Is there a World Beyond The Walking Dead?

For too long The Walking Dead has continued to lumber forward. For too long it has lingered. Is it not time for us to put it out of its misery?

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Photo by Yohann LIBOT on Unsplash

All that is left is to know what happened to Rick.

For those unaware, Rick Grimes is the central character in The Walking Dead. He was there at the start and was thought to be dead at the start of season 9.

He is not dead. He was rescued by a mysterious helicopter and his family never saw him again.

From reading online I know that his partner discovered in the tenth season that he was still alive. She has subsequently left the show to look for him.

This is what I discovered from looking online, as like millions of others, I am a lapsed fan. After six and a half seasons I gave up. It was too much. For a show dedicated to surviving the apocalypse, it had turned into a political negotiation. I needed a break.

Everything has its time

EVERYTHING HAS ITS TIME. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die
Everything has its time, Catholicdoors.com

I use the quote above in reference to hearing it on Doctor Who. I am not religious, although I appreciate that many people are. We should all be free and equal to believe as we wish to.

The Walking Dead still appeals to millions, otherwise, it would not still be seen on television. The fact of the matter is that it used to appeal to tens of millions.

…from the series high season 5 which at its peak, drew 17.29 million viewers for its premiere, No Sanctuary.

The Walking Dead’s last episode, Morning Star, was a blend of great character moments and badass battle scenes, but drew only 2.93 million viewers, down from 4 million in the season 10 premiere…
The Walking Dead ratings, Forbes.com

In just over six years, the show has gone from nearly 20 million viewers to 2.93 million. This is a loss of 83% of that peak audience.

It is a show that from the outside is in decline. I switched off halfway through the seventh season. The battle with Neegan went on for too long and I grew tired of it. I was not the only one and whilst the show has stumbled on, the news that the next season will be it's last is a welcome one.

One final question

What happened to Rick?

I do not want to watch every episode of the Walking Dead. I do not want to watch Fear the Walking Dead or The World Beyond. I have watched the first two episodes of The World Beyond, but we will come back to that in a minute.

Despite not wishing to get sucked back in, I stayed up to date with the storylines. From Neegan’s demise to the arrival of the Whisperers, I kept in touch, as I wanted to know what happened to Rick and how it would all end.

The comic books end with a time jump and a distant memory, in which the Walkers are an old threat and society has rebuilt itself. The show will not do this, as it is spawning more sequels and spin-off movies than I can shake my fist at.

All I care about is what happened to Rick. I spent years watching the show and enjoyed the character. Whether I like it or not, I am invested and will watch the movies. I care not for the show but have been catching up via Amazon.

Like revising for a test, I have been preparing myself. What I have found, at least in the eighth season, is a lot of fluff, but I am doing it for the final payoff. What happened to Rick.

The movies

The so-called Walking Dead movies have been years in the making. Ever since everyone thought that Rick was going to die and then didn’t, the movies have been discussed. The spin-offs have continued and we still have no sign of them.

The movies are elusive, like the truth in a Donald Trump speech. For my money, they were announced after the episode in which Rick died, to attract lapsed viewers. Even though we had turned the show-off, we hadn’t tuned out.

The movies have then subsequently dragged their heels in order for people to continue to watch the show. Clues as to Rick’s disappearance have reportedly been dripped across the central Walking Dead and sister show, Fear the Walking Dead. It’s like Marvel all over again.

The movies were announced at Comic-Con in 2019, and are believed to focus on Rick’s storyline after he is taken in the helicopter in season 9

…As for when the movies will be released, that’s anyone’s guess, though don’t bet on them appearing before The Walking Dead core series is finished.
Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes Movies Still Planning To Release in Theaters, ScreenRant.com

With the reported final season to cover two years, this means that we may not see what happened to Rick until late 2022/23. Hopefully, by then life will be back to normal and we can enjoy them in the cinema.

Fans and lapsed fans want to know what happened to Rick and that will keep our ears open. I can’t promise that the show will receive anything but a casual observation on my behalf but I will keep my eyes peeled.

In the meantime, Amazon recently released another spin-off, The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond

For some reason, I cannot bring myself to cancel Amazon Prime. I should as the quality of shows on there does not match that of Netflix. I am also in the 30–40 age bracket and therefore do not have as much time as I did, yet we have five streaming services in the house. We have six services if you include Spotify.

I saw The World Beyond and maybe in an attempt to justify the money or to gain clues about Rick, I gave it a go. Two episodes later and I want to sleep in until mid-day and tell my Mum that I hate her.

The World Beyond is aimed at teenagers, to engage a new audience from scratch. Lapsed fans and core Walking Dead fans have enough to watch, like the average WWE fan. You do not have enough time to watch everything.

The World Beyond is flat and predictable, and all I keep asking myself is, why? Why am I putting myself through this?

The only reason I can think of is that I want to know what happened to Rick.

A final thought

Marvel has taught producers out there that people love a mystery. People love getting clues from multiple sources that when placed together, create a jigsaw puzzle. If you paid attention to all the clues and others different, then you feel smug and proud. Marvel created loyalty through puzzle.

The Walking Dead is following the Marvel approach. It is leaving clues that we need to watch in order to fully appreciate what happened to Rick. If we do not watch these clues then the movies will not make as much sense. Forced loyalty is how I would describe it.

I have no love for the franchise now. It should have been let go after the Neegan storyline was resolved, to be continued with films and spin-offs. It should have been put out of its misery earlier.

Instead, the producers know they have one more bullet in the chamber. They know that as soon as it is fired, people will turn off, and so they are making us wait. Like the world’s longest session of foreplay, The Walking Dead is teasing us.

All I care about is what happened to Rick. I know that I am being manipulated in order to get my answer, yet I can live with that. What does this say about me?

Written by

A writer of many things, all of which make him think or smile.

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