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The Walking Dead Season 1

Season 1 of AMC's The Walking Dead premiered on October 31, 2010, and concluded on December 5, 2010, consisting of 6 episodes. Developed for television by Frank Darabont, who wrote or co-wrote four of the season's six episodes and directed the pilot episode, "Days Gone Bye", the series is based on the eponymous series of comic books by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. It was executive produced by Darabont, Kirkman, David Alpert, Charles H. Eglee, and Gale Anne Hurd, with Darabont assuming the role of showrunner.

The Walking Dead Season 1

This season adapts material from issues #1-6 of the Comic Series. It introduces notable comic character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who awakens from a coma, after being shot, in a post-apocalyptic world filled with flesh-eating zombies, dubbed "walkers". After befriending Morgan Jones (Lennie James), Rick sets out to find his family and discover the origins of the walker virus.

Rick soon encounters two other survivors -- Morgan Jones and his son, Duane. Morgan gives Rick additional information about the situation, explaining that the undead are driven to eat the living. "One thing I do know, don't you get bit," Morgan says. "Bites kill, then you become one of them." Duane then speaks: "I saw it happen." Morgan saw the transformation first-hand. His wife Jenny was bitten, and then turned into a "Walker." Now she haunts him and his son, frequently returning to the house where she died.

Meanwhile, Lori and Carl are living in a camp outside Atlanta, with Shane Walsh, Rick's high school friend and partner. There are many other survivors present, including Amy, Dale Horvath, Jim, and the Morales and Peletier families. Believing Rick to be dead, Lori has begun a romantic relationship with Shane, who is the group's de-facto leader.

After the volatile and racist Merle attacks T-Dog, Rick handcuffs Merle to the store rooftop. Rick then hatches an escape plan, which involves Rick and Glenn smearing themselves with Walker guts as camouflage. Having navigated through the crowd of Walkers, Rick drives off in a cube van to evacuate the survivors. Glenn helps to lure the undead with the sound of a car alarm in a hot-wired Dodge Challenger.

That night, Rick and Lori have sex in their tent, vowing to each other that this is a new beginning in their marriage. The next morning, Rick and the others find a Walker feasting on a freshly-hunted deer in the woods. Jim theorizes the undead are running out of food in the city.

The survivors burn the Walkers, though Glenn insists they should bury their dead. Andrea cradles Amy nearby, unwilling to let anyone near the body. Dale commiserates, explaining that since his wife's death, "you girls were the first people that I cared anything for." Andrea tells Dale she feels guilty for missing so many of Amy's birthdays. "I'm sorry for not ever being there," Andrea weeps, kneeling next to a now re-animated Amy. She tells Amy that she's here now and loves her. Then she puts her down with a shot to the head.

Later, Shane drunkenly confronts Lori, professing his love and insisting he didn't lie about Rick being dead. Drunk and out of control, Shane tries to force himself on Lori, who scratches his face and neck to stop him. Horrified by his own behavior, Shane flees, leaving Lori shaken and afraid.

Darabont himself had been a fan of the zombie genre since seeing George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead when he was fourteen years old.[2] ""Night of the Living Dead" had this weird vibe that was almost - it was like pornography... It had this marvelously attractive, disreputable draw... I loved it immediately." Darabont recalls walking into a comic book store in Burbank, California and seeing The Walking Dead on the shelf in 2005. "Being that I've always had "the love of zombies genre," I of course grabbed it, took it home and read it, and immediately started pursuing the rights to it. I thought it would make a great TV show... I loved the idea of an extended, ongoing, serialized dramatic presentation set in the zombie apocalypse." He described the process of developing the series and getting it set up at a network as "four years of frustration," and credits executive producer Gale Anne Hurd with finally getting the series on AMC. "I can't remember what the hell prompted her to read it [the script], but she said, "Wow, I really love this pilot you wrote. What are you doing with it?" I said I'd been trying to set it up forever... She said "I think AMC might be the place to take this." She did, and then bam! They were immediately interested. I had to credit Gale, her insight into marrying the material and the buyer."

Darabont's original pilot script was split in half and embellished, making the first two episodes instead of one, "...just to slow the narrative down and dig into the characters more deeply, so it's not just plot-driven, event-driven stuff. You really want to drag these characters into the equation." To write the remaining episodes of the season, Darabont recruited Charles H. Eglee, Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara, all of whom he had worked with while directing an episode of The Shield. Jack LoGiudice also joined the writing team, along with Robert Kirkman, also an executive producer. "I have the best of both worlds," says Kirkman. "It was a lot of fun writing Episode 104, and I'm hoping if it continues into Season 2, I'll be able to write more episodes."

Principal photography for the pilot episode, "Days Gone Bye", began on May 15, 2010[3] with the subsequent five episodes beginning filming a few weeks later on June 2. The first season was filmed in and around Atlanta, Georgia where the episodes were primarily set.[4]

The first season of The Walking Dead received generally positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the season holds a score of 82 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 25 critics.[16] On Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds an 87% with an average rating of 7.35 out of 10, based on 31 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Blood-spattered, emotionally resonant, and white-knuckle intense, The Walking Dead puts an intelligent spin on the overcrowded zombie subgenre." Following the second episode, Simon Abrams from Slant Magazine awarded the show three and a half stars out of a possible four; "To say that Darabont has kicked his series off with a bang would be a serious understatement ... [he] has fashioned a fully realized alternate reality and it's a thrilling thing to experience."[17]

In response to the season finale, James Poniewozik of Time magazine gave the first season a glowing review, writing: "The show has an urgency and bravery that make it something special."[21] Josh Jackson of Paste magazine rated the episode an 8.0 out of 10 and also praised the season by writing "the characters are worth caring about" despite "occasional stilted monologues, quick tempers and unfortunate stereotypes".[22] However, some reviews were mixed, including Kofi Outlaw of Screen Rant who concluded the series "still hasn't really defined itself as anything more than a vague survival story about the human condition" but added that he is "one of those Dead-heads already chomping at the bit for season 2".[23] Sean McKenna of TV Fanatic also offered mixed criticism, writing the freshmen show "had its ups and downs" noting that the second season should focus on "a more specific story arc and strengthening of the character development".[24] Logan Hill of Vulture magazine was more critical, claiming the episodes contained "atrocious dialogue" and "a lot of plot machinery that has been contrived to create action suspense but ... hasn't really moved the story itself anywhere in particular", though he admitted the fifth episode showed "flashes of promise".[25]

The pilot received 5.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched series premiere episode of any AMC television series.[37] The first-season finale received 6 million viewers, a season high; with 4 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic, making it the most watched basic cable series for the demographic.[38] The first season had an average of 5.24 million viewers and a rating of 2.7 in the 18-49 demographic.[39] In the United Kingdom, it premiered one week after it did in the United States, on November 5, 2010 on digital channel, FX. The premiere had 579,000 viewers, almost double for any other show on FX that week. The viewership dipped during the season then rose to 522,000 viewers for the final episode.[40] The terrestrial premiere on Channel 5 on April 10, 2011, averaged 1.46 million viewers.[41] Based on its ratings, the series was renewed for a second season on November 8, 2010.

The Walking Dead's zombies weren't always just mindless lumps of rotting flesh, but does their devolution have an explanation? Currently in its tenth season, The Walking Dead's zombies are a modern interpretation of the Romero-style zombies first seen in Night of the Living Dead. Reincarnated corpses incapable of communication or rational thinking, the zombification process replaces a person's cognitive reasoning with an unwavering desire to consume flesh. The zombies stagger slowly but relentlessly towards their prey without any kind of emotion, recognition or intelligence.

However, these rules were more flexible during The Walking Dead's debut season. The famous "little girl" zombie that Rick Grimes meets in The Walking Dead's pilot is holding onto a teddy bear as she chases after the sheriff, and the zombie of Morgan's wife tries to break into her former home by turning the doorknob rather than clawing aimlessly at the door like regular zombies. There are numerous other instances of smarter zombies in The Walking Dead season 1, where the undead use tools to try and get to the victims, or evade obstacles rather than aimlessly walking into them. Strangely, there are no instances of this happening any more recently than The Walking Dead's first run of episodes. 041b061a72


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