We are six seasons in on AMC's flagship series 'The Walking Dead', and as a few of the show's producers say in the bonus features listed below, "You ain't seen nothing yet." I agree with that statement, because I read the comic books and I know what's coming for the characters you've grown to love on the series. In perhaps what might be the most controversial or most hated season ender for the show so far, the group of survivors led by Rick Grimes has crossed paths with Negan and his people throughout season six, which has disastrous results.
Of course in every season finale, 'The Walking Dead' is kinda known for leaving the viewers in a state of shock or the iconic cliff hanger scenario, if you will. In that final scene of the season, you know somebody is dead, as blood falls down from the camera lens, but you don't know who it is, then the show cuts to black without any theme music as the credits roll. A ton of fans were upset about this cliff hanger, because it felt like a cheap shot to all of us watching, but in 'The Walking Dead's' defense, it will certainly have a ton of viewers in that opening episode to see the "Who Shot J.R." or more recently "Who Shot Mr. Burns" effect. I only hope that season seven opens with the answer and doesn't make us wait an entire episode or even to the second episode to find out.
That being said, the introduction to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was outstanding. The filmmakers and show-runners got it completely right and introduced us to the biggest scum on Earth who happens to have a lot of charisma. He's like a viper who plays it calm and coy, and even seems to have lovable side to him, but can strike instantly with deadly force as we see on screen. Negan in the comics is the most ruthless and powerful villains to come across Rick Grimes and his new family, and in my humble opinion, has many of the best moments out of the story so far. But before we meet Negan, season six starts off in a mostly black and white episode (the comic book is in black and white), as Rick and his people are diverting thousands and thousands of zombies away from their new home, which doesn't go as planned.
The new town they built is attacked by a group of men and women who fancy themselves as cannibals and killers and firmly believe that humans don't belong on Earth anymore. The first few episodes deal with the massacre and aftermath of this. From then on, we get some great character development from the new people as well as an excellent backstory on why Morgan (Lennie James) doesn't kill people anymore. Sgt. Abraham Ford and Sasha Williams have a couple of great, redeeming moments to their character, as does Carl takes on more responsibility. We see the downfall of Carol as well this season, as her and Morgan try to understand each other's opposite ways of thinking. Glenn and Nicholas have a powerful story arc, which has Glenn missing in a few episodes, which leads up to the arrival of Negan and his powerful army.
Again, it seems like everywhere you turn these days, there's a TV show, commercial, film, play, or video game with zombies in it. AMC and 'The Walking Dead' might be at the top of the list still, because it still manages to hit all of the emotional chords, has a ton of character development with each character, and has a ton of big epic action sequences with zombies, gore, blood, and intestines. Nobody is safe in this show as you probably have come to find out already in the past five seasons. This sixth season is no different, and is easily my favorite season of the show thus far.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'The Walking Dead' Season Six comes with five 50GB Blu-ray Discs from Anchor Bay that are all Region A Locked. The sixteen episodes are on the first 4 discs with the fifth disc containing all of the extras, including the extended episode, but not including the audio commentary. There is an insert for a digital download code of the whole season, as well as a sizable booklet that showcases all of the 'Walking Dead' merchandise you can purchase. Everything is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
Season six of 'The Walking Dead' is here and just like the past five seasons, this video presentation is top notch. Coming with a 1080p HD transfer and having a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, this season is in line with previous seasons when speaking of the image quality. In the first episode of the season, most of the episode is shot in Black and White, just like the comic book series is. The grays and whites look excellent and have varying shades of each color, which gives the image a ton of depth and almost make the show more realistic than it already is.
The detail in that first episode is also very sharp and vivid throughout, exposing individual hairs and the gory makeup wounds. For the rest of the season, everything is in color and looks excellent. Like previous seasons, there is a wonderful layer of grain throughout the series, giving the show a raw and unfiltered edge to it. It's as if you are watching a movie on the big screen without that glossy digital look, which is impressive and helps with the heavier CGI scenes where thousands of zombies roam in and out.
The detail is amazing, showing every gory detail from the smalls rips in the clothing to the veins and guts of the zombies that are being torn to shreds. Beads of sweat and wrinkles can also be seen on the actor's faces nicely. Wider shots never go soft and give the apocalyptic world a ton of depth. Black levels are very deep and inky and the flesh tones are natural throughout. There are no problems or issues with this image whatsoever and is one of the finer looking shows on Blu-ray today.
This release comes with an incredible Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix that hits all of the right growls, screams, and notes that you expect. There are some intense action sequences this season on a grand scale and the soundscape is just perfect for it. Every gun shot packs a punch from every speaker, and every explosion, hit, kick, stab, swing, and chop are fierce and sound realistic. During the heavier zombie attack scenes, you'll feel like the undead horde is right in your viewing room, which is a fun immersive experience.
As the zombie horde slowly emerges from the distance, the sounds of growling and screaming increase through all speakers, giving this audio track a ton of depth. The ambient noises of nature, rain, and survivors and zombies in the background all sound excellent and are very well balanced. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow at all times. The bass kicks in for the heavier actions sequences too. The score always adds to the suspense of the show and never drowns out any of the dialogue, sound effects or other big crescendos. Lastly, there are no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills.
Audio Commentary - There are seven audio commentaries here on seven selected episodes that have the cast and crew discussing the themes, tone, and characters of the episode. The filmmakers talk about how big and epic some of the scenes were and how they shot the show on a big scale, while the actors tend to dive into their characters and give fun anecdotes from the set. They are all worth listening to.
The Making of 'The Walking Dead' (HD, 60 Mins.) - Each of the 16 episodes have a 3-5 minute "making of" featurette that includes cast and crew interviews, and some very cool behind the scenes footage on the bigger stunts, makeup, set building, and action sequences. All 16 featurettes are definitely worth watching. I just wish there was a "Play All" button, but unfortunately there isn't.
In Memoriam (HD, 10 Mins.) - Like the Oscars, this is a tribute to all of the characters who were killed off this season with cast and crew interviews, discussing how their characters died.
601: Out of The Quarry (HD, 8 Mins.) - Cast and Crew discuss how the big epic scene involving the rock quarry filled with thousands of zombies was made in detail with some on set footage and behind the scenes clips, along with some discussions on the Season opener in general.
Guts and Glory (HD, 5 Mins.) - This is an examination on the character of Nicholas and his death in the season, and his relationship with Glenn. Cast and crew interviews are included.
Strength in Bonds (HD, 11 Mins.) - The cast and crew discuss all of the relationships and friendships in this season and how they've changed over time.
Negan: Someone To Fear (HD, 6 Mins.) - Interviews with the cast and crew discussing the character of Negan is what this extra is all about. Unfortunately, there is no Jeffrey Dean Morgan interview here though.
The Face of Death: Iconic Walkers of The Season (HD, 4 Mins.) - Zombies are the word of the day here as the cast and crew discuss the most gruesome and the best looking zombies of this season, and how they did the makeup. This extra is a lot of fun.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 9 Mins.) - There are a few deleted scenes in total from episodes 1, 3, 5, 7 here. Two of them involve Glenn and Nicholas, where a few others involve Deanna Monroe.
'The Walking Dead' Season Six is the best season yet. It's ripe with new characters, excellent storylines, character development, and tons of gore, intestines, and action. It's a great balance of both for sure and furthers this hellish story along with the right emotional impacts. Not to mention, that it features the story's most villainous character to date in regards to the comic book series. The video and audio presentations are both top notch and the wealth of meaty extras are all worth watching for sure. MUST-OWN!
Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.