Review: The Walking Dead – Season 3 / Cert: 18 / Director: Various / Screenplay: Various / Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Laurie Holden, David Morrissey / Release Date: September 30th
The third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead is a belter. Picking up after the decimation that we saw at the end of Season 2, we now find the main group of survivors, headed up by Rick Grimes (Lincoln), on the search for a new place to call home. Holing up in a seemingly abandoned prison complex, our stragglers do their best to get settled. Of course, all can’t remain well for too long, with the threat of zombies, convicts, their fellow man and the unknown lurking over their heads.
We, the viewer, are then introduced to another batch of survivors; a group who live a seemingly idyllic life in an isolated, walled-up town run by the apparently well-meaning Governor (Morrissey). It isn’t long before both camps have to learn to coexist in the walker-ridden world. As ever, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when the mysterious, manipulative Governor is not quite all that he seems, leading to a tactical cock-fight of sorts between he and Rick.
As well as bringing us new characters, like the Governor and the katana-wielding badass known as Michonne (Gurira), this season also sees a few of the more familiar faces fall by the wayside. Yes, there are casualties, and plenty of them. When it comes to Season 3 of The Walking Dead, all bets are off. From the very first episode, when the increasingly broken-down Rick announces that he is now giving the orders, the shit is very much on. Bloody, brutal, heartwarming and heartbreaking, this is a show that most definitely does not pull any punches, be it on levels of violence or scenes of emotional complexity.
A masterclass in long-form television, literally every single episode of Season 3’s 16-episode run will have you on the edge of your seat. Old faces die, old faces reappear, new faces appear, and new faces die; it is a roller coaster ride that lulls you in. Just when you’re feeling safe and back in your comfort zone, the show doesn’t miss any chance to slap you in the face with a zombie-infested fish, shocking you awake at what you have just seen.
With the spate of fantastic TV recently, such as Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, it’s hard to convince an audience to invest their valuable time in your show these days. The Walking Dead has no worries on this front, as every minute of your time that is given up is richly rewarded down the line. With a slew of featurettes, not to mention the odd commentary track, the bursting-at-the-seams 5-disc release is quite simply a piece of must-own television for genre fans.
Extras: Eight featurettes / Deleted scenes / Audio commentaries on selected episodes