The Walking Dead – Season 3
After the finale of the second season of The Walking Dead we couldn’t wait for this third one to arrive on Blu-ray. The threat of large groups of zombies, the given that other people have grouped together, and “last but certainly not least” a survivor with ninja-sword who likes wandering around with two zombies on a chain made the expectations rise quite high. Especially as the rest of season 2 was quite boring and clearly was lacking in the action department.
Season 3 immediately tempers those expectations already with the first episode. The tempo increased only marginally, the farm is exchanged for an empty prison, and Rick is equally decisiveless as before. Those who were hoping for Resident Evil-like scenes can move on, and that becomes clear from the first minute.
Season 3 sort of continues the rythm of the previous seasons and the makers clearly make you feel that although the zombies are still a threat, you most of all have to watch out with other survivors. The makers introduce for this The Governor who rules over the little village of Woodbury where everything seems to be peaceful but where below the surface all kinds of things are rotting. Andrea hopes to build a new life her together with her newfound friend Michonne but the latter quickly realises something’s “off” about the lead of this community while Andrea herself prefers to close her eyes for reality and just hopes everything will turn out alright. Which of course isn’t the case.
As said above, Rick and his friends have taken shelter in a nearby prison which is reasonably defendable against zombies, but once The Governor finds out about their presence things start to turn for the worse.
This third season contains 16 episodes that deliver a bit more action that the previous one, but endless dialogues that seem to go nowhere are still aplenty and this also goes for inconsistency. As an example it seems no problem what so ever to shoot a zombie or unimportant characters (like an entire group of soldiers, or armed civilians), but even hurting a more important character seems of a totally different difficulty degree. Unless it fits the “drama” and can stretch the story a bit further of course.
“Stretch”. There, the word has been said. There are entire sequences in this season that looking backwards seem totally unnecessary, have little to no influence on the overall story, do not really add anything to the action of deepening of the characters, and seem to fit no other purpose than to make things take longer than necessary. That way it’s of course easy to get to sixteen episodes!
Is season 3 therefore total rubbish? No, luckily not. There’s enough suspense left to make you watch the next episode, there are some returning characters that add some interesting stuff at times, and the hope remains alive that at a certain moment something truly apocalyptic will happen. Season 4, however, will have to make due on that continuous promise as otherwise The Walking Dead looks like to be moving towards a disappointing end that in comparison will make that of Lost look like a height of modern television.
With the Blu-ray of season 2 we already mentioned that you can hardly call The Walking Dead “beautiful” and that’s still the case here. The image is filled with intentional grain that has to give everything a grimm look and the use of color (mostly browns and greys combined with dark red come forward) helps to keep the atmosphere apocalyptic. The HD presentation has plenty of shadow detail and also the zombies are shown in full beauty eventhough you notice a bit too much that the overload of blood is CGI. As said there are no real technical issues and the transfer is almost perfect, but it’s all but beautiful to watch.
The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack is just about reference material when it comes to TV shows with good positioning of effects and music while dialogues never have to fight to take their place in the sound spectrum. Everything comes together nicely and perfectly supports and uplifts the atmosphere.
Next to audio commentaries and deleted scenes we get a bunch of short features on specific characters, the creation of the prison set and effects you see on the zombies.