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The Walking Dead: Episode 1.05 "Wildfire" Comparison

How does the penultimate season 1 episode compare to the comics?

The second to last episode of the first season of The Walking Dead aired last night. Last week I gave a comparison between the first four episodes and the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.  Let's take a look at fifth episode.
 
While Episode 5 of The Walking Dead shared a few similarities with its comic book brother, it’s also the biggest indicator that this television series will be playing out much differently than the source material in the long run. Spoilers ahoy!  

Episode 1.05 - "Wildfire" 

 
Reaching out to Morgan at Dawn
 

Rick stays true to his promises. That’s what we learn from the multiple scenes in this week’s episode where Rick attempts to radio out to Morgan to warn him of what’s happening in and around Atlanta. These scenes continued to show Rick’s dedication and devotion to everyone’s well-being, even those outside his immediate family. Sadly, these early AM radio broadcasts never happened in the original Kirkman comic book. Once Rick leaves Morgan behind in their home town we don’t see, or hear, from him until far later in the comic book series.   == TEASER ==

Birthing of a Zombie  

Talk about creepy, yet heartbreaking. The sequence where Amy is literally birthed into zombiehood is one of those moments that shows how different The Walking Dead is from every other piece of zombie fiction on the planet. I bet most people watching were expecting Amy to quickly turn into a zombie and pop up for one big shock scare before being put out of her misery. Not so fast. Remember: character is the soul of this series and that’s once again made clear by Amy’s slow and sad transformation in the arms of her sister, Andrea. For comparison sake, the original comic book wasted no time on the dead and quickly smash-cut to the burying of the fallen the morning after the camp attack.         
 
Jim Got Bit
  

This episode we find out that Jim was actually bit during the zombie camp attack. While the same thing happens in the original comic, events play out a bit differently in the AMC series. In the AMC version Jim is shown as being much more secretive about his bite wound than he was in the original source material. However, Jim’s desired fate plays out the same in both the television series and comic, as he’s left by a tree to die and “be with his family.” 

    
Andrea and Dale Share A Moment             

Andrea was having a tough time with the loss of her sister. Unsurprising for fans of the comic, the only person able to break through to her was Dale, delivering a heartfelt speech about his late wife’s passing due to cancer. The comic does feature a similar scene, only with far less words, simply showing Dale put his arm around Andrea and offering his services should she need anything. To me, the AMC version is far more powerful and an excellent indicator of the budding relationship between these two characters.

    
Alone in the Woods   

The scene with Rick and Shane patrolling the outskirts of the camp during last night's episode was particularly interesting. While a similar scene happens in the comic, the context that kick-starts the in-your-face argument between friends in the television series shows more than just Shane being at his wit's end with the whole Rick returning from the dead/can't be with Lori situation. It reinforces to the audience that Shane actually did good by his best friend by saving his wife and son, even if it was for his own selfish gain in the end. We needed to be reminded of this so Shane doesn't come off as a complete villain. He's a human being, flaws and all. 
 
Convoy to the CDC   

This is completely different than the original book. In fact, we never see anyone drive anywhere during the opening story-arc of The Walking Dead comic. All the action takes place inside the camp. However, I do understand that for an hour-long, six episode series you need to give the characters more to do than sit around a campfire and be sad. Therefore, I’m OK with this diversion from the original comic because it makes complete sense for this struggling group to travel to a place that may have food, medicine, shelter and a possible cure. Furthermore, this plot development continued to stress Rick and Shane’s increasingly hostile relationship.  
 
CDC Arrival and Reveal  
Much like the convoy to the CDC, the reveal of a lone CDC Agent alive and breathing is something completely fresh to AMC’s version of The Walking Dead. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I guess I have to see how it plays out in the season finale, but it’s another risky move by AMC to reveal something this big so soon. For perspective, we’re 80 some issues deep in The Walking Dead comic and we still have no solid evidence of a cure being in the works. AMC continues to reveal a larger world of survivors--ones with more worldly importance to boot--and I think it kind of diminishes the value of our main cast. 
 
Conclusion
 
That’s it for Episode 5 of The Walking Dead. With the surprising turn of events in this week’s episode, I think we can all agree that we should expect the unexpected in next week’s season finale. The same applies to fans of the original comic. But make no mistake, AMC is still delivering a great drama television series. It’s just interesting that they’ve chosen to digress from the original comic so early. 
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Posted by Kid_Zombie

It was pretty crazy. I Agree, i'm not sure how i feel about this whole cdc department thing. Dont like how they are turning away from the source material so much and so soon. I little bit here and there has been fine in the first 4 episodes but This I feel is a little to much. 
While I`m on the fence about it, my brother disliked it a lot. saying quote `they are making Rick to much of a pussy.``
 
I`m super pumped about the finally and hopefully it delivers as well as the first 4 episodes. Pumped for the second season...or the next half of season 1, how ever they are doing it.

Posted by ChrisPartin

I think the change with the CDC storyline is a good change from the comic book.  As someone said to me last night, "Why do you want it to be just like the comic book? Don't you already have that story?" 
 
I'm looking forward to the finale next Sunday.  Hopefully it will leave us desperate for more like every ending to a TWD trade out there.
Posted by Nova`Prime`

I haven't read the Walking Dead comics, but from outside looking in this show is going to do very well. I think some of the more diehard Walking Dead fans might not like it not sticking 100% with the comic, but in all reality what comic turned other medium has ever done that. I don't think this show was made with the rabed comic fan in mind, I think it was made because everybody likes the Zombie movie, especially ones that have more substance then just horror and gore.

Posted by crazyasahatter77

I am a huge Walking Dead fan, both of the comic and of the series. I have no qualms about them changing things from the comic tot he show, its good to get some fresh perspective on a medium that is already out there. Also the changes is what make the similarities between the show and the book all the more worth seeing when they do happen on the screen. Lets not forget that in the whole first graphic novel that the majority of the group was white. If you left the show with a mostly white cast then a character like Darrel would not be able to be as effective as he is on the show, also it helps to bring diversity to the group as well. As long as the characterization is pretty much the same as the characters in the comics and the basic premise stays the same, I say AMC you have some fun with this show and keep doing what you're doing.

Posted by Bruce Vain

Seeing all those bodies at the CDC just made you go whoa. 
 
And I love Dale such a great character and I'm so pleased that Jeffrey DeMunn is playing him.
Edited by didean81

I'm sick and tired of all these "fans" complaining about how the "tv show doesn't follow the book exactly." Look, dude, all I want is a compelling story. Robert Kirkman -- the freaking creator of this story -- is an Executive Producer of the tv show. He's very much involved with the whole process. He even wrote episode 4 (making people who complain about how episode 4 doesn't follow the book look even more ridiculous than the already are).     
 
The fun part of the book were the surprises. How no one was safe from getting killed. It's going to be awesome if someone we all know and love and who survied in the story actually gets killed--or someone who does get killed in the book actually survives in the show. Why not? If it's good, I want to see that story.  
 
I'm extremely happy Kirkman and everyone involve realize that. Love the book for what it is. This idea of surviving in this world and telling a good story. I could not care less that this televised story doesn't follow in the books footsteps 100%. That would be boring. Kirkman even said in an interview that Darabont has introduced some characters and rewritten some of the scenes he did that he wishes he could go back and change because they are so damned good (e.g. putting Rick in the Tank).

Posted by Brickabrack

Great series. 
 
I worry that if this show is going to go on for years to come, the actor that plays Rick's son will be a teenager by the time his character really comes into his own later in the series. What eventually happens to the boy mentaly is all the more powerful and tragic because of his young age, and it won't translate nearly as well if the character is much older. I wonder if they thought about that at all.  
 
Still, I can't get enough of this series. I hope the 2nd season isn't too far away.
Posted by Joeybagad0nutz

I agree about the whole CDC thing. I'm not sure about it either. I'll save my judgement for the next episode. But, that ending where Rick is screaming: "You're Killing us!" was just awesome.
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Posted by goldenkey

The show is great.  I started watching it then started reading the book.  Didn't realize how many issues of the book were out.  Thought it was a mini-series.  Im not to into horror based comics, but this one is pretty cool so far so I'll keep reading the Uber-book til it gets boring or starts to repeat it self.

Edited by erik_norris
@didean81:  I agree completely. I don't want the show to be the comic verbetum. What I'm concerned with is the series losing some of what makes The Walking Dead special amongst zombie fiction: a focus on the character relationships instead of finding a cure or explaining why everyone is a zombie.  That has always been the driving force of the comic. Its spirit. The zombie apocalypse was just a catalyst to see the depths people will go to to survive.
 
With that said, I don't think AMC's version is going to lose that soul, I'm just nervous about it. Because if it does become more about finding a cure, then what's separating The Walking Dead from every other zombie movie out there?
Posted by Theodore

I love both the comic and the show. I enjoy things being somewhat different, if it was the same it'd be too predictable.

Posted by danhimself

I've got to say it...I don't like the CDC stuff so far...they're giving to much away about the outside world and virus...no one was ever seen trying to find a cure and it's never hinted about and we have no idea what happened to the rest of the world during the outbreak...I like it better this way...I don't want to hear about what happened in France all I care about is what's going on with the survivors and any explanation for the virus or knowing that someone is working on a cure out there takes away from the mystery and the hopelessness of the world the survivors live in

Edited by KingLoki

Poor Jim....he could never catch a break.

Posted by weapon154

The series is fantastic,and it really sticks true to the comic.

Posted by webhe4d
@ChrisPartin said:
" I think the change with the CDC storyline is a good change from the comic book.  As someone said to me last night, "Why do you want it to be just like the comic book? Don't you already have that story?"  I'm looking forward to the finale next Sunday.  Hopefully it will leave us desperate for more like every ending to a TWD trade out there. "
touche.
Posted by ckal

Walking Dead started off fantastic, and while it has still been good, the last couple episodes (especially ep 4 with the exception of the attack) have been too slow paced with too much filler for me. But I'm glad that last night's episode picked it back up again and they are headed to a new area. I just didn't like them hanging around that camp so much. 

Posted by jamdown

the show is good just not as good as the comic is.
Posted by CrimsonComedian

Tbh, I like how it differs from the comic. I much prefer the show to the comic.

Posted by nick_verissimo

I am definitely pleased with what they are doing with the TV series with respect to what the comic books gave us.  It takes the characters and gives them almost an alternate reality where they chose what is behind door number 2 instead of door number 1. The same problems and tensions are there (lack of food, Shane and Rick's diminishing friendship, the split of leadership) and  seeing what these characters would do given a new setting.   
 
The addition of the CDC is something that I'm really interested in and is making for a real cool finale next week.  It's nice to not have any clue where they are going because when most properties are taken from book to screen, the translation never works because they stick to the cemented storyline and take away key information.  This series gives all the key info. and expands into new stories, which is not only refreshing for fans, but intriguing to newcomers.

Posted by Ultimate JSA

the show is awsome makes me want to read the comic
Posted by strangeling

I'm trying to enjoy it for what it is.  I'm not so sure about the CDC bit, but I'll wait and see how that plays out.  
 
The thing that has bothered me the most so far is the intelligence of the zombies. I didn't mind Morgan's wife trying to open the door.  I wrote that off as "muscle memory."  However, when some of the zombies trying to bust through the doors of the department store had picked up chunks of concrete to smash the glass, I was disappointed. 
 
Back to the CDC.  I expect a lot of this type of "filler" for the show.  The comic has a good head start, but if the AMC series is going to last a number of seasons, it could easily overtake the comic story.  I actually liked the diversion in episode four.  Have you all noticed how these side stories often compare directly to events that happen in the core story to the main characters in the comic book?  Merle losing his hand.  The vatos trying to hold up, and keep their community safe.

Posted by Preacherl2k

I'm fine with the changes from the comic, if anything I want the TV to stand as something different than the comic, including story changes! It's just so darn good I'm hooked!!!!!!

Posted by Shatterstar

Enjoyed the episode thoroughly, I'm digging the changes. 

Moderator
Posted by foxglove

The scenes inside the CDC were too far a departure from the overall tone of the series. It felt abrupt and misplaced. I'm sure this is going to be yet another lesson in 'the living cannot be trusted' and it's not where I'd like to leave the group at a season finale.  
 
Most of the group still isn't carrying anything for self defense. It's getting a little ridiculous now, particularly in light of the attack on the camp. 

Posted by CrimsonInuTears

Thank you CDC, you've ruined a number of my bets. However, I am intriuged to finally get some real info on the walkers. Not much, I'm sure, but really~ ^_^
Posted by crusader8463

 I literally just got done with this episode a few minutes ago, and I was loving all the little changes up to this episode to keep readers of the comic from just seeing the same thing, but by the end of it I was thinking huh oh. We will see how this plays out, but I'm a little nervous that they may try to take this series too far off.
 
So far I have enjoyed the creative liberties that they have taken with the story, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt for now, but I will admit to being nervous about how they take the series from here. I just hope they don't use this underground bunker as a replacement for the

Posted by UpUpAndAway

I know that the show is going to stray from the comic and a stroy aobout a lone cdc agent whose probably (my guess) going to do something batshit crazy like infect someone to get a new fresh sample is an awesome story arc. What i dont like AT ALL is the fact that they are hearing what its like around the world. This is something that is deliberately not answered in the comic and it really gives the story a real gritty in your face, "i dont know what the fuck is going on" feel. Plus the whole i am a scientist and have the ability to make a cure! shit that they are doing is kind of bothering me. It loses that feeling i described earlier. Finally there are BIG events that are going to come into play soon (hopefully in the next episode) and im anxious to find out how they will differ from the comic.
Posted by savri

Just watched it. And I loved it, I want the comic when it gets released again.

Posted by audiosnag

While I'd be just as happy for them to follow the comics beat by beat, I don't mind them changing things up as long as they do it well and up till this point they really have been. I'm...uneasy about the CDC stuff, I'm gonna reserve judgment until the finale. 
If they turn it into a "mad scientist tries to capture people to experiement on" situation, I'm gonna be really damn disappointed. I could see it going that way with him losing his fresh samples and here comes a whole bunch of new people to provide him with some.
Very disappointed.

Posted by .o0Johnny0o.

I don't mind them getting a bit creative with it all, to be honest if they didn't it could get a bit stale to just see the comics I've read just played out.  I have to confess it's a bit distracting watching it and a voice at the back of your head is going 'don't get attached to that guy, he's a goner'
 
I have to toot my own horn here, it took me a while to listen and re-listen to the music that was used when they were traveling but I found it and interestingly enough...  
 
John Murphy - Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor)
written for the movie
Sunshine
directed by
Danny Boyle
who also directed
28 Days Later
 
A little nod to a previous zompocalypse? I feel totally Sherlock for this but I'm I reading into it too much?

Posted by Agnosia

i dont know about the relation to the comic book, but I didnt like this episode...it was a little to slow for me...too much sobbing

Posted by darth bul

great show
Edited by Captainthunder

Best show on TV. I like the CDC part. I actually think they could have done a whole eposode of the cdc isolation stuff similar to The Moon movie.  If the zobies have some muscle memory like the wife turning the door knob, I would like to see them come in contact with a runner zombie. " oh no, its the dead carl lewis!" 
 
Question: Rick saw a helicopter when he first got to atlanta but he never talks about it; why not?
Posted by chowy

There is no doubt this series is more than impresive, and i think it wouldn´t be fair for the people who read (or still is reading) the comic, to not let them be surprised. 
So u know what "should" happend, then whats the point of watching the series. So far I really doubt anyone can complain about the story.
This isa really bold move of the procuders by making a dramatic TV series based on a zombie comic.

Posted by justafan

you know instead of doing the whole evil scientist experimenting on them they might go the route that they tell him about how jim was bit and they left him behind, whether it'll be fresh enough for his needs i don't know

Posted by danhimself

just rewatched the episode...still not caring for the CDC stuff...I don't like knowing that there are people working on a cure or knowing more about the bigger picture....I liked the mystery of not knowing these things

Posted by vincethekid

There is NO comparison needed.  The show is good but, it's NOT the comic.  

Posted by Praetor_fenix

The show has been great so far, but i'd liked better if the scientist inside CDC hadn't open the door, IMO it would have made much more sense, but then again i hope they end first season with a bang, not a whimper, and based on what i've seen so far... I am most certain it will be the case. Once again, great show so far.

Posted by Eyz

That was the first biggest step away from the comic!
Glad they're finally taking it, so we have fresh new things as well as more adaptations of story arcs in this live-Walking Dead series!

Posted by Mancotron
@vincethekid said:
" There is NO comparison needed.  The show is good but, it's NOT the comic.   "
Boom, took the words right out of my mouth.
Posted by Dr. Detfink
@ckal: Agreed. Extending the life of Shane & the CDC are definitely big diversions and kind of slows down the pacing even more. the Cardinal rule of the Walking Dead is, they don't delve at all into how it all happened. Seems to me like they want to give more of an explanation...
Posted by Illuminarch

I'm not happy with the direction the TV show is running in. I didn't expect a completely faithful adaptation of the comic, but so far all they've managed is to make the pacing much slower, run the group in circles (third time back into major city Atlanta? No reasonable person would even think of following Rick there), and now, with the CDC thing, it seems like they're going to reveal every mystery all in one shot (for instance, the preview already has the CDC guy revealing that the entire world is overrun, and he will probably know the fate of non-zombie killed dead). 
 
Also, the "decontamination" sequence was retarded. Which genius thought they blew the room up? All that would accomplish is blow out the pressure seals and the airlock.  
 
Even with those faults, it's still better than most TV shows.

Posted by WilliamHenry
@Illuminarch said:
" I'm not happy with the direction the TV show is running in. I didn't expect a completely faithful adaptation of the comic, but so far all they've managed is to make the pacing much slower, run the group in circles (third time back into major city Atlanta? No reasonable person would even think of following Rick there), and now, with the CDC thing, it seems like they're going to reveal every mystery all in one shot (for instance, the preview already has the CDC guy revealing that the entire world is overrun, and he will probably know the fate of non-zombie killed dead).   Also, the "decontamination" sequence was retarded. Which genius thought they blew the room up? All that would accomplish is blow out the pressure seals and the airlock.    Even with those faults, it's still better than most TV shows. "

The decontamination sequence didn't blow up the room. It burned everything inside, thats it. It just looked like an explosion.
Posted by Thunderscream

I get that Andrea was mourning...but holy crap! Who in their right mind would... 

 
I've only read the first book of the graphic novels so I see that things are moving pretty fast. I'm still wondering when and where Merl's gonna turn up, if at all. 

and 
Posted by Kid_Zombie

  This is from a friend of mine: 
without giving away spoilers, I think Rick has been a bit of a wimp until now,and certain characters need to be dealt with. I don't mind straying from the plot at all, and the new characters have been enjoyable, especially norman reebus ( s ... p?) but in the preview for next weeks episode it looks like they find out the epidemic is world wide, which changes the whole motivation for decisions involving the entire plot of the story, and character conflicts.

I think to enjoy this show I have to forget what I've read and move on. I will say this though, one of the best characters is Carl, and being someone who has dreamt about this series for years now, I want to see that kid's character realized because it might be the best part of the comics. They seem to be dropping the ball there. Fingers crossed and i have faith in Frank Darabont.

Posted by Prims777

I thought this episode was great. I really hope we don't have to wait all the way until next halloween for season 2.

Posted by danhimself
@Kid_Zombie said:
"   This is from a friend of mine:  without giving away spoilers, I think Rick has been a bit of a wimp until now,and certain characters need to be dealt with. I don't mind straying from the plot at all, and the new characters have been enjoyable, especially norman reebus ( s ... p?) but in the preview for next weeks episode it looks like they find out the epidemic is world wide, which changes the whole motivation for decisions involving the entire plot of the story, and character conflicts. I think to enjoy this show I have to forget what I've read and move on. I will say this though, one of the best characters is Carl, and being someone who has dreamt about this series for years now, I want to see that kid's character realized because it might be the best part of the comics. They seem to be dropping the ball there. Fingers crossed and i have faith in Frank Darabont. "
you're friend is absolutely right about Carl but his character doesn't get to be really awesome up until they leave the prison in the book....Carl is my favorite character in the book...he's the one who's changed the most throughout the series it's just amazing to see the change from issue 1 to now
Posted by Kid_Zombie
@danhimself:  Ya carl rules, we are really scared we are not going to see the Carl from the comics in the show. or see a completly new way of showing he become that. What about the gun? you think they will let a kid carry a gun on TV? Might look bad, but its such an important part of carl. Ha ha who knows, guess we will have to watch and see!
Posted by danhimself
@Kid_Zombie said:
" @danhimself:  Ya carl rules, we are really scared we are not going to see the Carl from the comics in the show. or see a completly new way of showing he become that. What about the gun? you think they will let a kid carry a gun on TV? Might look bad, but its such an important part of carl. Ha ha who knows, guess we will have to watch and see! "
I was thinking about that yesterday...they still haven't trained him yet and that plays a major role in Shane's death....also what about the twins?...they're not in the show so how do we get that moment?
Posted by Kid_Zombie
@danhimself said:
" @Kid_Zombie said:
" @danhimself:  Ya carl rules, we are really scared we are not going to see the Carl from the comics in the show. or see a completly new way of showing he become that. What about the gun? you think they will let a kid carry a gun on TV? Might look bad, but its such an important part of carl. Ha ha who knows, guess we will have to watch and see! "
I was thinking about that yesterday...they still haven't trained him yet and that plays a major role in Shane's death....also what about the twins?...they're not in the show so how do we get that moment? "
Ya i was just talking about this, what i THINK happened with the twins, is that they will come in later. I don't think they casted them because, look how old they casted the little girl and Carl, they prob would have done the same with the twins. this was originally 6 episodes with hopes of a full season and a second season, so i dont think they casted them for the first 6 episodes simply because they didnt want to cast all the main characters and deal with young child actors till a full series was a sure thing. I honestly think they will come in for either the next half of season one or season 2.  This is what I THINK is going on with them, that sort of thing happens all the time in a TV show especially a mini series "pilot" six episodes. Sorry hopefully that made sense ha ha But i think we will see them eventually....I hope.
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