With the original series one of the most-watched shows on TV, Fear The Walking Dead has a lot of pressure resting on its shoulders. Select media outlets in the US have now watched the season one premiere episode and the majority of their reviews carry a shared sentiment – the spin-off is much more of a slow-burner than its mother so be prepared.
The new AMC series takes place slightly before The Walking Dead meaning viewers will finally get to see what the world was like before and just as the zombie apocalypse hit. Taking a departure from Atlanta, the series is set in sunny Los Angeles and features a whole batch of new characters.
Judging by the round-up of reviews, the spin-off appears to be heavily focused on character-development as opposed to shocking viewers with blood and gore like TWD. BloodyDisgusting.com notes: "The biggest change is that Fear focuses on characters and family, while Walking Dead put way too much emphasis on the zombies and how cool the KNB-created undead effects would be."
Collider.com adds: "It's a slow-burn series, even with a 90-minute premiere, but the cast and pedigree could make sticking through the six-episode first season worthwhile." Despite the heavy focus on the Manawa and Clark families and absence of edge-of-your-seat action, TVLine remains confident that the series will still trump its small screen competition.
Watch the Fear The Walking Dead trailer:
They state: "Considering how monstrously successful The Walking Dead is, Fear is guaranteed a ginormous sampling... And considering how effective the premiere's two big set pieces are — not to mention how compelling a presence Dillane is — it's a pretty safe bet that the drama will at least take a big bite out of its competition."
Although both series are expected to be completely separate from each other, executive producer David Erickson hinted at a crossover, telling Entertainment Weekly: "By the end of season one, we definitely know the world has changed, but we're not at the same place where Rick woke up."
Executive producer Greg Nicotero spoke to the IBTimes UK about the spin-off and promised it would "not be a carbon copy" of the original. He explained: "It's really fascinating. What we've been able to do is we've been able to craft a show that lives in a universe but feels like a completely different show.
"We didn't want a carbon copy of The Walking Dead because that wouldn't be prudent. I just don't think it would have made a lot of sense. So having the show set in Los Angeles [and] at a completely different time as walkers are beginning to take over the world... The idea, much like our show, it's really about the relationships and about the families and how they handle it and deal with it, so it's fascinating."
Fear The Walking Dead will premiere in the US on 23 August and 31 August in the UK on BT's new AMC Global channel.