Much was made out of ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ which aired on AMC during the summer of 2015 and came out last month on home video. It was the first television spin-off of ‘The Walking Dead’ and like its sister show is based off a comic book.
But how does it fare on its own terms and in comparison to the original program? The short answer is that it is a mixed bag.
The most fascinating character on the program is easily Daniel Salazar, who is well-played by actor/musician Ruben Blades. The character is subverts expectations well and from the start straddles the line between right and wrong. His character’s ties with El Salvador nicely connected to the sadly clichéd vilification of the U.S. military in the rest of the story.
This, sadly, is where the show goes a little wrong.
While the military heavies are well-used on the program, it is an idea that has been done too many times in the zombie genre. The head military antagonist, for example, is too obviously unlikable to be totally convincing.
The rest of the cast is competent enough with Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens as Travis Manawa and Madison Clark making likable leads. Frank Dillane as Clark’s whiny, drug-addicted son Nick gets on your nerves after a while – Dillane tries gamely but he is stuck with an annoying character.
Colman Domingo is the rakish Victor Strand may emerge as the show’s other breakout character. He is too one-note in his villainy but subsequent seasons may lend him a little depth.
‘Fear the Walking Dead’ does not compare with the earlier seasons of ‘The Walking Dead,’ although it may find its legs by the second season. It is a breath of fresh air compared to the last season of its sister show, which needs to stop making its main villains – the zombies – redundant.