The Walking Dead: World Beyond
Iris welcomes an enigmatic ally to their community while Hope questions the visitor's motives. A message upends the sisters' worldview, forcing them to decide between the safety of their home and the uncertainty of the world beyond.
The Walking Dead spinoff titled World Beyond premiered alongside the Season 10 finale of the main TWD series, kicking off a two season event that takes place 10 years in the future following a new generation of kids who have grown up in the apocalypse. The premiere is one steeped in mystery, toying with audiences knowledge of the zombie apocalypse and putting two sisters up against an entire world of unknown dangers.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond isn’t a perfect premiere, but it immediately finds its strength in the chemistry of the two sisters Iris and Hope. With their Father gone to aid the Civic Republic, who refused to disclose their whereabouts or really anything about their operations, and their Mother killed during a tragic event years before, the two sisters may appear as polar opposites at first but they’ve been placed in the same position of caring for themselves. Their entire lifestyle is undoubtedly shocking for longtime TWD viewers, as seeing kids in high school and parents with careers that resemble what life was like before the apocalypse feels out of place. But everything in this world we see has been made up of humanity’s struggle against the dead. It quickly poses the question, how can we take the world back?
That is where the mystery really takes hold. The Civic Republic is leading this fight to take the world back but at what cost? For many, the focus on such a deep mystery will lose the action oriented and fast paced appeal the franchise is often known for. But for those interested in the lore and expansive universe, the unknowns surrounding the Civic Republic will be uniquely engaging.
Born from the Alliance of the Three, a network of three communities, the Civic Republic has shown up in both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, leaving small glimpses of the three circles that define their logo and proving that their is some connective tissue in this expansive universe. World Beyond seeks to firmly establish that connective tissue and give a new overarching narrative to the ongoing franchise to flesh out the details on humanity’s struggle for survival and hopes for something greater.
The character drama is certainly the driving force in the first episode of World Beyond. While it attempts to establish the motives and emotional toll of their situation, the premiere episode is likely to lose some viewers attention just from the slower start. But we should remember that this is a limited event as well as a mystery, so things are almost certain to get more intense from here. It succeeds in accomplishing the most important aspects of a premiere episode like making me care about Iris and Hope as well as what is actually happening to their Father. While it isn’t the most action-packed episode, it does bring back a more precise fear of the undead and the learning curve that comes with surviving this world with no experience, and that is sure to help the series moving forward.
The sheer intrigue that World Beyond delivers in episode 1 is more than enough to have me eager for more. The main group of teenagers gives the feeling of the first half of It or maybe even a more classic Goonies vibe, which feels fresh for the franchise and exposes some interesting new dynamics that we haven’t really explored yet. While Iris and Hope certainly have plenty of development in their contrasting personalities, I do hope to see more of Elton and Silas in the coming episodes. This is also true of Civic Republic security guards Felix and Huck, who get just enough time involved to have me interesting in what their motives really are.
But that’s ultimately what The Walking Dead: World Beyond episode 1 does best, setting up a premise that will have you wondering what the hell comes next!? It could’ve been stronger in its own sense of urgency and danger, but it also pushes the boundaries of the apocalypse to a place we’ve never seen before. Sure, I want concrete answers on what exactly is happening 10 years later with the Civic Republic and talks of searching for a cure, but that’s all part of the mystery. This is a new world and it isn’t as familiar as what we’ve seen, but that’s a good thing in my own opinion. This series shows the type of potential the franchise has and the range it can enable.
As we follow this group of teenagers on their mission to rescue Iris and Hope’s Father, hoping to learn all we can about the Civic Republic and humanity’s grasp on this world, there is a sense of adventure that arises. Despite the dark mystery and danger around every corner, it’s this adventurous mentality that could prove to set World Beyond apart from anything we’ve seen before and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds from here.
The premiere of #TWDWorldBeyond is a mysterious and engaging start to what feels like an exciting new direction for the franchise. Though it kicks things off a bit hesitantly, it establishes an intriguing premise that will have you eager for more!
The Walking Dead: World Beyond Episode 1: We Are the Future
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 9/109/10
Production - 9.5/109.5/10
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