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The Walking Dead: World Beyond review: Does the new zombie series live up to the franchise?

The Walking Dead: World Beyond review
The new zombies from The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Pic credit: AMC

The Walking Dead is back tonight with the final episode of its 10th season, and then AMC will follow it up with a new spinoff series.

Instead of starting another long-running series such as Fear the Walking Dead, AMC has chosen to create the new spinoffs as limited series, which allows the showrunners to tell self-contained stories, with a beginning, middle, and end.

Here is a look at the new Walking Dead series, World Beyond.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond review

Walking Dead: World Beyond tells the story of a world long after the initial zombie outbreak.

The world is trying to rebuild and there are different societies around the world in places like Portland and Omaha. Most of these societies are under the rule of an organization known as the Civic Republic.

The Civic Republic even has its own military, but other than that, it is a mysterious group. No one knows where the Civic Republic is, no one is allowed to communicate with the Civic Republic and not in the Civil Republic is allowed to communicate with the outside world.

This is also the group that took Rick Grimes from the original Walking Dead series.

The show opens up in an educational community. The first few minutes of the show barely makes it look like a show within the Walking Dead universe.

There are people attending class, talking about parties, dating, hanging out, putting up their artwork, and more. They live in regular homes and everything here looks normal.

Except they are surrounded by a wall and there are people with weapons to protect them. This is 10 years after The Walking Dead and the world has restarted. The kids here are getting an education while the Civil Republic seeks out a cure for the zombie epidemic.

There are two characters that the audience starts off in the shoes of. These are sisters, Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alex Mansour) Bennett. Their father, a scientist, was “traded” to the Civic Republic for a soldier.

The two girls also have a traumatic past, as they slightly remember the day the sky fell (a plane crashed in their town during the zombie outbreak). Their dad got them to safety and helped start a new society, but their mother died.

The mom’s death affects Hope most, as she was there to see what happened and it haunts her still to this day.

Hope is the wild-child who hates authority and doesn’t trust the Civic Republic while Iris is the brilliant sister who has high aspirations of helping make the world a better place.

However, the series takes a turn when they get a message sent to them in secret from their dad saying that things have gone wrong and they shouldn’t trust anyone.

That is when the Civic Republic shows up with one administrator in Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) to attend the annual memorial celebration. Before this, Kublek gives Iris a map that shows where her father is (in New York), but neither girl completely trusts this woman.

That night, Iris and Hope decide to leave and takes two boys with them and the series seemed to move quickly away from the campus, which then turned it into another Walking Dead series.

The four kids are trying to survive a zombie outbreak, while their guardian and a tough as nails girl sets out to find them and bring them back.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond final thoughts

The first two episodes provided show mostly the start of the journey, as well as some flashbacks to quickly catch up viewers on who these kids are.

There is also a possible human villain introduced in the Civil Republic, and there is a scene at the end of the first episode that makes it unclear what happened. Either the Civic Republic Military is evil or they were trying to protect the people of the campus (which had over 9,000 people living there).

There is also a lot of fun moments in the series, including the training in schools on how to survive zombies as well as how they protect the community from a person dying in the night and changing. It is ingenious how they save people from these accidental zombie turns (they are called Empties here).

There is also a great technique that keeps zombies away from communities, one that the people learned in the 10 years since the zombie outbreak, and it is a brilliant plan to keep the communities safe. It is also interesting to see what the people do now to the Empties to try to understand them, and it involves not killing the undead.

With all that said, the main lure has to be the story.

This is the first show since Fear the Walking Dead that introduces new characters we know nothing about. In this case, it is four children and two young adults, six people who grew up in the zombie apocalypse and were teens and younger when the world fell apart.

All six of these actors were great in their roles and they bring something fresh and new to the tired series that seems to be spinning its wheels. The entire look of the Civil Republic Military is similar to that of the Commonwealth, and it makes one wonder if this show is where the final resting place of the survivors is introduced.

There is one moment where they gun down the zombies that came straight out of the comics when they met the Commonwealth military.

This is an important series for The Walking Dead, as it is where AMC shows they can tell smaller self-contained stories that will lead the franchise into the future.

So far, the future is off to a good start.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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