DVD Review: Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete First Season - Out Now

Fear the Walking DeadFear the Walking Dead, which premiered on AMC this summer, is a spin-off of the network's hit series The Walking Dead; however, you don't have to have seen the original to enjoy this series. Fear starts off as a sort of prequel, taking place during the time leading up to and during the early days of the apocalypse, though how the rest of the series will be paced in relation to the original series' time line remains unknown.

The series, set in Los Angeles, depicts what happens when the zombie apocalypse first breaks out, and how people react.

Fear the Walking DeadThe story opens with Nick (Frank Dillane) as he wakes up in an abandoned church/drug den and can't find his friend, Gloria. During his search he stumbles upon dead bodies, as well as Gloria, who's been stabbed, eating off someone's face, before she turns to go after him. Nick, still high, runs out, where he is then hit by a car.

Meanwhile, his family members continue on with their normal lives. His sister, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), readies for school. His mother, Madison (Kim Dickens), the guidance counselor, and her newly live-in boyfriend, Travis (Cliff Curtis), a teacher, also start their day, until they are interrupted by a call from the hospital.

There is of course family drama over the drugs, without discussion at first on what he saw, Nick assuming what he saw was a hallucination from the drugs.

The drama continues as more characters are introduced. Travis has a son of his own, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), who doesn't want to spend time with his father, but would rather stay with his ex-wife, Liza (Elizabeth Rodriguez).

Nick later escapes the hospital, and things quickly go from bad to worse as the news picks up stories of people being killed who won't die, and in an instant, the world as they knew it would never be the same again.

The undead, of course, cause riots and other craziness, which is when the characters up with the Salazar family. They must all ban together to navigate their new world, as the military enter the picture and things continue to decline.

Fear the Walking DeadIf you are a fan of the original series, you might expect the show to have a similar tone, but there is quite a bit that is different. The people don't know how to deal with the craziness as the world shuts down. The setting of Los Angeles is also quite different to the roads and woods the original gang inhabit, and is, of course, just at the beginning of its destruction.

The special affects, not surprisingly, are stand out, as you would expect from Greg Nicotero and his team, although, the walkers (here called "infected") have a different look to them, as they are "fresher."

The show also moves at a slower pace than the original. I'm sure part of this was the intension, but as a fan of the original, I did think the series seemed to drag at times. There is a lot of time spent dealing with losing the idea of a normal life, as well as drama within the fractured family. There is also a lot of teen drama, especially with Alicia, who is quite annoying at times, though probably truthful in her teenage reactions. All in all, it was slow hitting its pace, but by the end of the season you start to see the true potential, which is to be another fantastic horror series.

Bonus Features - There are only two small bonus features:

A Look at the Series - This special feature is under five minutes and is of the producers and cast overviewing the series and characters, as well as a small bit about the effects and the infected being fresher than on the original series.

Inside the Characters - This feature is under three minutes and is more information about the characters from more of the actors.


The blu-ray set comes in the normal blue clamshell case with cardboard slip cover. There is a single sheet insert with an ad for the series, as well as for the original series, on the flip-side. There is no listing of what is on each of the two discs; however, the last two episodes and the special features are on the second disc.

Fear the Walking Dead, although not quite up to par with the original series as of yet, is a great companion series to it and worth the watch. However, unless you are desperate to see the episodes, or would prefer what is likely a less expensive version, I would suggest to hold off on buying until the special edition set is released in 2016, as the bonus features on this set are not in depth and add almost nothing to the experience.

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