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At last, the 2013 Comic-Con is here, and coming with it is the Season 4 trailer for The Walking Dead; in another fast-moving sneak-peak, let's delve in deeper and pick some things out.
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N.B. Click on each image for FULL SIZE.
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Starting with a raid on a “Big Spot” all-in-one chain store, the bigger and bolder Team Prison are now seasoned scavengers. They have pre-planned formations and have customised their own armour for protection.
The prison has also been turned into a farm with crops, and even animals – pigs for meat, as well as horses for work and a mode of transport – what's not to love about Michonne on a horse?
New defences have been erected – large wooden beams have been sharpened to skewer unsuspecting walkers near the newly-crafted entrance (after it was smashed-down by Team Woodbury – although that same vehicle has been reused, as glimpsed in one shot). Also of note is that there are a range of sharp weapons lined up on the fences, ready for action.
Speaking of which, in a scene that could get British tabloid reactionaries into a frothy lather of out-of-context rage, Carol is shown running a knife-training class for the children in the group; proper use and safety are the key lessons. The Dark Knight caused controversy in some corners of the British media for its depiction of knives: in the UK, knives are more of a day-to-day concern than guns, which are generally banned except for strictly licensed hunting purposes. There might be no fuss at all, but this part might ruffle a few feathers in the chip-paper rags of tomorrow – only time will tell.
Massacre in D Block:
There were some shocking moments of violence early on in the prison arc in the comics, and there is the suggestion that a version of this will be coming to the show. “Someone attacked the cell block” / “We've got to find who did this” / “They're not going anywhere, we'll find them” - it would seem likely that the attack came from within – is there something dark-of-the-mind about one of the ex-Woodburyites?
“We just lost twelve of our own, two who were killed in cold blood” - again, the suggestion that there was a double murder committed by someone on the inside, who then potentially unleashed some walkers on their fellow prison-dwellers. Also note that the attack takes place in D Block, which must be where they housed the new additions to their group after 3x16 - the original members of Team Prison moved into C Block - so might this mean that the big names of the group are safe from this particular tragedy?
The Walker Problem:
Following season 3's “Fight the dead, fear the living” theme, the walkers are hitting back in a big way – greater numbers of them are swarming the fences, which begin to fall under the weight of their collective mass. What's more, it appears that somebody has been feeding rats to the walkers to attract them – perhaps this is also the handiwork of the killer inside. A long shot could be that it's The Governor toying with the much larger Team Prison – but there was no mention at all of the one-eyed nutter during this trailer – where is he? When is he coming back, and how?
In addition to a bunch of former Woodbury residents – many of them potential 'red shirts', you'd imagine – we're getting a new character in the form of Bob Stookey. Readers of The Walking Dead will be familiar with him, so we'll see how he stacks up against his literary counterpart, who was a military man with a drinking problem.
“You gotta calm down.” A big part of the comics was the clash of personalities between Rick and Tyreese, and we see they have a right old punch up here (Tyreese is later spotted with a swollen left eye) – but what might have set Tyreese off? We see him looking in shock at something on the ground – but what, or rather, who? Could it be someone close to him? Could it be his sister?
An interesting part was Carol, shown here to be a bit of a back bench strategist keeping an eye on the overall situation at home, as well as being a teacher to the young kids – perhaps even a surrogate mother. One blonde girl in particular holds her hand – could there be a sort of 'Sophia 2.0' relationship between them?
We'll also get to see Tyreese's big moment – comic fans will already know what I'm alluding to, but in one sequence we see the big guy absolutely surrounded by ravenous walkers as he wildly brings his almighty hammer down upon their decaying heads!
It also looks like Hershel has been able to craft a false leg that'll allow him to remain a productive member of the group, rather than hobbling around on crutches – it'll also mean less work for the CGI artists to remove Old Man Greene's leg. You get a good look at his new appendage in two shots – when he's in the woods with Carl, and sat at the table in the library.
Finally, it looks like Carl is growing up fast, but is he a lost cause after he killed a teenage boy in mid-surrender in the season 3 finale? Remember that fresh-faced little tyke in season one?
A Homely Prison:
“The only thing you can choose, is what you're risking it for.” There's most definitely a lot to lose for Team Prison, but with the threat of being over-run by walkers (can they reinforce the fences?), there seems to be a suggestion that they might be looking for new digs – Michonne scans a map, and dialogue suggests this further … however, the editors of these trailers are notoriously tricksy in their juxtaposition of shots from different scenes with dialogue from entirely separate scenes all stitched together. “We have to go” / “Soon or later, we run” - is the fall of the prison inevitable?
Also of note is that over the last several months between seasons 3 and 4, they've made the prison a home. In addition to new defences and farming, they've opened up a library/school room, which also acts as a meeting place for the elders of the group. There's also new buildings – shacks of sorts – that have been constructed in the courtyard.
Stuff … Things:
Someone being heard on the car radio was going to be a side-plot in season 2, but it was removed, however here we see Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Bob hearing a voice on the car radio, which seems to say “Sanctuary … those who arrive, survive.” Might this be a hint at a new location for the group to head to in case everything goes arse-up at the prison?
And last, but not least, are the walkers. KNB continues to knock it out of the park, and two walkers stood out above the rest in this trailer – a female walker with horrific, blood-soaked dead eyes – and a moss-covered male walker that appears to have been trapped under a falling tree branch a long time ago, and is now a part of the tree itself. For my money, the 'tree walker' (or would that be 'tree sitter'?) was the best of the bunch.
We won't be hard-up for walker-slaying action – piles of zombies mulched under spinning car tyres, clearing the fences with numerous poking devices, Michonne wielding her katana on horse-back, head shots galore and more … oh my. Roll on October!
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