Of Deviations and the Dead

There have been many changes in The Walking Dead from the way the story was told in the comics. Most of it has been additions, fleshing bits out. We knew this well before the series started, both Frank Darabont and Robert Kirkman said so in interviews, and Kirkman especially was actually pushing for change, so his faithful readers wouldn’t be able to predict every twist the story would take. I figure now that the first season is over, as a longtime reader of the comic I’d take a look at the changes.

First up, the new characters. I’ve heard a lot of bitching about all the new characters, but by the end of the season we’ve seen that (surprise!) just like in the comic, the mortality rate for cast members is high. This means that those new characters you dislike, well they’re probably not going to be around for too many episodes. But on the other hand, some of the new characters are really awesome. I loved Dr. Jenner, and Merle, but Daryl Dixon is the standout for me. Even if he wasn’t one of the Boondock Saints, he’s still a badass redneck with a crossbow. Personally, I’d love to see him added to the comics at some point.

The plot changes are also things I like, and for the most part come down to the difference between Kirkman writing the comic on his own, and a group of writers in a room discussing what to do. For example, the whole thing with the CDC came about because someone mentioned that, hey the story takes place in Atlanta, and the headquarters for the CDC is in Atlanta. These types of natural story progressions I don’t mind at all. Oh, and Shane still being alive should be interesting, it will make even the scenes that happened in the comics a bit different just having him there.

There was one change that I do really dislike, however. In the comics, you never see anything other than the main group, and their actions. Off the top of my head I can think of only one issue to ever have a flashback, otherwise everything we’ve seen has to do with this group. As a result, it isn’t known how widespread the zombie outbreak is, if all of the US has fallen, if it’s reached other continents, etc. In the season finale Jenner basically said that the US government has fallen, and also confirmed that it was worldwide, as other governments, including France, were also rushing to find a cure. Sure, being a global epidemic was a pretty good bet, but I just liked the little hint of uncertainty.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the first season of TWD, it was solid, and did a great job of being faithful to the comics and adding material at the same time. My notes for season two? Don’t kill Daryl, utilize Bear McCreary better, put more work into your explosions. That’s really it.

-Jerk

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~ by Jerk on December 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Of Deviations and the Dead”

  1. I agree with all of this. Well all of it that I know anything to comment about. I think the scare factor could have gone on a lot longer without telling us if it was world wide or not. There needs to be some hope and right now, I don’t see any. I personally would have given up, but that’s just me and I suck at running.

    I honestly havent even noticed Bear. Maybe that’s a good thing or maybe i’m not so observant but it hasn’t been one of those shows where I’ve gone, God the music is fantastic.

  2. In the first couple eps I actually noticed how little they used music, which I felt built the tension better. However, I have noticed things like using non-Bear music, which is odd. The music that played as they left the camp in ep 5? That was from Sunshine.

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