous ass-kicker). And while none of these new actors look much like their filmic counterparts, they each manage to nail the spirit of the roles they’ve inherited (especially Ross, who sounds eerily like original Columbus Jesse Eisenberg at times). Unfortunately, the lifeless direction and noticeably low budget put a damper on the proceedings. One imagines that successive episodes will have a healthier amount of money to play with, especially if the series proves to be successful. If not, the show will fail miserably at portraying a post-apocalyptic world and providing the types of big stunts and effects that Zombieland fans are familiar with. And while the opening scene is quite brilliantly staged, the bulk of the episode .

falls flat, with little of the style that made the original film so much fun. A shame, as the man at the helm here is Eli Craig, the director who gave us the very entertaining Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. His hiring for this pilot was an inspired choice, making it even more of a shame that it didn’t quite pay off. His direction here occasionally attempts some Fleischer-esque panache, but is mostly just uninspired (at times, the pilot isn’t stylistically unlike a mid-90s sitcom, sans laugh track). Here’s hoping the talented director regains his mojo if he’s brought back for more episodes. Ultimately, while the “Zombieland” pilot isn’t a home run (and while it pales in comparison to the film), it’ amusing and diverting enough watch that’ll appeal to fans of its predecessor. Here’s hoping that, if it goes to series, the showrunners will take a long look at what works and what doesn’t, and will fine tune what they have to make it work for the television format. In any case - if you have thirty minutes to spare, you could do far worse than make a return visit to Zombieland.

A slender teen sat quietly on the edge of his bed contemplating his place in a new, crueller world as despair balladeer Keaton Henson’s Charon plays then, is not your typical zombie fare. That’s the first point to make about In The Flesh, the BBC’s new three-parter from writer Dominic Mitchell and director Johnny Campbell: it’s not your typical zombie fare. In many ways, the BBC’s In The Flesh is an antidote to the overtly violent, muscular tales of the undead apocalypse. It’s a zombie story, yes, but a sensitive one with a touch of kitchen sink teenage angst. It’s a zombie story, wearing a cardigan knitted by Morrissey That’s not to say it isn’t funny. No, In The Flesh is wryly funny, with moments of characteristically Northern Alan Bennett meets bWallace and Gromit bathos. A health visitor to former zombie/ Post-Deceased Syndrome sufferer Kieren refers to the “spot of bother” caused by the undead uprising one year earlier, while upbeat slogans and grinning corpses beam cheerily out of the NHS posters decorating the walls of the PDS rehabilitation centre.

The show’s family drama fabric is shot through with a thread of sardonic social observation. Political spin about reintegrating PDS sufferers into the community has failed to convince the remote village of Roarton, in which a group of extremist vigilantes still operates. Extremism has leaked in to fill the leadership gap, and the wounds on both sides of the fight are still raw. It’s into this rural locale that young Kieren (played affectingly by Luke Newberry) returns, painted with cover-up mousse and wearing iris-always contact lenses to help him fit in to a community that doesn’t want him.

Style-wise, director Johnny Campbell gives Kieren’s story a reflective feel. There are no manic, neon, freeze-frame shots edited to punky guitar riffs of the type usually thought to bring the teen demographic flocking. It’s subdued and realist in tone, Campbell’s camera quietly panning across desolated Northern landscapes and through desaturated housing estates. Fittingly, the direction frames In The Flesh more like a Paul Abbott drama than a yoof aimed violence-based caper, the latter of which is exactly what it isn’t, at least in episode one.

n The Flesh isn’t the first time we’ve seen stories told from the zombie perspective. 2007 US comedy Wasting Away and forgettable low-budget Brit flick Colin both went for the same trick, as does In The Flesh’s contemporary cinematic release, Warm Bodies. What distinguishes this modest-budget drama then, is that comedy (or, in the case of Warm Bodies, comedy and schmaltzy allegories for the redemptive power of love) isn’t its end goal. It’s a story about families, guilt, otherness, and prejudice told with uniquely British relish. It’s original, imaginative UK genre drama, and as such, we warmly welcome it to our screens. Just don’t expect chainsaws. Well, maybe a little one...



So, what has been the response you’ve gotten from the season finale? A great response. It’s been huge. I think people were expecting everybody to die, you know? We did have some deaths but it set up – season four is going to be more character-driven. You see how everybody’s changing, how Carl’s changing, Rick’s changing. What’s happened to us in season three, it’s been huge. Everybody’s personalities are going up in different directions. It’s going to come back to that, sort of like season one. Do you know what’s going to happen next? Our writers are very generous in that they bring you into the writers’ room and then they’re very clever at telling you absolutely nothing for about two hours. You’re in it you’re like, “yeah, yeah,” and you walk out and you’re like, “I have no f—ing idea what we’re going to do.” Are you reading the comic books in advance to get an idea? Well, the show’s kind of its own animal right now. It deviates a lot. There are certain characters I’m sure you’ll see sooner or later, and certain things, but it won’t be exactly like the comic books because they don’t want everyone to know exactly what’s going to happen. Were you surprised that the Governor lives? No, because I don’t think he’s reached his full Governorism yet, you know? I mean, the comic book villain is like the most hated comic-book villain, above the Joker. The biggest one ever. So I think he’s going to get meaner. In many ways it’s helpful for the show that there’s a villain that’s constant. It’s interesting because people that aren’t villains, may turn into villains, you know what I mean? Carl just shot a kid in the face. I think season four is going to be our best season, I really do. Our new showrunner – Glen [Mazzara] was amazing, and Frank [Darabont] was always amazing, but Scott [Gimple] is such a good writer. He’s got the whole thing plotted out already. I’m really excited to get going. We’ll start season four in May.



HORIZON ealed ev R s il a et D 4 n so a Se ’ d ea D g ‘Walkin Season 3 of The Walking Dead has come to a close, but just like the gruesome fate that potentially awaits each and every character, the series will return to stalk and torment those still counted among the living. But unlike the climax of season 2 – which teased viewers with a tantalizing and somewhat-foreboding glimpse of the prison – season 3 reached its conclusion with a slight sense of optimism (as Rick and the others welcomed the citizens of Woodbury into the prison), but no real indication of the direction The Walking Dead would be headed in season 4. In a series of interviews, comic book creator Robert Kirkman discussed the season 3 finale, the fate of Andrea, Milton and the Governor, as well as what fans can expect from the core group of survivors, now that they seem intent on making a go of it as a community in the prison.

Kirkman said:

While there have been certain “There’s some really, really cool and key deviations the series has big stuff that people have been expecttaken from the source ing, or that people have been anticipating material, e.g., Andrea’s from the comics, that will work into Season demise, Kirkman maintains 4. To give a hint, I will say that we do have that at least some of Tyreese and Rick, who are now united, season 4 will focus on the which is a big moment for the comic book dynamic between Rick and fans. There’s a lot of story that comes the recently welcomed from those two guys being on the Tyreese. same side. We’ll possibly see a bit of that in Season 4.”

But Rick aligning himself with Tyreese won’t be the only change fans will see in the character. According to Kirkman, Rick’s brief interaction with the Governor and the environment he created in Woodbury has caused Rick to re-think some aspects of how he intends to survive in this zombie-infested world, and what it means now that he’s decided to no longer keep everyone at arm’s length or, as we saw in ‘Clear,’ ignore a stranger’s plea for help.

“It’s going to be different in a lot of ways. We’ll see a very different Rick Grimes for one. His experiences against the Governor and with the various things that happened to him in season three are informing his character in huge ways. We’ll see a lot of familiar elements from season three: we’ll see the prison, Rick and his group are still in the same place but those elements are all going to be radically different. I can’t really get into it but season four is going to be extremely different than season three in some very startling This is the moment and cool ways. where Rick takes a turn; he’s no longer going to be pushing people away, he’s no longer going to be doing what ever he can to protect these people in ways that hurt other people. He’s not going to be the guy who would leave that guy on the side of the road — the backpack guy in Episode 12. He’s letting the people of Woodbury in and trying to tell Carl that these people are like us, you have to be open to this and the only way to survive in this world is to have people and be in a community. That’s going to be a big part of season four.”



ils Rev ‘Walking Dead’ Season 4 Deta

While Rick seems more intent on exploring his compassionate side, and possibly learning to grow a community, Carl has adopted a far more ruthless, kill-or-be-killed type of mentality. As evidenced by his merciless killing of a young man who appeared to have been surrendering, Carl’s shift into that of a child soldier has now yielded some negative results, and the youngster may soon find himself at an ideological crossroads with his father. In the closing moments of ‘Welcome “Rick’s got his work to the Tombs,’ we saw as Rick cut out for him. He’s aware of welcomed not only Tyreese and this and he sees what allowing his Sasha into the fold, but he also son to become a child soldier has brought the people of Woodbury brought, which is a very big part of Season to the prison. There have been 4. Moving forward in the show, this is a guy questions circulating as to why the who’s working as hard as he can to maintain decision was made to stay in the a life for this child. [In] the process of survivprison, rather than the relatively ing… he’s allowed his son to lose a pretty normal confines of Woodbury, but substantial piece of his humanity. It’s now Kirkman says the continued threat of a question of: Is there going back? Is the Governor makes the prison the this now status quo? These are more sensible choice for Rick and the the things that a father will others. have to deal with.”

And while the comic creator acknowledges the next season’s storyline will begin at the prison, there’s no guarantee that is where it will end. Season 4 of The Walking Dead will premiere this fall on AMC.

“They see the prison as something that is much more easily defended than Woodbury. They were able to get into Woodbury easily themselves. The Woodbury defenses are very effective against zombies, but not very effective against humans. They see [the prison] as much more of a defensible position.”

“There’s always going to be new locations and new places to discover and explore. I don’t want to reveal too much; Season 4 is still five months away. But I will say that as we see at the end of Season 3 we’re definitely going to start Season 4 at the prison. We may be there the whole season and we may not be… But there are going to be some big differences from Season 3.”



Dead Seaso g in lk a W e Th In st a C r a St e ‘The Wir Larry Gilliard Jr, who played D’Angelo Barksdale in The Wire, has signed up for a regular role in season four of The Walking Dead. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gilliard will play the role of former Army medic Bob Stookey, a character from Robert Kirkman’s original comic book series. In the comics, Stookey was is an alcoholic resident of Woodbury who saved The Governor’s life after his torture by Michonne. Even the Governor seemed surprised he actually managed it. The official character description from the casting call for the TV Stookey described him as a “former army medic who is deeply haunted by his past — pre- and post-zombie apocalypse. As a result, he’s a bit of a loner, although he maintains a charming, self deprecating, confident public face.”

SEASON 4 STAFF CHANGES AMC officially stated that The Walking Dead writer Scott M. Gimple would be taking the reins as showrunner from the departing Glen Mazzara. But according to the network, Gimple isn’t the only one on the Walking Dead staff getting a promotion; co-executive producer and special effects makeup guru Greg Nicotero and producer Tom Luse have also been officially bumped up to executive producer status on the show. How the shifting of personnel will affect the season 4 storyline (and beyond) is anyone’s guess, but as for the principles involved, i.e., Robert Kirkman and Joel Stillerman, AMC’s executive vice president of original programming, a sense of optimism abounds.

Kirkman said: “Scott has been an essential part of this show since he came aboard at the very beginning of season two. He’s contributed to guiding this show in a substantial way that has resulted in a lot of the key scenes and storylines fans have dubbed signature moments of ‘The Walking Dead.’ I am thrilled to begin work on a brand new season of ‘The Walking Dead’ with Scott at the helm, and I truly believe we could be embarking on what will be the best season of this show yet.”

”Scott’s voice has been an integral one since he joined the show. Greg Nicotero is a true artist whose work is simply brilliant. And, Tom Luse has really created the machine that allows this very large show to get made week-to-week. We congratulate all three in their new roles on the series and look forward to ramping up production on season four.”

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University final brief, TV show magazine based on a different show per episodes beginning with the walking dead *disclaimer - photographic...