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Review: The Walking Dead: World Beyond

AMC is taking another stab at its venerable The Walking Dead franchise with a series set a decade after the apocalypse. The Walking Dead: World Beyond follows the first generation of children raised in a world threatened by flesh-eating zombies.The teens live in a Nebraska gated community that, for the most part, is free of the zombie threat. The story follows two sisters, conscientious Iris (Aliyah Royale) and rebellious Hope (Alexa Mansour), typical teenagers but tormented by the trauma of having experienced the world’s collapse as young kids. 

Wary of the threat that resides beyond the gates of Campus Colony — and reminded of the potential threats inside the complex by bars placed in front of the doors of terminally sick residents — the girls live their lives as most teenagers do. When Iris receives a distressing message from her scientist father, who was moved to another settlement, she teams with her sister and two friends, Silas (Hal Cumpston) and Elton (Nicolas Cantu), to venture outside  to seek answers about their lives, and to confront the anxieties all four characters have about their pasts and futures. 

Hovering over the storyline is the existence of the Civil Republic Military (which also appears in The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead). It swoops into town, led by charismatic and tough Elizabeth (Julia Ormond), who is initially welcomed by Iris, but is mistrusted by Hope. 

The Walking Dead: World Beyond looks to expand the franchise to millennials who may or may not be familiar with the original show. The first two episodes of World Beyond lack the intensity and urgency of the zombie threat from the first two series, instead placing most of the focus on the coming-of-age theme surrounding the teen protagonists. Nevertheless, those episodes lay the foundation for potential conflicts between Iris, Hope, Silas and Elton — not to mention the potential hazards of their perilous trek fraught with inevitable encounters with the undead.