‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ transcends the dreadful traditions from previous series
By Jonathan Pabico, Senior Columnist
The Walking Dead: World Beyond saw a share of setbacks when it experienced rescheduling due to the pandemic (similar to The Walking Dead). The season premiere of AMC’s third zombie series after The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead has the most uplifting story of its universe through reassuring vibrancyand a stellar cast of young characters. The first episode is about teenage sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) as they start a perilous journey to help their father in New York. Accompanying them on this trek are the timid introvert Silas (Hal Cumpston) and nerdy philosopher Elton (Nicolas Cantu).
The premiere is refreshingly different, since it explores what the zombie apocalypse is like for children. Each dialogue scene employs radiant colours and peaceful lighting in every camera shot to relay a heartwarming tone for the story. These elements evoke an endearing humanity behind each character and their resonating relationships.
Royale and Mansour have undeniably rich chemistry in playing Iris and Hope as siblings that have tense differences but still care about each other deeply. They further portray these characters as confident kids that bravely face the world together despite coping with past loss. Their story arc explores sisterhood beautifully and what it means for youth to be independent of their parents when making life choices.
Silas and Elton are not as developed, yet their courage to venture out with the sisters to the outside world provides a moving portrayal of how important it is to be there for other people. As for Julia Ormond, she personifies the story’s looming uncertainties as the seemingly benevolent Elizabeth Kublek—a lieutenant colonel of a mysterious organization called the Civic Republic.
What could pose a problem for some viewers eager to see characters kill a bunch of zombies is that the premiere, for the most part, simply lacks substantial action sequences like those already seen in the show’s predecessors. However, there are some thrills that will keep long-time fans keen on the roles the story’s twists and secrets will play in future entries.
There are also very few zombies in the episode, so viewers who just want to see hordes of the undead occupy each frame may be disappointed. Still, this restraint is a smart choice from the script to set up the main characters and foreground their plights more properly.
If you’re looking to settle into a worthwhile show for the Halloween season, then check out AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond. The season premiere injects a much-needed energy into its bleak zombie universe with its refreshing characters. Its hopeful messages about youth and human goodness make this recent addition to The Walking Dead franchise a satisfying series so far. The show has excellent promise by reassuring viewers that the world isn’t always gloomy.