The Walking Dead – what’s next?
With the much anticipated series 8 just around the corner, it seems only right to look back on the story so far. It’s about time right? Jamie & I also thought it would be fun to look back on our favourite moments, characters and storylines from previous series. What are your hopes for series 8?
For starters, can we do a quick recap? I’ll include a ‘spoiler alert’ for anyone who STILL hasn’t watched it (sort it out)!
Season 1 – Sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes wakes from a coma discovering a world overrun by zombies. Group travel to CDC and have a lucky escape from nutty Dr Jenner.
Season 2 – We meet Hershel, Maggie etc. at the farm. Sophia is in the barn, Lori is preggers. Dale dies, Rick kills Shane, farm is overrun by walkers.
Season 3 – The group take the prison after 8 months on the road, Lori and T-Dog die. We are introduced to the Governor at Woodbury.
Season 4 – Flu kills loads at the prison, Hershel and Governor die. Group regroup at Terminus but are all captured.
Season 5 – Group make it out of Terminus, Beth dies at the weird hospital. Group arrive at Alexandria. Morgan is reunited with Rick.
Season 6 – Rick becomes leader at Alexandria, we are introduced to the Hilltop, and their agreement with ‘Negan’. We meet Negan at the end of the season.
Season 7 –Negan murders Glenn and Abraham to coerce Rick’s loyalty. Carol and Morgan befriend Ezekiel of The Kingdom, another survivor community, while Maggie and Rosita rally Hilltop. Group declare war on The Saviours.
Right! You’ve now been bombarded with reminders. Over to us. It’s weird; so much has happened it’s impossible not to forget some of it, even the really pivotal moments. Reading that back I (Jo) had so many ‘oh shit yeah!’ flashbacks. There have been a few dull series, but all in all it’s been a pretty thrilling and provoking drama. I’m going to share with you some of my favourite moments so far, and some of my not so favourite moments, that I hope won’t be repeated! I wanted to also touch on my fears for future seasons as we approach that big ten.
So I would say seasons 1 & 2 are still my favourite. At a push maybe season 3 too. As a drama just starting out, budgets were lower, teams were smaller and resources were a lot tighter I imagine. For me though, this is what The Walking Dead was all about. Walkers were the hunted (or they were hunting humans), and it actually felt like an apocalypse. There was so much adrenaline and tension in these seasons, and so many wicked scenes. Sophia coming out of the barn! That for me was the moment the show upped its game. The group were growing stronger, but still vulnerable and somewhat ignorant. The group was also small – like a proper family. I’m sure it was the same for you, but this for me was where you were really given the freedom to form relationships with the characters. Anyone else agree season 2 was where we all fell in love with Daryl? And if you didn’t already, Glenn? Seasons 1-3 were just really gripping and intense.
If I sat here and really gave it some thought, I could give you a list as long as my arm for all my favourite scenes and moments. Off the top of my head though (and because I don’t want to bore you!), here are a few that come to mind.
- All the Atlanta scenes really at the start of season 1. Rick stuck in the tank, the group’s plan to escape the city. Dare I say it, covering themselves in walker guts to escape? It was gross but the sheer nerve for the storytellers to even go there deserves a spot in my top scenes.
- As sad as it was, the moment the farm became overrun was actually so strong and powerful. They couldn’t stay there forever, and the way in which they were driven out was so vivid and intense. There was so much going on, and it made you feel exactly how you should – shit, who is going to die?
- Taking the prison. Again, that was really gripping and exciting. The group were stable and capable, which was really fun to watch.
- All of the reunion scenes to be honest. Rick reuniting with Lori and Carl, Carol and Judith with the group, Rick and Daryl at the end of season 7 (wahhh that was so emosh). It warms the soul, who couldn’t enjoy those human moments. Daryl and Rick particularly, I felt like that was the entire show coming together in a real bromance embrace.
- Daryl and Carol. At first it was ‘oh come on you two’, but now it is just a really sweet, loving relationship. It’s never spoken about, we just get it.
I don’t think I can call it a favourite, but for the sake of filmmaking purposes and engaging your audience, Negan’s campfire scene to kick off season 7 was unbelievable. I read somewhere it took days to film, but the end product was evidently worth the time and planning that went into it. As you remember, this was where we lost Glenn, a season 1 original. I remember waiting for the TV to become unoccupied so I could watch it – waiting for that rivalled the anxiety experienced during the episode! I have to say, of all the episodes in the entire show, this is the only one I can’t watch again. Throw Hershel’s death at me again any day of the week, but not this one. It was shattering, but what a start to a season. Could you argue this was the season’s only peak though? Maybe. But the episode itself was quite a saga, to say the least.
My fears? I have a few. Looking back on my favourite moments, I feel there’s one thing in common. Walkers are the threat. The Governor and more so Negan were/are a forcible threat, but it doesn’t have quite the same effect as the walkers. At the beginning of the show, they crept out, made us jump and threw fear at us. Now, the group are faced with so much intimidation in human form, we sometimes go a few episodes without even seeing a walker now. They aren’t scary anymore. Disgusting still yes, but not alarming. Thinking about it, it doesn’t feel like an apocalyptic world anymore does it? Just some psychotic Dictator calling the shots. Hmm…
My worry now is, it doesn’t feel like The Walking Dead anymore. Yes you could argue an apocalypse is farfetched anyway, but the narratives we are presented with now are far more clumsy and unrealistic. I also do not like how weak the group feel now, why does it feel they have met their match in Negan? Even I must admit, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is stupidly good in this role. He makes you feel exactly what you are suppose to feel – anxiety. You hate him, you hate the threat he poses to everything the group have worked so hard to build in 8 years, but you don’t want him to go down without a proper fight. He offers so much to the show, as much as we despise him. I can’t even think of a death that would do him justice? If he is destined to die, lets hope it’s a better death than the Governor – snooze.
Additionally, is it just me who gets really confused with who is where now, and what group they are part of? So we have Alexandria, The Rooftop, King what’s his name at his base, and the Saviours base. Oh and after 8 odd years, Carol has decided she wants to set up home on her own. The result? The past few seasons have been flat, unexciting and disorientating. Now Rick and the group have decided to fight, hopefully we get some of that anxiety back, and just some triumph!
Before I hand over to Jamie, how sad does this picture make you? I wonder what the dynamic between Shane and Negan would have been?!
Jamie, what do you think?
With the start of season 8 starting on Monday, I’m going to share with you the top 5 things I want from Season 8 of The Walking Dead.
Season 8 is rapidly approaching and has promised to be the most explosive season yet, but with so many storylines and source material still to cover, what do I want to get out of this season? Below are 5 things I want (Plus a bonus 6th). I wont be angry if these aren’t included, but I will be very disappointed… You’ve been warned AMC, you’ve been warned…
Leave Negan How He Is – I find Negan fascinating. He is, regrettably, one of the only interesting things about Season 7. I find myself watching the familiar characters of Rick and Daryl walking around, frowning, very sombre and wishing that Negan would come in and f*ck sh*t up! It’s not just the fact his voice, style and sayings are epic; he also has the most brutal weapon and has more charisma than most of Rick’s team put together. I don’t want to know Negan’s sad backstory or how he developed his mad frenzy for power, leave him a mystery. Negan is the perfect protagonist, keep him evil, keep him crazy and keep him interesting.
A Battle Must Look Like a Battle – Game of Thrones (not that I watch it) seems to have had the most amazing TV battle in recent memory. John Snow standing with a sword thinking “Jesus, that’s a lot of horses…” will be considered a classic scene in the TV archives for years to come. If The Walking Dead can match the epic scale and not lose gore then this could be a pretty tasty season. (P.S. Don’t mention gore and tasty in the same sentence). Also, a battle is usually fought between two sides, last season showed there were 5 or 6 different tribes or groups that could be involved. Interesting to see if people remember who is on whose team… One side may have to wear bibs like when sports teams play.
Eugene Must Pick a Side – One of the more frustrating characters in The Walking Dead universe. His riddle like speech is always erring on the side of annoyance and his apparent betrayal at the end of Season 7, his declaration of “I am Negan”, is the most obvious sign of immediate side switching. But he’s clever enough to play a double, triple or even quadruple bluff. In classic American TV, things may never be as obvious as they seem but if he were to die early on this season, I wouldn’t expect many to mourn. If he does come back however, it could be one of the greatest returns since a stone was moved and the holiday of Easter was born.
Carl Needs to Come of Age – Is it just me, or is the love for Rick starting to flag? I don’t know what it is; he just doesn’t carry the same level of power as before. Since Negan has come in, I don’t consider them equals; in all honesty, I don’t think they’ll even win the war. So where is the new leader going to come from? Carl could easily step up, he has been absolutely battered in the last few seasons and now it might be time for him to take the reigns. If he doesn’t lose another body part this season then he has even more leadership potential.
An Ode Back to the Real World – I ask this of every season… The USA is massive; this is, to the best of my knowledge, still set in Georgia… So where are the settlements? I can’t remember the last time we went to a city with recognisable landmarks that have become overgrown. I want to see something that we would actually recognise and will make us see how wrong the world has gone. Even a glimmer of ‘has this spread to South America? Or Europe?’ We are following one group, and yes, Fear the Walking Dead made us aware that this is a USA-wide problem but give us more. A snippet of a news report would be enough? The fact the UK hasn’t come in all guns blazing would make me assume that it is worldwide but the question is still unanswered on screen.
More Tiger – I’m adding a sixth. I want more CGI tiger. I think I speak for everyone when I say that. More. Tiger.
The Walking Dead starts again on Monday 23rd October in the UK, at 9pm on FOX.