"The Walking Dead" is almost here! Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd's adaptation of Robert Kirkman's Image Comics series infects the AMC network on Halloween night, and fans across the globe are in for one heck of a zombie-infused treat.
We here at Splash Page have already seen the first episode of the series — titled "Days Gone Bye" — and needless to say, we're big fans. From flesh-hungry monsters to performances that explore the depths of human weakness, "The Walking Dead" has it all.
We'll have a full recap of the series premiere after it airs on Sunday night, but in the mean time, here's a tease at a few of the things you can look forward to when "The Walking Dead" shambles its way onto television screens this weekend!
Talk about setting a tone. The cold opening of "The Walking Dead" tells you everything you need to know about the world this series plans to explore. In just a few short minutes, we're introduced to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a desperate man that's still adjusting to life after the apocalypse. He's forced to make an awful decision in these opening moments, establishing the exact atmosphere fans can come to count on as "The Walking Dead" trudges on.
Speaking of Lincoln, his performance is truly excellent. The British actor's natural accent disappears completely into the slower, southern dialect of our law enforcement hero, with Lincoln filling out the character's courageous shoes quite nicely. Actor Lennie James is equally powerful, with his portrayal of Morgan Jones elevating the character's initial comic book appearance to beautifully dark new heights. Trust us, James' performance will haunt you long after the episode airs.
It's not just the human characters that are worthy of recognition; no, you're here for the zombies, aren't you? Well, never fear — or, perhaps, always fear, because these creatures are thoroughly terrifying. Passive in one moment and ferociously hungry in the next, the monsters populating "The Walking Dead" are entirely unpredictable. Thanks to the show's many flesh-eating extras and the handiwork of special effects guru Greg Nicotero, your pulse will be pounding at numerous points throughout the pilot episode.
If you're wondering how faithfully the series adheres to the comics, it's a bit of a balancing act. Certain events unfold exactly as they do in the comics — the appearance of bicycle girl and Rick's horseback ride into Atlanta, for instance, are mirror images of their comic book appearances. But there are some deviations as well, with certain scenes expanded upon and others created completely for the television adaptation. These choices always ring true to the tone of Kirkman's book, however; even if it's not a blow-by-blow adaptation, both versions of "The Walking Dead" share the same heart.
As intense as the opening moments of the episode are, they have nothing on the grand finale of episode one. If the first scene demonstrated the types of choices one has to make in this zombie wasteland, then the show's final minutes reveal just how inescapably dangerous this world can get. After watching "Days Gone Bye," there's little question that the world Rick Grimes inhabits is not one we should hope to visit anytime soon — except on the small screen, of course!
"The Walking Dead" premieres Halloween night, October 31, at 10 PM EST on AMC. The series stars Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey DeMunn, Laurie Holden, Chandler Riggs, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Steven Yeun, among other notable actors. Keep it locked to Page all week for more "The Walking Dead" news, interviews, clips, and giveaways!
Tell us what you're expecting from "The Walking Dead" in the comment section and on Twitter!