The Walking Dead Week – in case you missed it

So, the first episode of season 8 of The Walking Dead has landed and it was a stonker.

Yes, you may say that it’s impossible to keep the pace up without finishing the whole story this season. That’s not the point. Let us have our moment. Our moment of suspended disbelief that we aren’t going to have two episodes dedicated to a character that, right now, we’ve never seen before.

In case you missed the build up, here are a handful of articles from the last week covering all things The Walking Dead:

Surprising appearances of The Walking Dead stars

Weird and Wonderful Merchandise – Part 2

Video Game Review – The Walking Dead: Michonne (Telltale Games, 2016)

All the trailers

The Walking Dead: The Board Game (Z-Man Games)

The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One (Telltale Games, 2012)

The Walking Dead: Road To Survival (Scopely, 2015)

Top Moments of The Walking Dead TV Show

The Music of The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Weird and Wonderful Merchandise

Fear The Walking Dead: Series 1, Episode 1 (Scott Dow, 2015)

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A bunch of spoiler-free The Walking Dead articles to read

Annoyed that your friends are all over social media putting hints about what happened in the first episode of The Walking Dead season 7?

Look no further.

About a year ago I wrote a bunch of articles in the run up to the start of Fear the Walking Dead debuting. Granted, that show went off the rails and I can’t remember where I’m up to with it, but the articles are here for all to read.

Here’s a link to everything so you can fill your afternoon with zombie goodness without getting any spoilers (other than maybe ruining FTWD S01E01).

Have fun!

The Walking Dead: The Board Game (Z-Man Games)

The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One (Telltale Games, 2012)

The Walking Dead: Road To Survival (Scopely, 2015)

Top Moments of The Walking Dead TV Show

The Music of The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Weird and Wonderful Merchandise

Fear The Walking Dead: Series 1, Episode 1 (Scott Dow, 2015)

The Walking Dead Week – Overview

Over the last week Cinema Etc. has been dedicated to a range of articles on The Walking Dead. Hopefully you enjoyed it! In case you missed anything, here are some links to the articles:

The Walking Dead: The Board Game (Z-Man Games)
The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One (Telltale Games, 2012)
The Walking Dead: Road To Survival (Scopely, 2015)
Top Moments of The Walking Dead TV Show
The Music of The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead: Weird and Wonderful Merchandise
Fear The Walking Dead: Series 1, Episode 1 (Scott Dow, 2015)

Enjoy!!

Fear The Walking Dead – Series 1, Episode 1 (Scott Dow, 2015)

It’s an interesting prospect, this new series. The Walking Dead itself wasn’t spectacularly popular on its original debut run, though thankfully AMC stuck with it and had faith in the comic to the point where it was given a lot of breathing space and has become one of the biggest sleeper success stories on TV this decade. Plenty of people who would never watch a zombie film have tried out an episode and found it to be much more than a gore-fest, with characters afforded the time to develop without the two-hour constraint a movie imposes on them.

When this series was announced many months ago, it seemed like an odd choice. Everyone was happy to follow Rick Grimes and his band of merry survivors as they loosely followed a path set out by the comics. This would be a new series, following a completely different set of survivors in a completely different area of the same country. Why should we care about them? Doesn’t Rick eventually jus any other group anyway, so the fate of anyone we see is ultimately sealed anyway? As the plot and approach were slowly revealed, mega-fans were somewhat appeased and given hope that the new series would actually be able to survive on its own two feet.In this first feature length episode, we are introduced to a highly dysfunctional family living on the wrong side of Los Angeles. School councillor Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) lives with her two children: over-archiving Alicia (Alycia Debnam Carey) and drug-addict Nick (Frank Dillane). Also living with them is Madison’s boyfriend Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis), a teacher at her school. The episode opens with Nick waking from a drug comedown and seeing what we know is an early sign of the oncoming zombie apocalypse. Running outside, he is panicked and quickly finds himself run over and ends up in hospital. However, given his frame of mind, nobody believes him, least of all his family, who all think he is going insane.

One of the big promises made by the series creators in the early days of the promotional material was that it would provide a cause of the zombie apocalypse. That is hinted at in the first episode and will no doubt be looked at further in the future.

Did it live up to the hype? Honesty, it’s too hard to say at this point. They’ve laid the groundwork for what could be an excellent series, or it could be seen as a slow start to a series that won’t speed up too much as it needs to stretch out the five weeks between the start of the apocalypse and where the main Walking Dead series started in earnest. The dynamics between the four main characters were on show already and it has to grow quickly to retain the attention of the many millions of viewers that have already tuned in.

AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead will continue next week at 9pm.

The Walking Dead: Weird and Wonderful Merchandise

As with any hugely popular TV series, there’s always a big attempt to get its fans to part with their hard earned money by any means necessary. The Walking Dead is no exception. Check out these weird and wonderful items that could be yours if you have more money than sense.

Bland Officially Licensed Socks

Why wouldn’t you want to put some cool images from The Walking Dead on your feet? Imagine the heads of zombies exploding as a bullet impacted on their undead skulls. What about the mixture of fear and anger Michonne has when seeking revenge on The Governor? Or, maybe you’d prefer a picture of Andrew Lincoln portraying Rick Grimes pensively looking out into the distance whilst crouching in the middle of nowhere? No? Oh… Pick them up here.

Shit socks? Yes please.

Shit socks? Yes please.

The Walking Dead Comic-Con Exclusive Zombie Burst Guitar

Yours for just £329 plus shipping, this guitar will make you the envy of all your friends who will sit back and think “I wish I was so rich that I could blow so much money on a terrible-looking guitar and think it was a good idea.”

“This would look great alongside my CSI: Miami saxophone”

Michonne Sword Letter Opener

If you’re asking yourself “Why?”, I say to you “Why not?”. Then I laugh and say “No seriously, why?”

Available for just $89.99.

His success had gone to his head.

His success had gone to his head.

Rick Grimes Resin Deluxe Boxed Statue

Clearly the $350 asking price on the official website didn’t put many people off. It has to be said, this looks spectacular. It’s a lot of money to spend on something like this, but of all of the comic book range of toys and collectibles, this is up there with the best.

A collectible as bad-ass as the man it portrays.

A collectible as bad-ass as the man it portrays.

The Walking Dead Plain Logo T-Shirt

Another stylish piece of merchandise is this, a nice, plain and simple logo t-shirt that really works in the charcoal grey colour. There are plenty of other options with catchphrases and other gimmicks, but if you want something more subtle then this is what you need. It will set you back $19.99.

Simple and stylish clothing for fans of the comic.

Simple and stylish clothing for fans of the comic.

Stern Pinball Machine

Not much to say here, but if you’re sitting in the middle of a Venn Diagram that consists of the categories “Loves The Walking Dead”, “Loves Pinball”, “Has too much money” and “Had no sense” then this is the product for you.

Yours for just $7495. I would if I could.

SUCH A SUPPLE WRIIIIIST!

SUCH A SUPPLE WRIIIIIST!

The Walking Dead Battle Scene Wallet

This may be more within your price range. A mere $20 will get you this stylish wallet inspired by the All Out War story arc of the comic book series. It will be cool to get hold of it now and then when the story kicks in early next year in the television show you can say “It was much better in the comics” as you whip out your cool wallet and pay for a mug of smug.

Both cool and practical.

Both cool and practical.

Check back tomorrow for a review of the first episode of Fear The Walking Dead, the new series that premieres on the BT-exclusive AMC channel.

The Walking Dead: Road To Survival (Scopely, 2015)

Robert Kirkman has just taken to the official The Walking Dead Twitter account to reveal a new free-to-play game available from the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Titled Road To Survival, it is a global strategy game that focuses on The Governor period of the story timeline. The visuals are a sort of full-colour beefed-up interpretation of the comic book, but looks of the same universe.

Hear Robert Kirkman talking about it here.

Have you played it yet? Is it any good?

The Walking Dead: The Board Game (Z-Man Games)

The first installment of The Walking Dead week looks at the most original of the Walking Dead board games out there, simply titled The Walking Dead: The Board Game.

The aim of the game is relatively straightforward. You take control of one of the main characters from the early parts of the series: Rick, Glenn, Shane, Tyreese, Andrea or Dale. You have to take your character, along with any number of followers (you start with one) and scout out three locations on the playing board from a possible four: three public locations and one private location. Each location has a list of criteria you need to meet and each character has a special ability to help your team along the way. Achieve this before anyone else on the board and you’re crowned the overall winner.

The game does its best to throw you off. Each time you try to collect resources (petrol, food or ammo) you have to pick up an encounter card. Using the abilities indicated on your party’s individual cards, you may have to try to fend off a zombie attack, trick your rival players into giving you a boost or roll the dice and see if you meet a specific criteria. The results of winning can be hugely varied. Sometimes it simply means you survive, other times you pick up a new follower (probably the most effective way to win).

Each time you move your character you leave behind a zombie token with a mystery number underneath. This is the number of zombies you must kill if you are to pass through that space in future. This doesn’t sound too bad, but if you have a key public location that is being surrounded by players, these tokens rapidly build up. Furthermore, if you are in desperate times you may choose to use one of your ammo resources and fire a machine gun into the zombie battle you are facing. This allows you to roll an extra dice but means there’s a 50% chance you will be fully surrounded by zombies. As you can guess, the more people playing the game, the faster the board fills up with zombie tokens. It makes for an interesting game.

The design of the game is beautiful and ties in perfectly with the style of the comic book. The character design might not appear familiar to those who only watch the TV series, but those who prefer the comic book will be delighted at the great job they’ve done here.

One drawback is the lack of storage inside the box. You’re going to need to buy these small plastic resealable bags. If you don’t you can add five minutes of setting-up time each time you play to overcome the fact all your counters and tokens are now jumbled up.

Another flaw is that the game rules aren’t explicitly clear, meaning the FAQ section of their website is full of answers to questions you’ve probably been asking after as little as one game. This could have been avoided by having a little more clarity in the user guide, a simple task for a relatively simple game.

Overall, this is a fantastic purchase for fans of the series, especially if you have a large group of friends who all love board games.

The Walking Dead: The Board Game is available to purchase now.