The Walking Dead (TV series)

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The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead 2010 logo.svg
Genre Post-apocalyptic
Zombie apocalypse
Horror
Drama
Developed by Frank Darabont
Starring Andrew Lincoln
Jon Bernthal
Sarah Wayne Callies
Laurie Holden
Jeffrey DeMunn
Steven Yeun
Chandler Riggs
Norman Reedus
Melissa McBride
Composer(s) Bear McCreary
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 67 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Frank Darabont
Gale Anne Hurd
David Alpert
Robert Kirkman
Charles H. Eglee
Glen Mazzara
Location(s) Atlanta, Georgia
Cinematography David Boyd
Rohn Schmidt
Running time 66 minutes (2 episodes)
45 minutes
Production company(s) AMC Studios
Circle of Confusion
Darkwood Productions
Valhalla Motion Pictures
Distributor AMC
Fox International Channels
Broadcast
Original channel AMC
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD)
Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (Blu-ray)
Original run October 31, 2010 (2010-10-31) – present
Other websites
Official website

The Walking Dead is an American horror television series. It was created for television by Frank Darabont. The series is based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard.

The series stars Andrew Lincoln as sheriff's deputy[1] Rick Grimes. Rick wakes up after being in a coma to find the world is filled with "walkers". These walkers are similar to the zombies of George A. Romero's horror movies. He leaves to find his family and other people who are still alive.

The Walking Dead was first broadcast on October 31, 2010. on the cable television channel AMC in the United States.[2] The second season of the series was first shown on October 16, 2011.[3][4] After the second episode of season 2, AMC said that there would be a third season.[5] After the mid-season finale of season 3, AMC said that there would be a fourth season.[6]

The series has been liked by critics.[7][8] It has been nominated for many awards. These include a Writers Guild of America Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination for "Best Television Series Drama".[9][10] It has won one Emmy Award. The series has also had very good Nielsen ratings. The rating for the series have set many records for a cable series. For example, 9 million people watched its season two finale (last episode of the season). This made it the most-watched basic cable drama telecast in history.[11]

Series overview[change | change source]

The Walking Dead is based on the comic book series of the same name. It tells the story of a small group of people living in a zombie apocalypse.[12] Most of the story takes place in the near Atlanta, Georgia. The group looks for safe place which is not near the very large groups of deadly zombies. The zombies are called "walkers" in the series. Walkers will eat any living thing they can catch. They also infect anything they bite. The first episode deals mainly with the problems the group have as they try to keep their humanity and still survive.

The group is led by Rick Grimes. He was a sheriff's deputy[1] before the zombies. The group must always deal with the horror and danger of the walkers. They must also deal with changes in their group as new people join them and others are killed.

Season 1 (2010)[change | change source]

Season one is about Rick Grimes as he tries to find his family and take them to safety. The series starts with Rick waking up from a coma. He awakes to a world overrun with the walking dead ("walkers"). Rick leaves the hospital. He goes to his home and learns that his wife and son are not there. Rick hears a rumour from a fellow survivor. He goes to the police station and gets weapons. He goes to Atlanta. He was told that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a "safe-zone" in the city. He thinks this is where his family would have gone. During his travel, Rick sees the damage to both society and infrastructure caused by the disaster. When he gets to Atlanta, he sees that the city is overrun by the undead. It is no longer a safe zone.

A few miles outside the city, Rick's wife Lori and son Carl have been hiding from the walkers with Shane Walsh. Shane was a deputy who worked with Rick. He was also his best friend. Shane and Lori are in a camp with a small group of survivors. Rick meets Glenn in the city. Glenn helps him leave Atlanta and takes him to the camp where he finds Lori and Carl. Rick takes command of the group with Shane. Part of the group goes back into Atlanta to get weapons. While there, they have a conflict with other survivors. When the group returns to their camp, they find that many walkers are now there. One of their group is injured and needs medical treatment. The group chooses to go back to Atlanta and try to get help from the CDC.

Only one person is left in the CDC. This person is Dr. Edwin Jenner. Everyone else has either left or killed themselves. Dr. Jenner tells the group that his research into the infection has not led to a cure. The CDC building is not the safe place the group thought it would be. The next day, the safety protocols are started when there is not enough fuel for the generators. An explosion will destroy the CDC. The explosion is to stop the escape of any deadly diseases in the CDC. Dr. Jenner tells the group that the French may have found a cure. He thinks this is possible since they survived the longest in their labs. Dr. Jenner choses to stay in the CDC and die in the explosion. A member of the group, Andrea, tries to stay as well. Her sister Amy had just died and Andrea did not want to live anymore. Dale stays with her. He tells her that if she does not leave, he will not leave also. To stop him from dying, Andrea choses to leave with the group. Before the group leaves, Dr. Jenner whispers something into Rick's ear. The group leave just as the CDC explodes.

Season 2 (2011–2012)[change | change source]

The second season starts with Rick and his group leaving the CDC. They think that they should go to Fort Benning. While going there, they find that I-85 is blocked by many empty vehicles. The group searches some of the vehicles and takes things that could be useful. While they are searching, a very large group of walkers moves along the road towards them. They have to hide under the vehicles so the walkers do not see them. Sophia is seen by a walker and runs into the woods to get away from it. After the walkers leave, the group starts to look for Sophia. During the search, Carl is shot by a man hunting a deer. Otis, the man who shot Carl, takes Rick and Shane to a large farm. The farm is owned by a veterinarian named Hershel Greene. Hershel removes the bullet from Carl. The group go to the farm while Carl heals. Secrets and issues about who should lead the group causes problems. During this time, many relationships are dealt with and the group continues to look for Sophia. Glenn starts a romantic relationship with one of Hershel's daughters, Maggie. He learns that Hershel's barn is full of walkers. Some of these are Hershel´s family members. Hershel thinks they are just sick and could be cured someday. When Shane lets the walkers out of the barn and the group shoots them all. After the last of the walkers is killed, one last walker leaves the barn. It is Sophia. She is then shot by Rick.

Hershel tells Rick and his group that they have to leave his farm. Rick and Glenn go looking for Hershel. They find him in a local tavern. He is drinking large amounts of alcohol. After trying to get Hershel to go back to the farm, two other men enter the bar. They are with another group of survivors. This meeting does not go well and both men are killed in a gunfight. Other members of the group the dead men were with come looking for them. They find Rick, Hershel, and Glenn at the bar and begin shooting at them. The noise of the guns attracts a large group of walkers. While trying to get away from the walkers, the other group leaves one of their group, Randal, behind. Rick does not want to leave Randal to be killed by walkers. He cover his eyes and take him to the farm. Once they get him to the farm, they think that he could lead the rest of his group to the farm. Rick wants to drive Randall far away and set him free. While He and Shane are doing this, they are attacked by walkers when Rick and Shane get into a fight. Before the walkers attacked, Randall tells Rick and Shane that he knew Maggie. He knows where the farm is at. Rick thinks the location of the farm should be a secret to keep them safe. Since Randal knows where it is, they take him back to the farm until they know what to do with him. Rick and Shane talk about the fact that they will probably have to kill Randal. Back at the farm, Hershel's daughter Beth tries to kill herself. Seeing so many people in her family die, she does not want to live in this world anymore. The group talks about what to do with Randall. Only Dale thinks they should not kill him. While they are talking about Randal, Carl takes a gun from Daryl's motorcycle and goes into the woods. He sees a walker with its legs trapped in mud. Rather than shooting it, he starts throwing rocks at it. After a while, the walker gets free of the mud but Carl runs away. Later that night, the Rick and Shane go to kill Randal. As they are doing this, Carl enters the barn and tells Rick to shoot him. This causes Rick to stop and try to find a different way to deal with the problem. Soon after this, Dale is badly injured by a walker and will die soon. It is the same walker that Carl ran from earlier. Dale is then shot in the head by Daryl. This ends his suffering and stops him from coming back as a walker. Shane goes to the building where they are keeping Randal. He sets him free and takes him into the woods. Shane tells Randal he want to leave Rick's group and join Randal's group. Instead of this, Shane leads Randal from the farm and kills him by breaking his neck. The group sees that Randal is gone and starts to look for him. Shane goes back to the camp and tells them that Randal had gotten free, attacked him and taken his gun. Daryl, Glenn, Rick and Shane go looking for him. They separate into two groups. Daryl and Glenn are one group, Rick and Shane are the other. Daryl and Glenn find Randall. He has become a walker. They look at his body and see that he was never bitten. They understand that the dead can come back without being bitten. Shane uses the search for Randall to try to kill Rick. His plan does not work and Rick kills Shane. Just minutes later, Shane turns into a walker and stands up. Carl shoots him.

A very large number of walkers in the woods hear the noise caused by Carl's gun. They all start to walk in that direction. Rick and Carl run to the barn. Rick tells Carl to set the barn on fire after the walkers come inside. Rick and Carl leave the barn from an upper level while the walkers burn. With walkers all over the farm, a large battle takes place. Jimmy and Patricia are killed and Andrea is left behind. The rest drive away from the farm. Andrea runs into the woods. She is chased by many walkers. She kills many of them and is later rescued by a hooded woman. This woman, Michonne, is carrying a sword to kill walkers. She also has two walkers with her. These two walkers have had both of their arms and their lower jaws cut off. Michonne leads the armless walkers around with chains around their necks. The survivors all meet back on the highway where they lost Sophia. They drive off but must soon make camp when Rick's vehicle has no more fuel. Rick tells them that "this isn't a democracy any more" after he tells them what Dr. Jenner told him. Jenner told him that all of the survivors are infected. A large prison is shown in the be background as the episode ends.

Season 3 (2012–2013)[change | change source]

The group have been on the road for months and Lori is far into her pregnancy. Rick finds a prison which was seen in the final scene in season 2. They decide to go to the prison and stay there. They kill the walkers outside and then go inside to kill some more. Hershel gets bitten in the leg and Rick has to cut it off. The group meet prisoners who had been in the prison's cafeteria for months. The prisoners had no idea what had been going on in the world since the outbreak started and Rick tells them about it. Some of the prisoners try to kill members of the group and so Rick kills Tomas and leaves Andrew to die while Oscar and Axel are put in another block away from the group. Andrew is still alive and rings an alarm which brings walkers to the prison. A huge battle happens. T-Dogg is killed by walkers trying to protect Carol. Lori is about to give birth to her baby as this is happening. Maggie cuts her open to take the baby out but Lori dies. Carl is then forced to shoot his mother in the head. Rick finds Andrew and is nearly killed when Oscar shoots Andrew, killing him and saving Rick. After the attack, Maggie and Carl bring the baby to Rick. Rick finds out Lori died and starts crying.

Cast and characters[change | change source]

Main[change | change source]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
Andrew Lincoln Rick Grimes Main
Jon Bernthal Shane Walsh Main Guest
Sarah Wayne Callies Lori Grimes Main
Laurie Holden Andrea Main
Jeffrey DeMunn Dale Horvath Main
Steven Yeun Glenn Rhee Main
Chandler Riggs Carl Grimes Main
Norman Reedus Daryl Dixon Recurring Main
Melissa McBride Carol Peletier Recurring Also Starring[a] Main
Michael Rooker Merle Dixon Recurring Guest Main
Lauren Cohan Maggie Greene Recurring Main
Scott Wilson Hershel Greene Recurring Also Starring[a] Main
Danai Gurira Michonne (Stand-in) Main
Emily Kinney Beth Greene Recurring Also Starring[a] Main
David Morrissey The Governor/Phillip Blake Main Guest
Chad L. Coleman Tyreese Recurring Also Starring[a] Main
Sonequa Martin-Green Sasha Recurring Also Starring[a]
Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. Bob Stookey Also Starring[a]
Alanna Masterson Tara Chambler Recurring Also Starring[a][13]
Michael Cudlitz Abraham Ford Recurring Main
Josh McDermitt Eugene Porter Recurring Also Starring[a]
Christian Serratos Rosita Espinosa Recurring Also Starring[a][13]
Andrew J. West Gareth Guest Also Starring[a][13]
Seth Gilliam Gabriel Stokes Also Starring[a]

* ^  This actor/actress is not featured in the opening credits, and instead is credited as "also starring", but is otherwise considered by AMC as a series regular.[14][15][16]

Recurring[change | change source]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5
IronE Singleton Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas Recurring
Lennie James Morgan Jones Guest Guest Recurring
Emma Bell Amy Recurring Voice only
Jeryl Prescott Sales Jacqui Recurring Voice only
Andrew Rothenberg Jim Recurring Voice only
Adam Minarovich Ed Peletier Recurring Guest
Juan Gabriel Pareja Morales Recurring
Madison Lintz Sophia Peletier Recurring
Jane McNeill Patricia Recurring
Pruitt Taylor Vince Otis Recurring
James Allen McCune Jimmy Recurring
Michael Zegen Randall Culver Recurring
Lew Temple Axel Recurring
Vincent Ward Oscar Recurring
Dallas Roberts Milton Mamet Recurring
Tyler Chase Ben Recurring
Daniel Thomas May Allen Recurring Guest
Jose Pablo Cantillo Caesar Martinez Recurring
Melissa Ponzio Karen Recurring
Travis Love Shumpert Recurring Guest
Sunkrish Bala Dr. Caleb Subramanian Recurring
Brighton Sharbino Lizzie Samuels Recurring
Kyla Kenedy Mika Samuels Recurring
Vincent Martella Patrick Recurring
Audrey Marie Anderson Lilly Chambler Recurring
Meyrick Murphy Meghan Chambler Recurring
Jeff Kober Joe Recurring
Denise Crosby Mary Recurring Guest
Chris Coy Martin Recurring
Christine Woods Lt. Dawn Lerner Recurring
Erik Jensen Dr. Steven Edwards Recurring
Tyler James Williams Noah Recurring
Ross Marquand Aaron Recurring
Jordan Woods-Robinson Eric Recurring
Tovah Feldshuh Deanna Monroe Recurring
Alexandra Breckenridge Jessie Anderson Recurring
Daniel Bonjour Aiden Monroe Recurring
Austin Abrams Ron Recurring
Corey Brill Pete Recurring
Michael Traynor Nicholas Recurring
Katelyn Nacon Enid Recurring
Elijah Marcano Mikey Recurring
Major Dodson Sam Recurring
Ann Mahoney Olivia Recurring
Austin Nichols Spencer Monroe Recurring
Jason Douglas Tobin Recurring

Darabont connections[change | change source]

The series features several actors whom Walking Dead developer Frank Darabont has worked with previously, including Laurie Holden (Andrea), Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale Horvath), Melissa McBride (Carol Peletier), Sam Witwer (the dead soldier in the tank where Rick hides in "Days Gone Bye"), and Juan Gabriel Pareja (Morales). All five appeared in his 2007 film The Mist, along with Thomas Jane, who originally was set to star in the series when it was pitched to HBO. Jane was later in talks with Darabont to possibly guest star on the series as of fall 2010,[17] but with Darabont's departure,[18] it is unknown whether the guest spot will happen or not. Laurie Holden also appeared in the 2001 film The Majestic (as Adele Stanton, Jim Carrey's character's love interest), which Darabont directed. DeMunn has also appeared in several of Darabont's films; in addition to The Mist and The Majestic, he appeared in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and The Green Mile (1999). It was planned that Witwer (Private Jessup in Darabont's The Mist) would reprise his "Days Gone Bye" role in the original conception of The Walking Dead's season two premiere[19] and in a webisode,[20] but both plans were discarded.[21]

Production[change | change source]

Development[change | change source]

Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman signing a poster for the series at the 2011 New York Comic Con.

On January 20, 2010 AMC said that it had ordered a pilot for a series based on The Walking Dead comic book series. Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd were the producers. Darabont was also the writer and director.[22] The entire series was to be made because the television network liked how good the comic series and the television scripts were. They also liked Darabont's being a part of the project.[23] In January 2010 a review of the pilot episode's script caused more people to be interested in the series.[24] The pilot began filming in Atlanta, Georgia on May 15, 2010/[25] At this time, AMC had ordered a six episode first season.[26] The series' other episodes began filming on June 2, 2010.[27][28] On August 31, 2010, Darabont said that The Walking Dead had been picked up for a second season. Production of the second season was to start in February 2011. On November 8, 2010, AMC said that there would be a second season. They said that the season would have 13 episodes.[3] He would also like to include some of the "environmental elements" that take place during Volume 2 of Kirkman's book.[29]

On October 25, 2011, AMC said that there would be a third season of The Walking Dead. They said "Season two continues to deliver the strongest telecasts for any drama in basic cable history."[5]

Writing[change | change source]

On July 17, 2010, Darabont said who would be writing and directing the six episodes of the first season. Darabont wrote/co-wrote the first three episodes. He also directed the first episode. Michelle MacLaren directed the second episode. Charles H. Eglee and Jack LoGiudice wrote the third episode with Darabont. It was directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton. The fourth episode was written by Robert Kirkman. He is the creator and writer of the comic book. It was directed by Johan Renck. The fifth episode was written by Glen Mazzara and directed by Ernest Dickerson. The sixth episode was written by Adam Fierro and directed by Guy Ferland.[30]

On December 1, 2010, Deadline.com reported that Darabont had fired his writing staff. he planned to use freelance writers for the second season.[31] Kirkman said that this had not happened yet. He said that no plans had been made about the writing staff for season two.[32]

In July 2011, Frank Darabont stepped down from his position as showrunner (the person who "runs the show" - the person in charge of the production) for the series.[33] It was believed that he could not handle the schedule of running a television series.[33] The Hollywood Reporter reported he had been fired over issues about budget cuts and problems with executives .[34] Glen Mazzara became the new showrunner.[35]

Filming[change | change source]

Booth at the 2010 Comic-Con with a scene from the pilot for the promotion of the series.

The series is filmed on 16 mm film.[36] David Tattersall was the director of photography for the pilot episode with David Boyd as the director of photography on the other episodes. Production design is done by Greg Melton and Alex Hajdu. The effects team includes makeup designer Gregory Nicotero, special effects coordinator Darrell Pritchett, and visual effects supervisors Sam Nicholson and Jason Sperling.[37]

Reception[change | change source]

Critical reception[change | change source]

The first season was reviewed very well by critics. It got a score of 82 out of 100 on Metacritic (based on 25 reviews).[7] Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com had the show on their list of "9 new TV shows not to miss". It was given a grade of "A", with the author saying "A film-quality drama series about zombies? Somebody pinch me!"[38]

The second season received mostly good reviews as well. It had a score of 80 out of 100 based on 22 reviews on Metacritic.[8] Several critics did not think the second season was as good as the first. These include Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly.

"a nighttime soap with occasional appearances by deceased but moving, flesh-rotting, flesh-eating cameo monsters. ... Every week, it seemed, a passel of folks went out and rooted around for awhile, came back to camp, and everyone lives off the fat of Hershel's land until it was time to go out and search for Sophia again. Occasionally someone reminded Rick they're supposed to be headed for Fort Benning and he gets all huffy about not leaving any child behind. It became a parody of a Samuel Beckett play.[39]

—Ken Tucker

Ratings[change | change source]

Season 1[change | change source]

The pilot received 5.3 million viewers. This made it the most-watched series premiere episode of any AMC television series.[40] The first season finale received 6 million viewers. This was a season high. It had 4 million viewers in the 18–49 demographic. It was the most watched basic cable series for the demographic.[41] The first season had an average of 5.24 million viewers and a rating of 2.7 in the 18–49 demographic.[42] In the United Kingdom, it premiered on November 5, 2010 on digital channel, FX. The premiere had 579,000 viewers. This was almost twice as many as any other show on FX that week. The viewership became less during the season then grew to 522,000 viewers for the final episode.[43] The terrestrial premiere on Channel 5 on April 10, 2011, averaged 1.46 million viewers.[44]

Laurie Holden was one of five actors on the series to receive a 2011 Saturn Award nomination for their performance.

Season 2[change | change source]

On October 16, 2011, the season two premiere set a new record of 7.3 million viewers. The episode also set new records for the most viewers in the 18–49 (4.8 million) and 25–54 demographics (4.2 million). This made it the most watched episode of a drama in the history of basic cable television. The original broadcast and the two later broadcast of the episode had a total of 11 million viewers.[45] On February 12, 2012, the show's mid season premiere had even more viewers. 8.1 million people watched the episode. It had 5.4 million in the 18–49 key demographic. These numbers are even more impressive as the episode was shown at the same time as the second most watched Grammy Awards in history.[46] The series beat its own record with the season two finale on March 18, 2012. It had 9 million viewers.[11]

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

The Walking Dead was nominated for "Best New Series" for the 2011 Writers Guild of America Awards.[10] It was nominated for "Best Television Series Drama" at the 68th Golden Globe Awards.[9] It was also named during the American Film Institute Awards 2010 as one of the top 10 television programs of 2010.[47] For the 2011 Saturn Awards, the series had six nominations. These included "Best Television Presentation", Andrew Lincoln for "Best Actor in Television", Sarah Wayne Callies for "Best Actress on Television", Steven Yeun for "Best Supporting Actor in Television", Laurie Holden for "Best Supporting Actress in Television", and Noah Emmerich for "Best Guest Starring Role in Television".[48] The series was nominated for "Best Drama Series" at the 1st Critics' Choice Television Awards.[49] The pilot episode "Days Gone Bye" got three nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. It was nominated for "Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series" and "Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series".[50] It won for "Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special".[51]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "rick grimes". AMCtv.com. http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead/cast/rick-grimes. Retrieved March 29, 2012. "a small-town sheriff's deputy"
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  4. Webb Mitovich, Matt (July 22, 2011). "The Walking Dead Reveals Season 2 Premiere Date, Creepy-Good New Trailer". TVLine. http://www.tvline.com/2011/07/walking-dead-season-2-premiere-date/. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
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  6. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}".
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  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Patten, Dominic (March 31, 2014). "AMC's 'Walking Dead' Adds Trio As Season 5 Regulars". Deadline.com. http://www.deadline.com/2014/03/amc-walking-dead-adds-trio-season-5-series-regulars-adam-j-west-alanna-masterson-christian-serratos/. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  14. Ausiello, Michael (April 4, 2013). "Melissa McBride Clears Up Walking Dead Contract Mystery, Declares: 'I Am a Series Regular'". TVLine. http://tvline.com/2013/04/04/walking-dead-melissa-mcbride-series-regular/. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  15. Goldberg, Lesley (April 3, 2013). "'Walking Dead' Promotes Three to Series Regular for Season 4". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-season-4-spoilers-tyreese-beth-sasha-432869. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  16. Goldberg, Lesley (April 26, 2013). "'Walking Dead' Adds 'Wire' Vet to Play Pivotal Comic Character for Season 4". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-season-4-larry-gilliard-bob-444688. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
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