Several months on, Rick and co. are finding times are tough… Then they discover a zombie-infested prison.
Fifteen million viewers (that’s the total record-breaking first night audience for this episode) can’t be wrong, can they? Well, in the case of this episode, no: it was pretty fantastic. As for The Walking Dead overall? Well after a lacklustre second season, there’s still all to play for…
‘Seed’ got things off to a cracking start, with a demoralised and worn-down group of ‘heroes’ raiding a zombie-filled house in search of much-need supplies after a tough winter. The declining state of all the major characters is well-conveyed, including the fact that young Carl is now a fully-armed member of the team.
As we come to terms with their changed demeanour, the gang discover the prison that was trailed at the end of the last season (how they’ve failed to spot it over the preceding months is a question we are clearly not meant to ask). That’s when the zombie-slaying action really kicks off, with a series of distinct action-driven set-pieces that also serve to inform and advance our view of the characters. Amid the assault on the prison, relationships are deepened or splintered, while the gang’s hope for survival is rekindled. The riot gear armoured zombies were a nice touch.
Lacking, perhaps, was any appearance by David Morrisey (he’s in the next episode, going by the trailer). As a statement of intent for the series to come, however, this episode is promising. As long as the next few episodes aren’t reduced to token zombie appearances, this drama looks set to grow. Could have done without the campfire sing-song, though…
Verdict: There are only six episodes this season (and a further 10 from next February), so let’s hope each and every one is up to the standard of this cracking opener.
Episode 1 ‘Seed’: 8/10
Brian J. Robb