The Walking Dead returned to our screens this week with a season eight premiere that flirted with the All Out War fans have been promised for the show’s latest instalment.
Its return also marked the landmark 100th episode of the zombie drama, which debuted on Halloween night of 2010 and has been a critical and ratings success for much of its run.
Through this journey, we have watched Rick Grimes and his friends transform from the fearful victims of their surroundings, to the hardened survivors they are now. The Walking Dead has distinguished itself from other post-apocalyptic series by making the living the primary enemy, and testing the boundaries of what humans will do to survive.
The show has gone through its peaks and troughs but has always been brave enough to be different, giving us episodes of Hollywood grandeur followed by character-focused sequences highlighting its wonderful cast. And drama and shock have been guaranteed at every turn.
The standard has been set for season eight with these outstanding episodes...
Torn between his love for Lori and his loyalty to Rick, Shane was the most absorbing character during TWD's early seasons and a breakthrough role for Jon Bernthal.
The highlight of his time in the series came during a life-or-death supply run in season two.
A young Carl had just been accidentally shot and taken to the Greene family farm to be treated by the newly-introduced Hershel. Shane was tasked with raiding a nearby school for medical supplies and was accompanied by Otis, the perpetrator who fired the bullet.
This mission was gripping enough before Shane’s desperation gave the episode a dark twist. He killed Otis, using him as walker feed so that he could escape with the drugs, and his own life, beginning Shane’s descent down a troubled path from which he could never return.
The episode was wonderfully crafted, displaying Shane’s guilty reflection in the mirror before the credits and prolonging the explanation over an entire episode of extreme tension.