Sunday nights are once again the night where I sacrifice sleep in order to enjoy the madness of ‘The Walking Dead.’  Last night’s episode made it 100% clear that we’re dealing with an entirely different continuity from the comics (as if the relative survival-to-horrific-death ratio of characters wasn’t enough) with the introduction of what is probably this season’s big bad and some revealing character moments for Michonne and Andrea.  For my taste, it’s harder to watch the show knowing how the last ten years of the comic have gone, but I’m torn on whether the differences are a good or a bad thing.  Sure, we’re dealing with a different medium, but that doesn’t explain the lack of Tyreese (a pretty awesome character in the prison arc, one might recall) or the divergent character path of Dale.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) reminds you that this isn’t a democracy, and WE ARE THE WALKIIING DEEEAD, asking: Do you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing that the Walking Dead adaptation has made changes to the source material? 

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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7 Comments

  1. Kevin Kortekaas
    October 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm — Reply

    I don’t think the differences are game breaking. It’s an interpretation of the original material and the changes they’ve made I think for the most party have been good (barring the slow first half of season 2)

  2. J_Michael_T
    October 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm — Reply

    I started out dreading it, then really liked what they were doing, then flipped back to uh oh after the first couple of episodes this season. I will love it if they manage to tell a really good story, because it’s kind of like reading an “alternate universe” or “elseworlds” type of story; same characters, different results. I’ve always enjoyed those. But in the end, the TV show will hold my attention if the story is good. They have already used my knowledge of the comic book story against me, and if they continue to do that then I will be a fan of the show.

  3. DC
    October 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm — Reply

    A couple things –

    KIrkman has made it clear the title is a double entendre, and that’s essentially what TWD is about: the zombies on one hand, and this group of people gradually becoming the walking dead themselves in a sense, through what they have to do to survive. That’s a clever play, but it’s about as clever as Kirkman gets IMO. A better writer could have done a hell of a lot more with it, but he’s been repeating himself ever since the governor arc. It’s pretty rare for a show or a movie to best it’s source material, but I think it’s happened in this case. Issue #100 really put the last nail in the coffin for me as to whether he had any interest in character development, situation ethics, psychology, etc; all the stuff that made TWD interesting to me in the first place. If it’s just about cashing in on a brand and pandering to the lowest common denominator with the same gory torture porn genre fare that there’s already an ocean of out there, then I’m not at all interested anymore.

    I also think he really screwed up when he went the sci-fi route with the zombies instead of the supernatural route. He’d said from the beginning that we were never going to find out where the zombies came from because that’s not what the story was about – it’s about Rick and whoever is alive for the moment in his group. Then he goes and has it come out that everyone is infected, and will turn when they die. On the show it’s even worse, since the CDC guy analyzes the virus and informs Rick about the infection. Well, once we’re in scientific territory, where we never needed to go in the first place according to Kirkman himself, I’m afraid the whole thing makes no sense at all. Are their 2 different virus strains? One that turns you immediately from a zombie bite, and another strain that’s inert in everyone? Do the zombies have poison or something in their teeth and fingernails that kills people super quickly? If it’s the transfer of bodily fluids from a bite or scratch, even special fluids local to the zombies mouths, then why aren’t RIck and the gang turned immediately every time the bash a walker’s head in and have it’s guts and blood spray all over their eyes, mouths, etc. This happens pretty much every episode/issue. And this is not to even mention the anatomical state of some of the zombies, such as the ones lacking most of their bodies. If he’d gone the supernatural route with them instead, then he’d never have to explain anything and could just make his own rules.

    As far as I’m concerned, the show’s the better of the two now by far and they’re probably best distancing themselves from the book and Kirkman at this point. The guy who plays Rick( I don’t feel like looking up his name) imbues his character with so much more personality than the writing in the comic does that there’s really no comparison. The only real problems now are that some of the cast take such a back seat to Rick and Lori that they really just feel like extras. T-Dog is such a token black guy character. Why not bring on Tyrese, who was a great character in the book during this period? Daryl needs a personality transplant bad if he’s gonna stick around. Maybe Michonne can liven things up in this department.

  4. Firefox
    October 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm — Reply

    even though people are still waiting for Darrell or Merrall to show up in the books, I just wonder if they are going to do the whole Rick losing his hand or the Michonne rape scene in the tv show. Also, will they do the whole gory death scene of Lori and the baby (possible spoilers)

  5. Jeremy Stevens
    October 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm — Reply

    I enjoy both because they are different. It makes for fun speculation and good surprises.

  6. B.V.K.
    October 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    Having read most of the books I enjoy that the TV show keeps it fresh. Although things like who dies how and certain characters that are added or subtracted may change, a lot of the big story beats are the same. They escape Atlanta, they go to the farm and its overrun, they survive the winter, they find the jail, the Governor shows up. Its the approach that is different and some of the sub plots.

  7. October 30, 2012 at 9:55 am — Reply

    I think the changes work because it keeps it fresh for people who read the books first.

    If, like HBO’s vision of the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ books, it followed the plot elements exactly, there’d be no excitement to it. We know what happens to who when. And, for a show that is built upon building tension, that fails.

    In some ways, it’s like we’re getting to see the original story with Kirkman’s re-visitation and an ‘If I had it to do all over again …’ take on it.

    And I think part of the reason why the show has been so successful is just that: bringing in new characters that weren’t a part of Kirkman’s original vision and killing off characters in new and unexpected ways — all under Kirkman’s direction.

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