Nerd School: The Walking Dead Season 2 Primer

by Joe on October 11, 2011

The concept of the “zombie apocalypse” is a fairly recent phenomenon. Endemic to males age 10-50, the ZA first came into pop culture around 2002/2003

*shivers* that's creepy

Though by no means the first zombie movies, films like 28 Days Later and The Dawn of the Dead remake reignited something in the post September 11th society. Almost harkening back to the days of the us vs. them attitudes of cold war thinking, the ZA was a pop culture powder keg waiting to explode. One of the tinders that was about to set the Zombie Apocalypse off was a small independent comic named “The Walking Dead”. “The Walking Dead”, written by then unknown, Robert Kirkman, followed the ongoing story of Rick Grimes throughout the fall of civilization (in the South if you call that civilization).


An interesting side note is that the opening of “The Walking Dead” is very similar to the opening of “28 Days Later” with the protagonist of each waking up from a coma to see the world has already fallen to the zombie hordes. The Walking Dead comic debuted in October of 2003, and 28 Days Later, while released overseas in April of 2002, didn’t come out in the US until June of 2003. Kirkman puts it up to coincidence, but there is no definitive proof either way.

Fast Forward to 2010 where the television network AMC, who was known for their award winning shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad, stated that they were teaming up with Academy Award winning director Frank Darabont to bring “The Walking Dead” to the small screen. After the first record breaking episode, AMC announced that the show was already renewed for a second season. Now, after the really really short first season, AMC is bringing us.a second season doubling the number of episodes for us (don’t get too excited that’s only 13 episodes)

So now you have a bit of the production back story, what’s the ACTUAL story?

Well the comic has been running since 2003, and our hero has gone through some shit. Right now there are 15 trade paperbacks spanning 90 issues, and our characters have seen and done a lot. Within these 90 issues Rick has seen friends and loved ones die, he’s thought he’s been safe numerous times, and he’s even lost a few *ahem spoilers* appendages. I am not going to give away too much, but the first trade paperback is essentially the first season with some minor/major tweeks.

Rick, our hero (played by Andrew Lincoln, who follows a long tradition of British people pretending to be American. A bit of a tangent here, but what is the deal with this? I mean really? They’re doing this on Terra Nova as well, but nothing is as bad as Jamie Bamber on BSG. The only British actor that really should be allowed to do an American accent is House. I mean don’t the Brits riot when Americans try a British accent? Whatever.)

Shane- Rick’s ex-partner on the force

Laurie and Carl Rick’s wife and Son

Glenn- an ex pizza delivery boy who becomes Rick’s de-facto sidekick

Dale- an old man with an RV

Andrea- who was forced to shoot her sister

As you can see from the above pictures, a lot of care has gone in to making the show a great representation of the comic.

Though season 1 is now streaming on Netflix (yeah!) here’s a recap of season 1. Rick’s a small town deputy, who is shot in the line of duty and falls into a coma. He awakens to find that zombies have taken over (it’s like when relatives sing Happy Birthday). Rick takes to the country to find his wife and child, Laurie and Carl, who he hopes is still alive. Within the first 6 episodes,Rick comes to grips with what happened thanks to Duane and Morgan, a father and son who are also trying to ride the ZA out. Rick finds the city of Atlanta swarming with zombies, but is rescued by a small group of survivors. Rick finds Laurie and Carl alive and well with Laurie shacking up with Rock’s ex-partner Shane. Rick becomes the de-facto leader of a small group of survivors as they make their way to the CDC in Atlanta. There, they discover that there is no cure for the zombie outbreak and the lone survivor in the CDC blows himself and the building up. However before he does so, he whispers something into Rick’s ear… And that’s where season 1 ended.

So what’s different? (THESE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS! DO NOT READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED… wait is that right?)

-Probably the biggest issue that’s changed is the move to the CDC which never occurred in the book.

-Another huge change is the death of Shane by Carl which happens at the end of the first arc. This may still occur is season 2.

– Several new characters were introduced including T-Dog, Jenner at the CDC, and The Dixon brothers.

At the end of the first season we are still left with a bunch of loose ends including ….

-Merle Dixon (played by Michael “The Rook” Rooker) is missing after he hacksawed his hand off avoid the zombies as he was handcuffed to a pipe.

He's got both hands here to eat delicious chocolate covered pretzels...

-What did the Jenner, the CDC guy say to Rick? (my guess is that Laurie is pregnant)

-Morgan and Duane are still out there, are they looking for Rick?

-Also the number 1 biggest thing we need to think about is the future of the show without Darabont being fired as the showrunner?

Season 2 starts October 16th, look for a Spoiler Heavy Review at the end of each episode here on Planet Arbitrary.

For more on the Zombie Apocalypse check out our podcast on zombies!

Read Joe’s other articles: The Genre Problem, Star Trek Blu-rays 1 and 2 Doctor Who Season 6 Round Up, ConanPrimer, GOT COK: Casting Roundup 1 + 2, Trek in your Queue 1 and 2, Game of Thrones Primer II, Obama Trek Mutant Fatigue Sci-Fi A-Team Star Trek: A Different Generation, An Alternate History of the Doctor, Inn at the Crossroads interview, A Love Letter to Natalie Portman, Failed Star Trek Spinoffs, Thor Primer, Doctor Who Season 6 primer, A Game of Thrones Primer, More

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin October 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!


Anthony October 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Season one is now steaming on Netflix, but not Qwikster. Too soon?


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