Fear the Walking Dead (2017)
Written by: Alex Garcia Lopez, Alrick Riley, Andrew Bernstein, Courtney Hunt, Daniel Stamm, Deborah Chow, Jeremy Webb, Josef Kubota Wladyka, Meera Menon, Paco Cabezas, Stefan Schwartz
Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Cliff Curtis, Colman Domingo, Daniel Sharman, Dayton Callie, Frank Dillane, Kim Dickens, Mercedes Mason, Rubén Blades, Sam Underwood
FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (2017)
With Nick and Luciana being attacked by militia at the end of Season Two, just as they make their way across the border to America, Season Three picks up with the duo being held at a military base where they’ve been rejoined by Travis, Madison and Alicia, albeit briefly. With the captors keen on keeping Madison and Alicia split from Travis, Nick and Luciana, it takes some undead persuasion and brute cunning for the family to escape. With the undead swarming the base, the survivors are forced to band together and are given refuge at a ranch run by the militia captor Troy’s father, Jeremiah Otto. Here, an uneasy alliance grows between Madison Clark and her family and the Ottos with Jeremiah’s eldest son Jake attempting to keep the peace between the Clarks and his twisted younger brother, Troy.
After a season full of ups and downs and peril at every turn as the Clarks try to find some sort of safe haven, Season Three of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD finally settles down to somewhere it can call “home” even if it’s not the most ideal situation to be in. This new habitat causes lots of problems for the Clarks despite it being a safe place to reside with its arable land, cattle and fully filled stock room. Tension between the Clarks and Ottos, with Madison and Nick unable to trust their new hosts, is just the beginning as they have the outside world to contend with and the undead are the least of their concerns.
What I love about FEAR THE WALKING DEAD over its parent show The Walking Dead are its characters. There’s none of that love triangle bullshit and “CORAL!!!!” (read: Carl) being screamed every five seconds. Instead, we have a normal, believable family unit who are just trying to find their path in the new world. Along the way they’ve met some individuals and families who’ve tagged along but each have their own rewarding storylines and personalities that set their scenes apart as a separate plot to the series that do eventually crossover. Fans of FTWD will rejoice at the appearance of a couple of familiar faces from the previous season with nail-biting storylines that will keep viewers on their toes as nothing quite pans out as you might expect.
Stepping up to the plate in full glory this season is Madison Clark who goes full meddling bitch mode which is both thrilling and annoying at the same time but is an endearing quality of her character, esopecially one that is such a strong female lead. We also get to see a lot more of Alicia this time round as she comes into her own whereas last season was most definitely the Nick show – not that that was a bad thing. Nick takes a slight step back in this season, allowing for the rest of the characters to get a fairly equal slice of the action, which has left the show more balanced because of it, showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of the various personalities on display. I found this an important aspect in Season Three because in a world which has turned on its head, it’s the people who make the story. New factions are introduced that really fuel the idea that this is all we have left when the world has ended – each other. The relationships between humans is what will make or break survival and in a dog-eat-dog world, relationships are what life is all about. Expect drama at every turn with choices presented that will make you question what you’d do in their situation. Some things will make you gasp in shock and horror whilst others will have you applauding the cunning, street-wise decisions. It’s these types of storylines and the characters that really set this series apart for me. The zombies very rarely factor into the equation and have around 20 minutes of screentime the entire series, if that, because ultimately it’s not about the walking dead, it’s about those humans left surviving this new world.
Very rarely does the third series of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD come up for air which is great for fans of action-adventure though there’s plenty of dramatic, on-the-edge moments that play out in dialogue format to compliment the on-screen thrills. The red stuff flows as much as before which is enough to satiate TV viewers’ appetitite without distracting from the important stuff such as plot and character development which the season excels at. In many ways, the death scenes are a little more brutal and hardhitting this time round because it’s not really the undead that are taking the punishment…
If you love The Walking Dead then you’ll no doubt enjoy this extra slice of the Dead pie. Even if you disliked The Walking Dead, as did I, you might very well enjoy what FEAR THE WALKING DEAD has to offer. A chip off the old block but a different animal in its own right, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD has the power to make a bigger impact than its originator.
With news that a crossover between the two franchises is being set up for the next season, don’t be surprised if FEAR THE WALKING DEAD blows up onto the main stage. As long as it retains its attitude and tight script, I’m all for it.