The Walking Dead Week – All the Season 8 trailers

San Diego Comic Con Trailer

When The Walking Dead Season 8 trailer landed a couple of months ago,  we were promised a lot without really finding out too much that we didn’t either now or expect.

The series returns in full next week on October 22nd and the hope is for an increase in pace over the previous series.

The over-arching feeling with this trailer is that Season 8 will be full of pace, a clear reaction to the backlash from Season 7. The Negan into ‘All Out War’ story arc is probably the most interesting in the comic book series and in hindsight it felt a bit like they didn’t want a huge blow-out of fun by racing towards the war part too fast. What we ended up with is a season that felt entertaining but failed to keep the pace. With interest dropping throughout the first half of the season, they ended up with viewing figures around that of Season 3, indicative of the waning interest in something Fox considers to be a flagship show.

Season 8 looks like the series will get a much-needed shot of adrenaline. The hope is that there will be a big push to the end of All Out War will probably happen throughout the series.

The big reveal was the final shot of a much older Rick hobbling around with a walking stick and a big old beard. This is absolutely no surprise to the enthusiastic comic readers, who know that at the end of the All Out War story arc we get a jump forward of several years to a community very different to the one we know. This clearly has to happen, but it remains to be seen in what order. One theory is that they could set the entire series there, with the remainder of the All Out War storyline told through flashbacks. This would negate the extremely slow pacing of the several issues where everyone is happy and content in a newly-stable world, but it would probably ruin the fun of the conclusion of All Out War.

The big question for Fox is whether or not they think the series will last that long.

New York Comic Con Sneak Peek

A couple of weeks ago at New York Comic Con there was a huge panel and that included a sneak peek at a scene with Carl Grimes. It’s one of those annoying sneak peeks that reveals almost nothing whilst still being a sturdy reminder of all the small things fans love about the series.

We see Carl searching an abandoned gas station for supplies, before realising he isn’t alone. An anonymous man is heard rambling about nothing, seemingly talking to himself. Weaving between cars, he works out where the voice is coming from and as the scene finishes we see him resolving to make a move, raising his gun and shouting “Hands up!”.

And scene.

It doesn’t really match up with a particular point on the timeline and could sit anywhere in the series. Essentially, they’re screwing with us.

New York Comic Con Panel

This is a pretty long video, totalling over 50 minutes. They cover a lot of ground so it’s impossible to summarise everything, but a few things were mentioned that are of interest. Here’s the best bits:

  • There will be a cross-over between The Walking Dead main series and sister series Fear The Walking Dead. Show creator Robert Kirkman said: “There is one character that is going to go from one show, that I will not name, to another show, that I will not name. This is a huge event in the world of The Walking Dead.” This will have fans of the main series scrambling to catch up on Fear, which has managed to lose 7m viewers in its. He seemed to hint that this would take the form of a backstory for a main character in the main show playing out in Fear The Walking Dead, though he was suitably vague.
  • Andrew Lincoln said on Rick Grimes in Season 7: “(He) gets his strut back.” Which is what we want to hear.
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan said about Negan: “He brings a little special spice… This year we get to explore some slices of what Negan’s past is. Robert created this guy that makes it hard to not like him… He has a certain flair and panache that is needed… And he’s f*cking smart!” It’ll be interesting to see what parts of his history we get to explore this season.
  • Carol is ready to fight. And bake.
  • Enid actress Katelyn Nacon was a featured member of the panel. This could be a great thing or a terrible thing for the character. Enid seems out of place alongside Rick, Carol, Jesus, Negan and Daryll. She’s either going to get promoted to a more prominent role, or she could be about to bite the dust and is getting a bit of glory before she disappears from our screens.

It is essential viewing for all Walking Dead fans and it covers a lot of ground. It’s like the best episodes of The Talking Dead you’ve ever seen. Apart from maybe the one after Glenn died.

The Walking Dead Week returns to Cinema, Etc.

The Walking Dead returns to our screens on Monday 23rd October(or a day earlier if you’re in the US!). It will fill a void that Fear The Walking Dead has been attempting to plug since the Season 7 finale back in April.

Over the next week there will be a handful of articles covering different aspects of the show to hopefully whet your appetite ahead of what promises to be the most entertaining series we’ve seen yet.

First up is a summary of everything we’ve seen from the trailers and other preview material. I really hope you like The Walking Dead…

Top Moments of The Walking Dead TV Show

Before you start reading, this is obviously going to be full of spoilers. So if you aren’t right up to date with the end of Season 5 then you’re probably better off just going elsewhere. You’ve been warned.

The Walking Dead TV series has been on our screens for five years now and there have been some great moments. The show has generally been exceptional throughout bar a couple of dull moments – including the entire second season – but the length of the show has allowed the writers to really explore the zombie horror genre in a way never before attempted.

This article highlights a handful of the high points so far.

Rick Finds Out (S03E04 – “Killer Within”)

The main goal for Rick throughout the entire series is to protect his family. This is the moment Rick finds out Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), his wife, has died in childbirth. The group had finally got to the point where they had some level of stability and it was obvious that his hope was that they could remain in the prison and he could start to raise his child in some kind of normality.

Andrew Lincoln’s acting in this scene is absolutely top drawer. The finishing touch comes at the end as he finally breaks down and falls to the floor, amongst the other zombies, representing that his reason for living has died. It was a poignant moment that reminded the viewers they weren’t just watching a zombie action series.

Zombie Merle (S03E15 – “This Sorrowful Life”)

Because it made Daryl cry, which sort of made us cry.

The Death of Hershel (S04E08 – “Too Far Gone”)

The shocking death of a beloved character in any series is always hard to take, but the nature of Hershel’s death was up there with the worst. He had been on a journey from the first time we met him and was the father figure to many of the central characters, not just his actual daughters. The upside of it was that the hatred for The Governor grew even more, making Michonne’s revenge even sweeter.

Rick’s One-Liner (S04E16 – “A”)

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has been the focal point of the entire the series, as he has grown from small-town policeman to the authoritative sheriff-figure he has become. Along the way, he’s also provided us with some great one-liners. None were finer than the final line of Season 4 when the survivors had found themselves tricked into a corner at Terminus. As the cliffhanger approached and viewers wondered how they were going to wind it up, Rick chirped up with the line “They’re going to feel pretty stupid when they find out… they’re fucking with the wrong people.”

The only shame was that some airings of it changed the profanity to “screwing”, which doesn’t bode well for Negan. Also, this same episode featured an attempted rape of a 12-year-old boy and Rick chewing a man’s throat out. That was fine for TV, by the way.

Season Five Opener (S05E01 – “No Sanctuary”)

We thought the group would be fine after a determined rallying cry from our main man, but twenty minutes into the following season opener we were again watching from behind the cushions as four main character (Rich, Daryl, Glenn and Bob, the latter of which suddenly seemed a bit of a red coat) stared death in the face. That would be death by beheading, by the way. As the executioner made his way along the line, some brilliant acting from our four heroes galvanised the scene to breaking point, only for Carol (Melissa McBride) to save the day. What a way to welcome us back to the world for another 16 episodes.

A cheap way to get into The Walking Dead at your own pace is the Season 1-4 boxset, available on Blu-Ray for a reasonable price now. Of course, this is already out-of-date and will become even more out-of-date as more episodes are released. Another alternative is to get Amazon Prime Video, which is home to the series.

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

One way to further your total immersion into the Walking Dead universe is to take on the emotionally-tiring episodic video game series from Telltale Games. Be warned: do not attempt if you have a history of heart conditions.

Whilst most modern games push for bigger and better graphics, more epic explosions, larger guns and loud noises, this take on the interactive adventure genre instead induces panic by forcing the player to make incredibly tough decisions in a snapshot of time without much prior warning.

The action takes place in the events immediately after the outbreak of the apocalypse in the same Atlanta locations as the early parts of the comic and TV series. You take control of convicted murderer Lee Everett, a character we are yet to meet in any other canonical Walking Dead media, as he comes to terms with the loss of his family, whilst trying to keep himself and young girl Clementine alive.

The character Clementine is the masterstroke of the game, giving it an emotional edge seldom seen in video games. The decisions made aren’t on the level of which zombie to kill first to keep us alive, but rather how can Lee earn the trust of Clementine to make sure she sides with him and can be kept safe. In this way, whilst there are always choices to be made, there is a tendency to take the moral high-ground and sensible options to ensure the right impression is made at all times.

Decision, decisions.

Decision, decisions.

This is easier said than done. Often the prompt to make a decision flashes on the screen and a button input must be made immediately. There may be four options displayed but there is always the fifth option available too: doing nothing at all often leads to the worst outcome. Mild panic ensues each time the decision prompt appears – a great way to keep players on edge.

There are some nice touches, with several familiar characters appearing to help Lee and Clementine on their early missions. Hershel, his son Shawn and Glenn appear, though these are the only ones seen in the first game.

The game was released as an episodic series in 2012 in five parts, with the 400 Days DLC released soon after. As a result, each episode is left on a slight cliffhanger, a nice touch that makes it necessary to go back for the next part (much like the comic and television series).

Stylistically, it stands on its own away from the designs of the comics and the TV series. Yet, somehow it inhabits both worlds. This is testament to both the design team and the guidance offered by the fully realised world of the source material.

As an immersive experience, The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One is one of the most accomplished video games this genre has ever seen. If you’ve completed it, you can always check out Season Two and the upcoming Michonne DLC, due in December.

The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One is available to purchase as a Game of the Year Edition, featuring all episodes and DLC, now.