Robert Kirkman took the comic world by storm with his hit series The Walking Dead when it debuted in 2003. No one expected the massive hit it would become when it was announced that it was being made into a live action series for AMC in 2010, but now in its sixth season the series is stronger than ever. In August of 2015 the Walking Dead universe expanded with an all-new series Fear the Walking Dead that served as a companion prequel to the original series and now Anchor Bay is bringing the series home once again with Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete First Season Special Edition.
Fear the Walking Dead follows the onset of the undead apocalypse through the lens of a fractured family. Set in a city where people come to escape, shield secrets, and bury their pasts, a mysterious outbreak threatens to disrupt what little stability high school guidance counselor Madison Clark and English teacher Travis Manawa have managed to assemble. The everyday pressure of blending two families while dealing with resentful, escapist, and strung out children takes a back seat when society begins to break down. A forced evolution, a necessary survival of the fittest takes hold, and our dysfunctional family must either reinvent themselves or embrace their darker histories. Going into this series you have will have to throw out what you know from the original series and understand that you will not be getting as much zombie action. What makes the original series works is that you are actually following these people trying to survive in this new world and there just happens to be zombies to deal with. This show has the same approach, but sadly is not near as compelling. The lack of zombies for most of the season makes the show just feel like a family drama and lacks the punch it needs to really live up to its name.
The story itself is slow building which makes sense as they are trying to tell the story we don’t know and slowly create the world we are used to in this universe. The first half of the series is not all that compelling and often times a bit slow making you wonder what they were thinking. Thankfully the series finds a bit of its stride through its second half making more interesting overall. Sadly that is too little too late to really save this first season, but all you can hope is that now that all the insanity has been set in motion the second season will have more to play with in their new dangerous world along with the family drama. What little zombie action you do get, you get the same quality of walkers as you might expect with some new looks focusing on the early nature of it all.
In the end this is a far cry of the greatness that is The Walking Dead, but this season has set the tone for some great possibilities in storytelling should they allow it to move forward in a more aggressive nature in season two. While this season was already released back in December, this special edition includes 5 deleted scenes, 7 newly produced featurettes, audio commentaries on every episode as well as collectible lenticular packaging. Fans will likely be divided on this one, so decide for yourself and grab your copy of Fear the Walking Dead the Complete First Season Special Edition when it comes to Blu-ray and DVD on March 22nd from Anchor Bay Entertainment.