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‘Walking Dead’ and ‘Fear’ prequel-spinoff: Twice the zombie apocalypse

By: - Writing Editor
/ 12:57 AM October 16, 2015
“FEAR the Walking Dead” cast (from left): Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, Alycia Debnam-Carey and Frank Dillane

“FEAR the Walking Dead” cast (from left): Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, Alycia Debnam-Carey and Frank Dillane

“The Walking Dead” is back for a sixth season, but a month and a half prior to that, viewers got to see the early days of the zombie apocalypse in “Fear the Walking Dead,” reruns of which air Mondays, 10 p.m., on cable channel AMC.

The spinoff-prequel, hot on the heels of the hit monster drama, gives an ominous look at the beginning of the end times. While it doesn’t reveal what triggered the cataclysm and where it truly started, the series zeroes in on the havoc in California.

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With only six episodes, “Fear” establishes a dismal, disconcerting tone that the seminal series is known for, but through its all-new cast of characters, it gives an exclusive glimpse of the breakdown of that shared world’s society.

The crumbling is witnessed firsthand by a drug-addicted teen, Nick (Frank Dillane), who eventually encounters the undead with his mom Madison (Kim Dickens) and her boyfriend Travis (Cliff Curtis).

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“Fear the Walking Dead,” like its predecessor, has its share of figures that viewers can easily gravitate to or be repulsed by; the twists and turns could be less predictable and more grand, but for such a short first season, it’s already presented crucial familial scenarios and the devastation on a bigger, multi-community level. Only time will tell if the show  gains a rabid following similar to the old series.

“THE WALKING Dead” actors Andrew Lincoln (left) and Chandler Riggs

“THE WALKING Dead” actors Andrew Lincoln (left) and Chandler Riggs

With a bang

“The Walking Dead,” meanwhile, starts Season 6 with a bang. Toughened ex-cop Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and company show the sheltered community of Alexandria ways to deal with the threat posed by undead “walkers” outside their walls.

Unknown to the newly merged groups, however, malevolent human survivors called “The Wolves” are stalking and targeting the denizens of Alexandria.

The new villains are in for a rude awakening—Rick’s small “tribe” previously disposed of other human threats, including merciless cannibals and brutal megalomaniacs—but The Wolves are bound to inflict severe damage soon.

The show, airing on Fox (Mondays at 11:35 a.m. and 8:55 p.m.), features a mix of characters from the source comic book series and entirely new ones. Many that appeared previously are reimagined for the show, including major antagonists. Despite the unpredictability of this separate TV world, key situations and plots are often inspired by those from its previous print incarnation.

Both shows have tremendously talented actors who help make their realms feel authentic—and the two connected series offer, through its harrowing and dreary survival dramas, varying degrees of catharsis and straightforward horror.

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TAGS: Entertainment, Fear, Television, The Walking Dead
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