Another series expands the universe of “The Walking Dead”, which now lists three series that run simultaneously. We are talking about “The Walking Dead: World Beyond”, which premiered a few weeks ago and is the second spin-off series, after “Fear the Walking Dead”.
It should be noted that AMC, unlike other networks, in the case of TWD, as soon as it saw that the latter was taking a downturn, at least in terms of viewership and negative reviews, instead of finding ways to get rid of the series, chose to expand the universe by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. So, they first “gave” us Fear the Walking Dead, which already lists five seasons, while, on October 11, the 6th season of the series premieres. Now that the main series seems to be coming to an end with the eleventh season, which is still late as this season will end in 2022, as it will include 24 episodes, AMC is giving another extension injection to the franchise with “World Beyond”, which will be a limited series of 2 seasons.
The reception of the new series by audiences and critics could in no way be described as warm. On the contrary, what seems to have prevailed is a “not another teen zombies series” reception, on the basis of the new main characters presented to us by the series, that is, a group of four teenagers who grow up in a period much later than “the upcoming of the evil” with the outbreak of the virus. For their part, the creators of the series, Scott Gimple and Matthew Negrete, want to focus on this very teenage perspective of the new world.
As we have argued and continue to argue, the charm of “The Walking Dead” lies precisely in the human race trying to survive a total catastrophe and create a culture. Watching more closely the evolution of the other two series of the franchise, we see, in parallel with the plot, that human social evolution develops in almost “Protagoric” terms (or Socratic-Platonic if you prefer). From the primary need for survival to beasts, in this case walkers, to early social formations and from the creation of early social formations with the sole purpose of survival, to the creation of city-states and to the development of economic relations on the basis of basic necessities and spare economy. This development goes even further in matters of administration of societies as soon as the secure establishment is achieved, with alternating models, which reach from the monarchy to the establishment of a constitution and the effort of federalization (Hilltop – Kingdom – Alexandreia). Furthermore, there are concerns about the administration of justice, through the shift from retaliation to paradigm.
World Beyond, in turn, presents us with an even more advanced model, at least ostensibly. It is the alliance of Omaha, Portland and Civil Republic, which has been sealed with a four-point legal text, rather constitutional, and their colonies, such as the Campus Colony, from which the characters of the series come. The name of the most prominent state in the series, namely the Civil Republic, raised our expectations that the survivors had to some extent restored the political system as it had worked before the outbreak of the virus. The federalization that is implied and the existence of an organized army, such as the CRM (Civil Republic Military), refers to the USA. pre virus.
However, it seems that the evolution of political systems has not yet reached an early capitalist system, which justifies the choice of the name civil (bourgeois) democracy, rather than a formation corresponding to the Athenian Hegemony. The neutralization of Campus Colony in the second episode of the series is reminiscent of exactly how the Athenian Hegemony dealt with those who dared to challenge it, such as the Mili or the Mytileneans.
This evolutionary background that we try to highlight in all three series of the franchise can be considered anything but accidental. Rather, it seems to be based on the historical development of city-states, from their birth to the formation of “wider state” entities. It is not, of course, an exact historical correspondence, but is depicted as a predetermined evolutionary process, which placed in a specific time and space varies accordingly.
In all the series of the franchise this background never ends up becoming the central theme, but is outlined in fragments in each of the series, giving the impression that at some point there will be a convergence, in which we will see the end of this evolutionary course – if there can be an end – and not the course itself.
At World Beyond, through Civil Republic and CRM, we meet for the first time the most advanced, so far, “culture” in the TWD universe. Of course, his existence has already been pre-saved both in TWD, with the helicopter and Rick, and in Fear The Walking Dead, through Isabella, without, however, we have any additional information about him, apart from the fact that he is more advanced. The last series of the franchise confirms this progress with more tangible evidence and begins to show us aspects of this culture. Unfortunately, although we would like to, we do not expect to see how he managed to reach such levels of progress, nor more information about his organization. Apparently, his approach will be limited to the action of Elizabeth Kublek (perhaps Rick’s film trilogy is more informative).
Thus, we could conclude that World Beyond gives us another aspect of what has been developed above, without, however, going deeper into such issues. Rather, it focuses on and is limited to a teenage drama, with extremely slow plot development. The series’ focus on developing teen characters who have grown up in a safer environment than what we have seen so far is not as interesting as the cast would like. Especially when, from the beginning of the series, he places them in the wilderness in another quest in an environment full of zombies.
We have seen this work before. The fact that this is a group of people who face the existence of zombies out of safety and are facing danger for the first time, is not a topic that we would like two seasons to deal with.
May our estimates be refuted and we end up watching a substantial interaction with Civil Republic and its agenda.