The Walking Dead: World Beyond bears a resemblance to its predecessors, while throwing teen drama into the mix. The show was described by the showrunner, Matt Negrete, as “a coming-of-age story in the middle of the apocalypse”. The Walking Dead universe seems to get bigger every year. But the question is, was anyone really asking for more of the dead?
For starters, the main characters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) feel lacklustre. Their driving motivation for leaving the safe walls of the campus colony is to check on the welfare of their dad, Leo Bennett, who was taken in by the Civic Republic Military for his research skills.
Fans of The Walking Dead will recognize the CRM as the people who carried off Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in a helicopter in season nine of the flagship series.
The duo is joined on their pursuit by Elton (Nicolas Cantu), who seems like another Eugene and Silas (Hal Cumpston). Their expedition was monotonous and it was excruciating to watch them struggle to take down debilitated walkers. Especially when the series is taking place 10 years after the world is taken over by ‘empties’.
Luckily for viewers, they are soon joined by campus colony security officers Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru). The presence of these two substantially takes the show one step ahead. The group then meets Percy (Ted Sutherland) and his uncle Tony (Scott Adsit) who con people to avoid killing them.
Personally, Tony seemed like a character who would add more fun to the mix, but he was killed just as soon as he was introduced.
The show picked up speed after Tony’s death, which was a relief. From Silas confronting his inner demons through flashbacks to Huck executing what’s needed for the greater good. The series captures the attention of the audience and provides ample back story that creates an emotional attachment with the characters.
The buildup to Huck being a mole in the group was well laid out. Elizabeth (Julia Ormond), had tasked Huck with bringing the ‘asset’ to the CRM. The asset being – Hope, because the CRM needs people who are really smart. Yes, that’s it.
The driving factor of the entire show was that Hope and Iris wanted to meet their father. Wouldn’t it be much simpler if the CRM had just asked Hope to come back to their base to meet her dad? Since that’s what they wanted to do? It was also disenchanting to know that the CRM wanted Hope just because she’s smart. The reveal was underplayed and added to the many eye-rolling moments in the show.
It was captivating to know more about the CRM, the mysterious group that was teased several times in The Walking Dead. Establishing the Civic Republic Militia as a shadowy organisation that lacks a moral compass is one of the intriguing segments of the show that will keep fans hooked for the next season.
As Huck hands over Hope to Elizabeth, the latter reveals that she plans to kill the rest of her group to cut all loose ends. However, the CRM was wrong when they considered Hope their only asset. Her sister, Iris has been a part of her surprising intelligence this whole time, which could be the driving storyline for season two.
Towards the end, Silas has been captured by the CRM, after playing hero to save Percy and Elton. The finale sees the reunion of Will and Felix, which was a nice little surprise at the end. Will also has a bunch of mysterious hooded resistance fighters with him, which left way for another twist in the story. It will also be revealed to Iris and Felix that the CRM killed the entire campus colony community.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond’s season finale sets up the premise of a second and final season. The show will also tie in directly to the Walking Dead movies featuring Rick Grimes. It was earlier also announced that the flagship series will end with season 11.
When all is said and done, the show does feel worth the watch. Despite a slow start, the show catches pace and leaves viewers hungry for more. Its remarkable character development, something that its predecessors lacked was much appreciated. Part of the character development is also because of a rather small ensemble cast to concentrate on.
The roller coaster ride of The Walking Dead: World Beyond is full of twists, betrayals, unexpected friendship and a sinister motive to stand against. Which is typical of any another post-apocalyptic zombie show.
Final Verdict: 3.5 stars (out of 5)