Series 3 of zombie-apocalypse-drama-action-horror TV show The Walking Dead is finally back under way, and is the best yet. Based on a long-running comic book series, the show has always been unique on TV, mixing a healthy dose of tension and gore with drama, with some episodes consisting entirely of conversations between characters.
However, too many conversations were a problem many felt plagued series 2, generally regarded as a slow year for the show, with storylines dragging and the lack of zombies proving problematic. Ending with a strong finale, and promises of a more action-packed third instalment, it wasn’t a total waste.
Fast-forward to the present day, and those promises have been more than met, they’ve been exceeded. Rick Grimes and his band of merry survivors have changed. They’ve become hardened warriors, who’re used to caving in the undead’s heads and move as one, quickly and quietly through the wastelands that are now the suburbs of the apocalypse. This is illustrated in the brilliant, almost wordless opening sequence in the first episode, which set the tone for the remainder of what we’ve seen thus far.
Eventually setting their sights on a abandoned prison, they decide to occupy it, only to be confronted by deadly waves of zombies, and even worse, the leftover prisoners, cold-hearted criminals who’ve stayed alive for months in the canteen. This leads to high-octane, action that is as bloody and tense as it has gotten in the 3 years of its lifespan. Heads are torn apart, guts sent flying and the red stuff everywhere.
Then we flip to new character Michonne, who’s fond of travelling with two personal ‘guards’, a couple of her ex-boyfriends, who’ve lost their jaws and arms so as not to attack their master. Michonne herself has picked up Andrea, one of Rick’s old adversary’s, who’d had enough of the struggle that was their daily life. Now they’ve stumbled across another newbie, the self-proclaimed ‘Governor’, played by Englishman David Morrissey, and he’s another meaty character, that promises a lot. He’s in charge of a fully-working town, reminiscent of something out of the 50’s, a ‘perfect’ town. So perfect, that something is wrong, hinted at by the creepy ending of episode 3, where he resides in his sick ‘zombie head’ room. It’s interesting, intriguing and breaking new bounds for the show, going deeper than the tension and horror that the zombies provide.
Skip forward to future plot points: Are Rick and Lori every going to be friends again? What’s going to happen to Lori during childbirth? Is Rick going to hold it together as a cold-hearted killer? And what, just what, is going to happen to Rick and his group when The Governor and his band of mercenaries find them?
So many questions, fortunately we have a lot of The Walking Dead to go, if it continues at this rate, it’s going to be a cracker!