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Walking Dead, The

1.05 Wildfire

original title: Walking Dead, The


  • European Version (e.g. UK BD)
  • US Version
Release: May 21, 2011 - Author: VideoRaider - Translator: DaxRider123 - external link: IMDB - more from this series
I. Introduction

October 2003: Originally planned as a short-lived graphic novel horror, "The Walking Dead" quickly became one of the most popular comic series ever - even though the plot as well as the characters are very different from other popular comic series. There are no flying superheroes, no supervillains or mutated scientists, and planet earth is not threatened by extraterrestrial beings or megalomaniac industrial tycoons. Basically the planet is fine - probably even better off, now that the earth's most dangerous villain's number was pareded down to the minimum. And this was not achieved by the destructive forces of nature or by hitting the red button - the real reason are the living dead...

"The Walking Dead" is around for more than 7 years now. There exist 78 issues and 13 companions - still, the series is as popular as ever. Creator Robert Kirkman originally planned to release "The Walking Dead" as a 6-episode mini-series, but because of the phenomenal success they decided to continue the series. They invented and evolved new stories as well as characters - probably the biggest advantage of the series. There are no main characters, nobody on the planet is safe. There are several different stories about several different persons and the only thing they have in common is the will to survive in an the post-apocalyptic US of undead A. Very often, they mixed the plot up with classic elements from traditional horror literature as well as cinema. There are isolated communities, anthropophagic hordes, and smalltown despots - those who survived as well as the omission of human values are another serious threat for the characters of the stories.

It's very much possible that this is another reason for the huge success of the comic series that was made into a TV series in 2010. „The Walking Dead“ rarely ever includes any sensational elements. One could argue that the series actually follows the tradition of classic horror movies (there rarely are "in your face"-shock effects). Most of the time the story of the TV series takes place in the hinterland (rather than huge cities which are the most dangerous places to be in modern societies) - Suburbia and Smalltown America. The big cities are crowded with zombies, therefore it would be a suicide mission to enter one of them. The few survivers have to fall back to areas that once were said to be peaceful. The citizens of this "idyllic" hinterland are the main characters of the TV series - small town sheriffs, housewomen, local politicians, and so on (all rather middle class individuals).

Frank Darabont - the director of the pilot movie - did a great job shooting the scenario. Instead of giving in to excessive bloodshed, fast cutting, or experimental shots he concentrated on a rather "calm" plot; all the characters (who are the main focus of the pilot episode) get enough time to evolve. Even though Darabont used rather vintage rhetorical devices, "The Walking Dead" really is a refreshing experience (especially since most of the zombie movies nowadays seem rather stale). As a result, the series was praised by movie critics as well as the audience. „The Walking Dead“ has record-breaking ratings - it was so successful that they commissioned a second season after the first run of the second episode!

II. This Report

This is a comparison between the US TV Version of the fifth episode (entitled "Wildfire" and aired on amc) and the German TV Version (aired on the German Pay-TV channel Fox Serie). The same version was also aired on FOX in Italy. Therefore one could assume that FOX airs the same version of the episodes in all countries (except the USA). If you have any more information on this, please leave us a comment!

Overall, the German Version misses out on 11.76 seconds.

Thanks to Frieda (one of the German message board's users) for supplying us with the material for this report.

Update 20.05.2011

We can now confirm what we were worried about: The UK Version released on Blu-ray equals the censored European pay-TV version of episode 2 and 5 which had been used for our comparisons. So the UK BD and probably the DVD as well are cut. Considered that, most likely every other European release in the next months will also only include the censored versions, taken from the same master.
At least this only concerns episode 2 and 5 and not episode 1 as well. Episode 1 had to be cut around 20 minutes for the European pay-TV airing. The UK BD includes the uncut pilot episode.
Carol, the pickaxe and her dead husband: after a group of zombies reduced the number of camp-residents, the survivers have to destroy the brains of their dead friends the next day. To save ammunition, Daryl uses a pickaxe. Just when he wants to "kill" Ed, his wife Carol takes over. Normally she should only destroy the brain but first she smashes her husband's jaws.
8.84 sec.

With the next strike she hits the brain.
2.92 sec.