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24 August, 2015

REVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead: Season 1 Premiere - Episode 1 "Pilot"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.

As anyone who has been reading Backwoods Survival Blog for any length of time will – no doubt – already be aware, I have long taken episodes of The Walking Dead and done what were titled reviews of each episode from the perspective of the Prepper / Survivalist subculture. To be fair, these pieces have evolved over time and have come to be something closer to commentary more than reviews or recaps. So, I definitely wasn't going to miss the chance to do the same thing for the new prequel to that groundbreaking Doomer Fiction/Doomer television show.

Even though this is technically a different show, I'm going to simply move forward as though readers are familiar with what I intend to accomplish by writing these articles. My only nod to new initiates will be to explain my stance on apocalyptic or what I often call Doomer fiction: Put simply, I believe that – although it is meant to be entertainment – there are often lessons we can learn from watching and reading these kinds of stories, and The Walking Dead has become such a mainstream phenomenon in popular culture that I have actually witnessed it convert people into being more prepared in their real lives. I don't know about you, but I consider that a win in our collective column.

Also for the uninitiated, it should be understood that this new show is a prequel, not in the sense that it shows us what the characters of the other show were doing before the onset of the Zombie Apocalypse, but rather because it shows us different characters in a different location but takes place during that period when Rick Grimes was in his. As you will remember, Rick awoke to find the world much changed and he was thrown into that environment without really understanding what was going on. It was the same for the viewer and meant for you to feel the bewilderment with him. This new show, on the other hand, is going to allow us to watch what was going on during that time. And be witness to the way civilization unraveled into a complete societal collapse as seen in the main flagship show.

As to this particular episode, the only things it important to discuss from the standpoint of our subculture are to talk about how things typically could be expected to play out if such a situation were to occur in the real world. In this first episode, snippets of conversation are mentioned about a flu outbreak that has affected a lot of the kids who attend the school where two of the main characters are teachers, resulting in them being kept home. One young man, obviously a decent kid, is uncharacteristically found to have brought a kitchen knife to school. He is obviously afraid, so a friendly teacher reaches out thinking perhaps he might be being bullied or something along those lines. Instead, the young man is simply afraid, worried about being expelled from school because of the idea that there is safety in numbers. He mentions reports online of an outbreak with cases reported in five different states and people who are infected turning violent. Apparently the online rumor mill is saying that the authorities don't know if it's a virus or a microbe, and the implication is that the true severity of the outbreak is being covered up.

The teacher, of course, naively believes that if there was really a problem than the authorities would let us know. Needless to say, those of us reading this blog know better how things would actually go, which likely aren't too far from the secretiveness the young man believes is occurring. Seeing that he is not going to be able to convince her, however, he finally just humors her to get out of her office. He's quite obviously not comfortable with the idea of being at school without his knife, however, which the teacher has locked in her desk drawer.

Then there is another character in the show who has witnessed an attack within the city, but he is thought to be unreliable as a result of being a known drug addict. So no one believes him. This would likely mirror a real life situation if reports of something truly strange were beginning to manifest. Most people wouldn't be able to believe what others were telling them and, in fact, would look for any excuse not to believe it. Even when video footage of an attack leaks online, there are still many who believe it is fake.

Beyond that, this episode didn't actually hold much information with respect to survival. It was simply meant to set the tone for the series and introduces us to the characters. I am very interested, however, in seeing how things progress, and I'm very intrigued by the idea of being able to watch as the societal collapse we have all seen in The Walking Dead actually comes to have occurred.

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

My previous reviews for The Walking Dead can be accessed by clicking the links below:

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