Following the widespread success of the critically acclaimed AMC original, “The Walking Dead,” show writer Robert Kirkman created a spin-off series entitled “Fear The Walking Dead,” which premiered on August 25.
Like its predecessor, “Fear The Walking Dead’s” pilot episode turned in ratings that were sky-high, receiving 10.1 million viewers and an incredible 6.3 rating among adults 18-49, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The immediate popularity of this show made it the biggest series premiere in cable TV history in both total viewers and key demos.
Though it may be easy to perceive this show as nothing more than an imitation of “The Walking Dead” with a cheesy, unoriginal title, the new rendition delves into new elements of the ‘walker’ apocalypse that the original never could: where it all began.
“Fear The Walking Dead” follows two families connected by a stepfather, Travis Manawa, as they attempt to survive what is the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.
Though only two episodes have aired thus far, they show great promise into what the rest of the series could contain in terms of how the recurring cast interacts and deals with the new world they are forced to live in.
Though this plot line may seem boring because, well, what’s a zombie show without zombies, the viewers were thrown into a precarious situation right from the opening scene of the premiere episode.
After another drug-crazed rave, Nick Clark wakes up in an abandoned church and hears a noise in the distance that he believes to be a friend of his.
This friend turns out to be the first zombified human shown on the show, freely carving out the stomach of another raver with her teeth.
After escaping a frightful situation, Nick returns to his mother, Madison Clark, and Travis to tell them of his eventful morning.
Because of his history with drugs, they both throw his comments aside.
However, later in the episode, the three of them are faced with Nick’s drug dealer, who has been infected as well. Now knowing that the threat they face is real, Madison gathers up Nick and her daughter, Alicia, while Travis ventures to rescue his ex-wife and son, Liza and Chris.
As the couple separates to gather their respective family members, the zombie threat becomes increasingly real.
News reports quickly surface about infected humans, the zombies’ quick growth and the fact that they cannot be killed like normal humans.
By the end of the second episode, most of the main characters have interacted with at least one of the zombies, and understand just how serious of a threat this poses to their way of life.
The third episode will premiere this Sunday at 9 p.m., and there will be a total of six episodes in the first season.
So, as these two episodes have shown, though one might perceive this show as an incessant spin-off intended to do nothing but rake in ratings, the potential is there to portray an epic vision of what facing an apocalyptic zombie disaster would be like.
There are a number of questions the show keeps floating around, with the main one being “Where did they come from?”
What exactly happened that caused humans to so suddenly become zombified? Is there some sort of rampant flu or virus spreading around? What is it about their genetic makeup that doesn’t allow them to be killed with anything other than a head wound?
Whatever it is, the production team has done a fantastic job of keeping viewers in the dark about the answer to such questions.
The rest of the season ought to prove as telling toward the truth that has been requested ever since “The Walking Dead” first premiered in 2010.