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"The Walking Dead" has been a rating juggernaut for the AMC network which released the show at a time when the channel was riding the critical acclaim of "Breaking Bad." Comic book author Robert Kirkman had overseen the transition of his "The Walking Dead" franchise from page to screen and began developing his "Fear The Walking Dead" comic book for the small screen in 2013.
"Fear The Walking Dead" takes a different approach to the zombie apocalypse detailed in its sister show, "The Walking Dead" and features an entirely different cast of characters. The show begins in Los Angeles with the heroin-addicted Nick waking in a disused church now used by drug addicts as a safe haven. Waking from a heroin-induced sleep, Nick sees his girlfriend eating the corpse of another addict and flees the scene. Unnerved and scared, Nick makes his way out of the church and is hit by a car before waking again in a hospital.
Upon waking, Nick confides in his doctor, mother, Madison, and stepfather, Travis about the incident with his girlfriend in the church. Believing his claims to be caused by his drug dependency, none of those he confides in believe the claims of Nick, with Nick's sister, Alicia becoming concerned about the future of her brother. Rumors of an epidemic of some sort begin to sweep through Los Angeles and cause the cancellation of schools and other regular programs. Seizing on the lack of staff at the hospital, Nick escapes and sets out to discover what his drug dealer, Calvin.
As his family struggle with the breakdown of society, Nick is solely concerned with finding out the truth about the drugs he was sold by Calvin. Wanting to discover if his son is telling the truth, Travis makes his way to the church and finds evidence to back up the claims of Nick before he discovers his son is missing from his hospital bed.
Nick is confused about whether he actually saw his girlfriend eating another person or whether he was hallucinating. Calvin is concerned about the mental state of Nick and fears he will expose him to the authorities. As a struggle ensues, a mortal gunshot wound for Calvin does now have the effect Nick, Travis, or Madison would hope for. With the epidemic exposed to the family, they are faced with decisions regarding how to keep themselves safe from a similar fate to those already affected.
"Fear The Walking Dead" was created by the author of the comic book series of the same name, Robert Kirkman who wrote the opening episode of season one and the season finale. Creating "The Walking Dead" franchise for Image Comics came after he had achieved his first writing credit for a movie when his "Invincible" series was adapted for the screen.
The series is headed by showrunner, Dave Erickson who had found success as both a writer and producer on a series of critically-acclaimed cable TV shows in the U.S. Prior to working on "Fear The Walking Dead" the man once voted the producer had written and produced episodes of "Sons of Anarchy" and "Low Winter Sun."
"Harry Potter" graduate, Frank Dillane takes on the key role of Nick Clark in "Fear The Walking Dead." The English-born actor is the son of "Game of Thrones" star, Stephen Dillane and won the role of Tom Riddle in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" which was his breakthrough role. Since graduating from the prestigious London RADA school of acting, Dillane has worked consistently on both film and TV projects.
Other key members of the cast include Kim Dickens, who takes on the role of Nick's mother, Madison Clark. Dickens has worked on many prestigious projects since making her debut on film in the acclaimed comedy, Palookaville before switching to numerous TV roles in the 21st-century, including a recurring role in the HBO western, Deadwood.
The impact of the successful, "The Walking Dead" series was shown in the budget for "Fear The Walking Dead" which allowed the series to film its first three episodes on location in Los Angeles. The later episodes in season one were filmed in Alberta, Canada. The journey undertaken by the group of survivors in the second season saw filming switch to Mexico. The majority of the first season of "Fear The Walking Dead" was directed by the American TV actor and director, Adam Davidson who appeared in a number of movies in a smaller role, including "The Day Trippers" and "Nature Boy."
Season one of "Fear The Walking Dead" received some mixed reviews from viewers and professional critics alike who believed it had relied a little too heavily on elements from its more famous predecessor, "The Walking Dead." Rotten Tomatoes gives the first season a rating of 77 percent with season two dipping to a rating of 72 percent. Seasons three and four have fared better with critics with average ratings being in the 80s on various online review sites. Seasons five of "Fear The Walking Dead" will premiere on AMC in June 2019 with the show usually simulcast in parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe on the AMC Global network.
"Fear The Walking Dead" takes place in the early stages of the zombie invasion also seen in "The Walking Dead." However, the events of the first season are the earliest days of the outbreak with zombies barely decomposed making them much harder to identify than in later seasons. Despite being released after "The Walking Dead", "Fear The Walking Dead" is a prequel with the events of seasons one and two taking place in the period of time when the Rick Grimes is in a coma.