While you may be thinking about what’s going to happen on Season 2 of AMC’s The Walking Dead you can’t forget about all the intense things that went on in the first season. Perhaps that’s why the entire first season hit Blu-ray and DVD today – so you have time for a quick refresher course before the Oct. 16 season premiere. And while it’s nice to have these six meticulously-crafted mini-zombie movies in your personal home entertainment collection, the real treat here is the extensive list of extras.
You could stick with the traditional method of audio commentary laid over each of the six episodes, or you could learn about all the inner workings through the seemingly never-ending list of featurettes, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and other video extras. If you’re curious as to how all these amazing stunts, incredible zombies, and gruesome scenes make it to the screen, a feature called “We Are THE WALKING DEAD” will take you through each of the six episodes without narration – just the barebones, handheld camera experience of what it was like to be on set with the actors and crew. There are also pretty extensive videos featuring make-up wiz Greg Nicotero sharing his zombie make-up tips (just in time for Halloween) as well as taking us through the steps for the extensive list of effects he pioneered on the AMC series (see: back of the head blood cannon).
A few features prove to be incredibly valuable considering the amount of debate surrounding the plot of the show. Many fans of the comic book are disappointed that the series departs from the comics – in fact there are those that were hoping for a frame-by-frame remake of the books. Through various video interviews with Robert Kirkman (the creator of The Walking Dead comics) and Frank Darabont (the creator of The Walking Dead series), fans are given a bit of an answer as to why their favorite comics aren’t being replicated on television. It’s such a hot-button topic with fans, but after watching the thorough explanations from the guys behind the zombie apocalypse, it’s hard to keep fighting their decisions.
Finally – it’s on the back of the box in bold, so it must be important – the Blu-ray also features the Pilot Episode in black and white, which helps lend it a bit of the George A. Romero feel that Darabont worked to infuse into “Days Gone Bye.” It seems a little gimmicky, but upon watching it, I almost wish the whole series was done in a colorless world. It’s like watching a whole new show.
If you’re a fan of good television or zombies or Darabont or fun, you’ll probably be taking a gander at The Walking Dead’s three-disc set, but beware: you’ll need hours (and I mean hours) to get through all of these fantastic features. So maybe, don’t make any plans between now and that Oct. 16 premiere.
The Walking Dead Season 1 hits Blu-ray on Oct. 4.