If you haven't seen episodes 3 and 4 of the third series of The Walking Dead then this post may well spoil them for you - then again, the very word "spoiler" fits the show to a tee. It is incredibly spoilt.
We were mercifully spared from the motley crew of "heroes" in the third episode which is the subject of this post, (episode 4 is just too gruesome to discuss right now) and attention was directed at a sword wielding amazon who tugs around her chained and mutilated zombified brothers.
At first this looks like an act of sibling love and care, but in fact there is method in her madness. She wanders with these enslaved walkers because their cadaverous odours masks her own "human" scent, and therefore she can avoid the walking dead reasonably safely. Of course, given half the chance they would have her for dinner, and that’s why she has amputated their arms and chopped their jaws off, which renders them quite harmless.
One wonders why everyone else doesn't employ this method to neutralise the average bog-standard zombie and use it for camouflage, instead of piercing it’s brain with instruments ranging from crossbows to modified egg whisks. Still, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few heads.
The brothers looked a sorry pair indeed, and were prone to excitement, which tended to illicit uncanny groans and animated their noisy chains. It became fairly apparent that big sister felt little emotion for them, when, without hesitation, she sliced their heads off with all the skill of a Samurai swordsman, because they were being particularly petulant and drew attention to themselves from a bunch of uninfected folk which she was trying avoid.
Zombie apocalypses really do bring out the worst in human nature.
Why was she hiding from those seemingly ordinary people? Surely she would want to embrace them - after all, there aren't many normal folk left? Well that's because she saw them finishing off some fatally injured crew of a crashed helicopter, which implied to her that they were very nasty chaps. Of course, she doesn't know what we know - that everyone is infected, and when they die they "turn" and become zombies themselves - bitten or not.
She did learn this afterwards from the eminent English actor David Morrissey, who plays a very sinister character called the Governor, who rules his mini utopian community with a fascist iron fist. The last time I saw Morrissey on TV was in a Christmas episode of Dr Who. Some actors just can't escape science fiction, which reminds me, where's the good Doctor when you need him? As a Time Lord he surely would know that his favourite planet was going to suffer a Zombie Armageddon?
Incidentally I don't think that Dr Who has encountered any zombies since he first appeared to the Brits in 1963, and since then he has been back and forth in time and covered the universe at all points, and in several incarnations due to his ability to regenerate - maybe he's a zombie time lord with two hearts?
I really think that there should be a new series - entitled Dr Who and the Zombies of America. Actually that may have happened just last week - it was called Dr Who and the US Election.
I've lost my drift now, in fact I've lost the will to live. Back to the point. If everyone is infected with the virus then the natural progression is that eventually the whole of human population will become zombies, unless someone somewhere has an antidote. Failing which, a meteorite comes hurtling out of the sky, obliterating us all, which then allows the whole thing to start all over again. There's plenty of time for such an evolution - the sun has several billion years of life left in it, and the moon is not likely to depart anytime soon. The sun and the moon - as long as they continue the Earth will regenerate - just like Dr Who in fact.
Which brings me to my summing up (so glad you're still here) which is that the "The Walking Dead" whilst being an adventure story incorporating extreme violence (not much sex by the way which is surprising because it must be one of the only pleasures left) is that it is an interesting analysis of human behaviour, and how we may behave in extreme adversity. In a world were survival is paramount, is there room for compassion and the qualities which make us human? Or do we revert to basic animal instincts? in fact do we abandon that which made us what we are - civilised, and when civilisation is lost - are we lost along with it?
Will we not eventually revert to superstition, feudalism and tyranny - the survival of the fittest and the strongest lording over the weak? The very things which set the early hominids through trial and error on their long road to civilisation in the first place.
Fortunately I'm not a doomsday prepper, otherwise my house would be filled to the brim with cans of baked beans and corned beef. Against all odds mankind has done extremely well to get this far and I for one, have hope in it.
For 50 years after WWII the fear was MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction), the cold war and nuclear proliferation. Now we worry about biological warfare, viruses and pathogens, as well as natural disasters, climate change and extraterrestial impacts.
There will always be something to worry about, and even if there isn't, we'll invent something - it's human nature. Fear and insecurity is inherent in our DNA. It stems from 100,000 years of development.
Not long ago The Waltons was the most popular show on television, a simple tale of the lives of a family trying to survive through economic adversity, and political unrest, through the great depression and world war - somehow coping yet always hoping.
The viewer was invariably touched by the sentimental simplicity, their tragedy and joy, triggering the feel-good factor, feeling euphoric, because their lives somehow touched ours. We cried and we laughed along with them.
Today, we are not happy unless we have the shit scared out of us regularly, and the most popular show on TV is The Walking Dead. Euphoria is being replaced by dysphoria - and that's a very depressing state of affairs.