The Walking Dead – The Complete First Season: 3-Disc Special Edition
Created by: Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont
Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal
Reviewed by Brian M. Sammons
As you may recall I just reviewed The Walking Dead: Season 1 on Blu-ray here a few months back, so I’m not going to go into the background story behind this series. Why? Because A) if you’re any kind of horror fan then you already know all about the amazingly good zombie comic book that has become this amazingly good zombie TV show on AMC. Oh and B) I JUST REVIEWED THIS A FEW MONTHS BACK!
Yeah, so why am I reviewing this again?
Because AMC is trying to wring every cent they can out of this one by releasing a new Blu-ray set of the first season in a fancy new box with some new extras just in time for the second season. So yeah, this is the quintessential example of “double dipping,” or trying to take the fans for everything they have. Not since the 100+ editions of The Evil Dead that Anchor Bay flooded the DVD market with in the late ’90s and early ’00s has horror fans been so taken advantage of. Oh wait, lookie here, Anchor Bay also brought out these Walking Dead discs. Man, I hope this isn’t a taste of things to come.
And yet with all that said, this is still a great show and a very good Blu-ray collection. So since the real stars of this second time at bat are the special features, let me break them down for you.
First some really good news, all the special features from the previous Blu-ray edition have been ported over to this one, so nothing is lost. That means a ton of featurettes, sneak peeks, and behind the scenes bits. Now for the new, and let’s start off with the biggest new goodie; since the very talented Frank Darabont directed the pilot episode of this series, it should be no surprise that a black & white version of that pilot can be found here. Why no surprise? Because Darabont did the same thing for the last feature film he directed, The Mist. The guy just really likes B&W I guess, and while this was a kind of neat extra, it’s far from what I’d call wow-inducing.
This time out all six episodes come with audio commentary and since I am a commentary track junkie, I think this is very cool. However, I must admit at being perplexed as to why these weren’t included with the first Blu-ray package, but I digress.
There’s a 15 minute feature on makeup special effects masters KNB and their amazing zombies, another special on the video (read as CGI) effects at just over 11 minutes. There’s an extra about all the various aspects of The Walking Dead phenomenon, at around 12 minutes, that focuses on the comic book and creator Robert Kirkman that started it all. I guess it only makes sense then that the next featurette is about adapting those comics for television. There’s also a nice bit of virtual eavesdropping as a conversation between Frank Darabont and KNB makeup guru Greg Nicotero is filmed and included on this disc.
Lastly there is a three part, hour long behind the scenes featurette called “We Are The Walking Dead” that includes interviews, set designs, acting, fans, conventions, makeup effects, stunts, “how to act like a zombie” school, locations, and everything in between. This is easily a tie with the audio commentaries as the best new thing this Blu-ray set has going for it.
So if you already own The Walking Dead on Blu-ray then you really don’t need to get this, unless you’re a special features addict and have a lot of extra disposable income. However if you have yet to get this amazing TV show for your home library in High-Def then it is easy to recommend this new set. This is a great show and these discs come loaded with a ton of extra goodies. This is THE Blu-ray collection for The Walking Dead … at least for now.