The Walking Dead World Beyond offers a lot of clues about the mysterious CRM and a totally new perspective on life in the apocalypse.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Walking Dead World Beyond, but the show is definitely more complex than I thought it would be. Maybe it’s because the early marketing made it seem like a toned-down teen version of The Walking Dead or maybe because I couldn’t really get a feel for what this new show was going to look like I had mixed expectations when I sat down to watch the first two episodes, “Brave” and “The Blaze of Glory”.
In our current reality, TWD World Beyond feels very familiar and yet unfamiliar too as viewers meet characters who live in a world that seems very similar to own but has jarring reminders that they are living ten years into an apocalypse. While there are some threads that tie World Beyond to The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead and all three shows are relatively close on the apocalypse timeline World Beyond is set in a reality that is vastly different than fans have seen before.
It would be a mistake to compare TWD World Beyond to other shows in TWD universe. Both The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead are built around a small cell of people who are just trying to survive day to day and who find others and build communities along the way. Every day is a hard-fought victory against the death that is everywhere. World Beyond isn’t like that.
In this part of TWD universe safety is not an issue. The Campus Colony is well established, safe, and has thousands of people living in a pretty good imitation of what life was like before the apocalypse. Which is interesting and also keeps viewers off-balance.
The Campus Colony world feels like Anytown, USA, until a contingent from CRM arrives, or until there is a jarring reminder that the empties as they call them are still there and are still a threat. Little touches throughout the colony, like the zombie-proof doors on apartments to keep residents who die, and turn, trapped inside are nudging reminders that while the world feels so much like our own it’s still TWD universe.
Glimpses of a much bigger world – and a bigger story
One of the most exciting things about World Beyond is how it ties together the threads of a bigger narrative arc that has been scattered throughout The Walking Dead and Fear TWD and starts to weave them into a more cohesive story. Finally more is revealed about what CRM is, and what they do, and what other societies and groups might have survived the apocalypse.
One of the lingering questions that fans have had since the very beginning of TWD was whether or not larger chunks of cities and bigger populations had survived. Up until this point, we’ve only seen very small groups of people banding together to try and survive, but in World Beyond we find out that there is a larger world out there with thousands of survivors and thriving communities.
Finding out more about that larger narrative as the show progresses will be very interesting. It’s very possible that World Beyond, which is a limited series that will only run for two seasons, will be the bridge between The Walking Dead and the Rick Grimes focused films.
The Civic Republic Military, CRM, is something fans have been curious about ever since their helicopters were first spotted but that curiosity grew after one of those helicopters took Rick Grimes and Jadis. The clues that are revealed about CRM in episodes 101 and 102 of World Beyond are fascinating and are just enough to make CRM even more mysterious. The connections that are made in episode 101 are satisfying and also intriguing.
Julia Ormond, who plays CRM commander Elizabeth, is fantastic. Even when she is seemingly friendly and open she oozes menace and gives a strong sense of being in control at all times. There is definitely a sense that even when she appears to be engaging in casual conversation she is carefully measuring every word and gesture. There is a lot going on behind the scenes with this character and I can’t wait to see more of her.
The night the sky fell
At the Campus Colony, they measure time post-apocalypse from a fixed point known as the Night The Sky Fell, or NSF. You’ll see references to it around the colony. Even though it was ten years ago it’s still very present for Hope and Iris. There are some great flashbacks to that night which I loved.
From the start of TWD I have really wanted to see more in-depth looks at the fall of the world, and World Beyond provides that in those flashbacks. One of the biggest disappointments about Fear TWD for me was that there wasn’t enough footage of that fall of civilization so it was great to see that shown in World Beyond.
Visually the flashbacks are deeply unsettling. They’re a jarring contrast to the sunlight-filled calm of day to day life in the colony. The images from the NSF and walkers empties, as they are called on this show, are gory but gorgeous. Greg Nicotero has outdone himself with the undead design on World Beyond. In both episodes, there’s a very unique focus on the humanity that remains in the walkers empties. Even though they’re absolutely a new level of horrifying in their decay there is still something very human about them which is terrible but also wonderful.
The first episode of World Beyond is creating a new world, so don’t expect it to be as action-packed as The Walking Dead shows that are already established. There is action, but there is a lot of world-building going on as well.
The story will start to pick up more in the series’ second episode and build from there. As the lead characters are introduced and their backgrounds are revealed it becomes easier to get invested in their stories. I didn’t feel an instant connection to these characters like I have felt to some other characters in the other shows but by the end of the first episode I was interested enough to want to continue learning more about them and the world they live in.
Final thoughts on this new TWD World
The Walking Dead World Beyond is as carefully crafted as any of the other shows in the TWD universe. It has the same depth, detailed development, and compelling stories as the other shows and it’s a great addition to the TWD universe. The world’s about to get a whole lot bigger and fans should be excited.
Watch the world premiere of The Walking Dead World Beyond on Sunday, Oct 4 immediately following The Walking Dead season 10 finale “A Certain Doom”. Follow us on Twitter @SonyaIryna and @CulturessFS for reviews, previews, news, and full coverage of TWD universe.