Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Walking Dead
World Beyond
Season One


Starring: Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Hal Cumpston, Nicolas Cantu, Nico Tortorella and Annet Mahendru
Distributor: Acorn Media International
RRP: £39.99


Certificate: 15
Release Date: 11 October 2021

The Walking Dead franchise expands its scope with a next-generation spin-off World Beyond, a new series exploring the lives of four teenagers raised in a post-apocalyptic world. Set in Nebraska, 10 years after the zombie apocalypse, smart high school student Iris Bennett, and her rebellious adopted sister Hope, are forced to set off on a dangerous journey, along with two friends, the intellectual Elton Ortiz and a shy transfer student with a mysterious, violent past, Silas Plaskett. Leaving the safety and comfort of home to brave dangers, known and unknown, living and undead on an important quest, the teens are pursued by both those who wish to protect them and those who wish to harm them. A coming-of-age story unfurls across dangerous terrain, challenging everything they know about the world, themselves and each other. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. But will they find the truths they seek in the World Beyond...?

For those, like me, who have a love/hate relationship with The Walking Dead, then World Beyond breathes a little bit of fresh air into the franchise.

I first heard of the original The Walking Dead series when we were sent review discs for Season One to review. There were only six episodes, but it made enough of an impact on me that I ended up buying the comic book series. The differences between the comics and the TV series were enough to keep me interested in both. However, by Season Eight I was watching so many other shows that I never bothered with seasons nine and beyond. Likewise, we were sent Season One of Fear the Walking Dead for review and I just couldn't get on with it. In fact it was only Season Four, with a total change of cast and drive that brought me back to the show.

The difference with The Walking Dead: World Beyond is that the show has already been mapped out. It's a limited run, two season (10 parts each season) series. This means that the creators have a chance to develop a story with a beginning, middle and end unlike the other shows in the franchise which keep plodding on from season to season never knowing if they're going to get cancelled.

The storyline still embodies the bleak, practically humourless, dry as old bones mark of The Walking Dead franchise, but there's so much more going on. There central four teenage characters were all very young when the zombie apocalypse went down. So they've only ever known the life they currently live in their guarded complex. As they venture out into the world outside for the first time, they get to put into practice their high school combat training and zombie survival skills. And as you'd suspect, theory and practical experience are two very different things.

At its heart it's a coming of age show which borrows heavily from other sources. It's The Breakfast Club set after the apocalypse. The zombies, while ever present, take somewhat of a backseat. They do what they always do, but it's other survivors that are the main threat here. In fact this could just as easily have been an apocalypse survival show in its own right without the zombies.

Given the limited episode run I was surprised at how many montage videos set to pop music we were given towards the end of some of the episodes. While it helps to form an emotional attachment to the characters as a group, it's been a little over used in previous The Walking Dead shows and feels a little too much like padding here.

Extras include: The Walking Dead: World Beyond: Look at Season One (04 min, 06 sec interviews with cast and crew); Look at the Characters (6 min, 18 sec which sees the actors talking about their characters); The Making of Season One: Part One (9 min, 41 sec). On disc 2 we get The Making of Season One: Part Two (13 min, 11 sec); Picture Gallery (2 min, 33 sec).

The acting, and scripts are pretty impressive and there were more than a handful of plot twists that I just didn't see coming.

The close of this season marks the midway for the show. I'm looking forward to how the series concludes.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online