So I watched the premiere episode of AMC’s new spin-off, “Fear the Walking Dead” the other day.
I’m not sure what I think of it, yet. I mean, the concept is good. In the original series, we only see the world after Rick wakes up and finds himself in the post-apocalyptic world we have come to know and love.
But how did it happen? It wasn’t sudden. It couldn’t be. There had to be a decline, a path down which the world progressed, until a tipping point was reached and the descent was unstoppable and unrecoverable .
That is what “Fear the Walking Dead” is showing us.
The premiere episode is responsible for showing us new characters, this time set in an urban world instead of the quasi-rural landscape of Atlanta and its surroundings. This necessitates a lot of back-story and character development of a more traditional kind.
I think that the show has, so far, pulled that off. It’s not an easy task, and I think that it wouldn’t work as well if this isn’t a prequel. It takes some time to get the audience invested in the characters as they existed before the walkers, especially when the viewers know how the story is going to ultimately develop. This is the major challenge for the makers of “Fear the Walking Dead.”
In that way, “Fear the Walking Dead” might suffer from some of the same problems as–yes, I’m about to make this comparison–the prequel episodes of the Star Wars saga: it is a world we know, but a story that ultimately holds no surprises in terms of how that world will develop. As a result, the show hinges entirely on its characters and whether or not the audience can be made to care for another group of people, separate from those we already know, going through the same trials and tribulations that we’ve already seen.
Only time will tell, I suppose.