Some people would say it is unfair to compare a television series or film to the source material it is adapting. It’s a fair comment, both formats are vastly different and the television show/film has the difficult balancing act of staying loyal to its material while having to cut material out in order to fit into their time-frames. But where’s the fun in that? Geeks everywhere love comparing everything from Kirk and Picard to Batman and the rest of the superhero universe (Batman wins, by the way) and adaptations are juicy topics ripe for debate. Which is where we find this list of the five best and five worst changes the hit AMC show, The Walking Dead, has made from its award winning comic series.
The series has just finished its third season on British screen this past Friday (though of course some of us couldn’t wait that long) and throughout has made a number of big changes from the comic run. These has included creating entirely new characters, bumping up or pushing back deaths and reinterpreting classic moments. All the while keeping the classic ‘don’t get attached to anyone because they’ll die and it will hurt you deep down’ feel intact. Spoilers in this article will include the first eight volumes of the comics and the entire television series, so if you’ve been meaning to watch those last two or three episodes, you have been warned!
Without further ado, let’s get started with the five worst changes…
5. The Prisoners
Season three opened with a belter of an episode as we see Rick and his pals finally roll into the prison, take out a mass of zombies and having to act quickly when Hershel is bitten. Then we get the cliff-hanger, there are prisoners still alive with zombies on the way. How will the group deal with these new members, forced upon them through their choice to clear out the prison? Well, we don’t get to see much, seeing as two of them are killed in the next episode and Axel and Oscar take a passive approach and try to join the group. There’s a little action later when Andrew leads some walkers into Rick’s group’s area of the prison, but after that Axel and Oscar serve as cannon fodder to remind viewers that deaths are frequent while not disposing of any of the main cast.
In the comics, a lot more is made of the tension between the survivors and the prisoners. Some, like Axel, are still friendly but initially not trusted but there is also the underlying threat of Thomas hiding his past murders and taking out Hershel’s children. Rick beats him almost to death with his bare hands and proclaims a new rule: “If you kill, you die”. Dexter and Andrew form a solid alliance who attempt to get rid of Rick’s group before Tick takes Dexter out mid-walker battle. It made for an action packed episode, but I felt more could’ve been gotten out of the prisoners.
This article was first posted on April 9, 2013