If you’re not up to date with the first half of series 7 of The Walking Dead, please be aware that there will be spoilers here!
Zombies are supposed to be slow. Forget your rage-infected sprinting types from 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake. The Walking Dead has brought shuffling, groaning, sloooooow zombies back with a vengeance. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the show they are in has to be slow.
In fact many criticise The Walking Dead for being too sluggish; not the zombies, just the pace of the show itself. Things always pick up for the mid-season finale and then again for the climax of every series, but in between the first and eighth episode of each season and the ninth and sixteenth episode, many would argue that the writers are just giving viewers the run around with episodes of pure filler.
But I would argue that The Walking Dead is not guilty of shuffling aimlessly around like one of its grizzly walkers. In fact, it’s moving far too fast.
We’ve only had eight episodes of Rick and the rest of the Alexandria group being under Negan’s thumb. With one of those episodes being all about Tara meeting a new group and another of the episodes being all about Carol and Morgan at The Kingdom, it seems to me that we’re only just getting settled into Negan’s reign of terror.
Of course, just because Rick and the others have decided to take a stand, it certainly doesn’t mean that Negan is going away any time soon. In fact, SPOILER ALERT FOR SERIES 8, Negan will not be getting killed off in the second half of series 7 as Jeffrey Dean Morgan is confirmed to be returning for the next series.
But am I the only one that was enjoying this very different dynamic in series 7? Call me a sadist, but I’ve quite enjoyed seeing Rick’s terrified perma-moist eyes, Negan’s endless swagger and everyone around Rick quietly fuming that their leader has lost a lot of his alpha male mentality. It’s been great.
If we consider the comics for a moment, the writers of The Walking Dead TV show are racing through their source material. We’re already on story arcs from volume 18 and 19 of the comics and this is only series 7 of the show. With volume 26 only having been published a couple of months ago, AMC are catching up with Robert Kirkman. At this rate, The Walking Dead will have to do a Game of Thrones and push on ahead of the source material in potentially just a couple of years time.
So let’s slow things down a little bit shall we? Can’t we just have an episode or two where everyone gets together and sits round a fire and talks about old times? Perhaps the characters could reminisce on all the old friends they’ve lost, accompanied by some slow motion black and white flashbacks. Let’s savour Negan and more importantly, savour the good guys that we have left. War is coming. So let’s enjoy the build up.
How do you feel about the pace of The Walking Dead? Is it time to slow down, or are you ready for the Ricksurrection?