The best way to start to a TV show is something that will stick in the mind, this is something The Walking Dead did and it still amazes me that the creators of the show had the bottle to pull it off. The opening revolves around the two characters you can see below. One is Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) the other is (or was) a little Girl.
The opening actually starts off in a very quiet manner. You view a quiet country road with a car coming towards the camera. Then it becomes apparent to see that something is amiss, there are glimpses of cars turned over and damaged in what can only be described as a chaotic event. The whole scene is tense and this is added to by the lack of speech and background music. You do get the odd chirp of a bird and scenery related sound as Rick picks his way through the carnage to a petrol station and then we hear it.
If you have got this far and not seen the scene you will be spoiled for ever more if you continue.
Description:The Walking Dead, Season 1
Characters/Actors:Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Greg Nicotero
Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/AMC
The creators of the show could have gone any way they wanted to with the zombie a man, a woman or a boy but a little blonde girl seemed to me a statement of intent. It meant no one is safe. How often have we seen children get shot on television in a brutal fashion? I’m not sure I have ever seen such a brutal execution of a child in any form of visual entertainment ever. The sound of the gun shot echoes in the surrounding environment and the bullet hit is shown in slow motion along with the blood splatter. As the body falls you finally get a brief soundtrack and the title scene kicks in. This is a bar setting scene if there ever was one.
Admittedly the girl is a zombie but the feeling of revulsion still remains as we are yet to find out what it means in this universe to be a zombie. She was a young girl and our feelings about child killers is something ingrained in to most people from a young age. I’m not sure however though if anyone would blame Rick for his choice as it was more about survival then about violence towards a child. For the life of me I can not even think about how many zombies I have seen killed in this show but this is the kill that I remember (and one other from Season 2). Maybe it's because I'm a father? or it could be the first kill always sticks with you? but I can not remember the death of an extra that has been so strong in any other show.
The whole opening was perfectly pitched and made more of an impact on me then any other TV show or version of The Walking Dead. The stellar opening means the rest of The Walking Dead has a lot to live up to. The question is can it? We will endeavour to find out as our shuffle around Kirkman's universe continues.