So the first 3 episodes of Fear The Walking Dead, a spin off of The Walking Dead are out, and it’s pretty damn awesome (see our review for the pilot).
But it’s not just TWD 2.0. Here’s five important differences between the two shows.
1. Zero woods. Concrete Jungle
Unlike the lush woods of Atlanta, Fear the Walking Dead is set in concrete jungle of Los Angeles. The urban setting of FTWD, with no woods, an extremely dense population and lots of cars brings more story telling possibilities in a zombie apocalypse.
As discussed in our Zombie Survival School course, urban survival is a whole different ball game. Food, water and shelter, which can be found in the woods with the right hunting gear, is less straightforward in the city. After all the canned foods and bottled water are gone, urbanites without rural survival skills will find it tough to survive.
Also, if World War Z taught us anything, it’s that a dense population accelerates the spread of infection, making survival and escape that much more difficult.
And we haven’t even started talking about car gridlocks and the lack of cover in the spacious city boulevards. In short, expect the characters in FTWD to curse their urban setting.
2. The zombies are not (quite) here yet.
Some critics have complained about the lack of zombies in Fear’s pilot, but we need to bear in mind that Fear’s timeline is different from that of the original series.
Unlike The Walking Dead, which opens with Rick Grimes waking up to a world that is already overrun by zombies, Fear The Walking Dead will jump back in time to look at how the world was at the start of the zombie apocalypse.
In other words, what was the world doing when Rick was sleeping.
3. People are trying to help, not kill, the zombies
One of the best tidbits to come out of our Interviews with the Fear cast,is that people’s first instinct at the start of the walker apocalypse is to try and help the afflicted, because they think that they’re sick.
Simply put: They don’t fully understand what is going on. But when all the pieces fall together, the viewer and the characters will experience the same kind of horror: the realisation that the world as they known it has come to an end.
4. The zombies in Fear are not quite the same as in TWD
When the zombies finally appear in masses in Fear, they will be very different from what is portrayed in the original show. Remember that Fear is set much earlier than The Walking Dead, this means that the zombies in the show are fresher and less decayed. It also means that bashing a zombie in the skull - the preferred kill method of TWD might be hard to execute because the skulls are still hard at the early onset of the outbreak.
5. Family driven, not character driven
Fear’s story telling is focused on a dysfunctional family with normal problems. Divorced dad Travis (Cliff Curtis) and school counsellor Madison (Kim Dickens) are a middle-aged couple in Los Angeles, just trying to bring their two families together.
Kim’s daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is doing well in school, but son Nick (Frank Dillane) is a junkie who can’t kick the habit.
The focus on family suggests that the arrival of the apocalypse could be the catalyst to unite them. If that is the case, that would be the reverse of the Walking Dead, which has mostly shown us families being torn apart by the apocalypse.
Gillian Ang is the co-founder of Geek Crusade, a pop-culture news website dedicated to tracking all your favorite TV Shows and movies from rumour to screen. #Jointhecrusade for up to date fandom news for Sherlock, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Marvel and DC movies and many, many more. Tweets go out at@geekcrusade. The views expressed are her own.