Even if the figure of the zombie appeared only relatively recently in popular western culture (1), it has enjoyed almost continuous success since the 60s and the release of Night Of The Living Dead by Romero. A success that the series The Walking Dead is definitely being driven by, inspired by the series of comic books of the same name created by Robert Kirkman in 2003. With the help of the film director Frank Darabont, he also contributed towards its adaptation for the American channel AMC, which has been showing the series since September 2010
The plot of The Walking Dead revolves around the character Rick Grimes, a police officer who discovers when coming out of a prolonged coma that the majority of the human race has been transformed into zombies. Along with other survivors, he attempts to eke out an existence in the heart of an America that has been devastated and invaded by the hordes of the living dead.
In the same way as for the comic book, the TV series became an immediate success and even achieved record audiences as The Walking Dead is now the most watched series in the history of American cable TV. An enthusiasm clearly created by the comic books and the televised episodes, but that is also driven by a vast transmedia presence that offers the TV viewer an ever more innovative narrative experience.
(1) Zombie, a bewitched creature in Haitian culture with no will of its own was brought to the screen for the first time in 1932 by Victor Halperin in the White Zombie.
1An augmented televisual experience
To achieve this, The Walking Dead has been adapted to a variety of special media, all of which contribute a new dimension to the overall narrative.
Even for the television, AMC does not simply show the episodes in the series. Since 2011, the channel has been producing a 30 minute talk show presented by the comedian Chris Hardwick: Talking Dead is thus positioned as the direct extension of the TV series and actors, fans and members of the production crew are invited to take part.
In the same spirit of complementing the TV series, AMC has also developed The Walking Dead Story Sync, a so-called double screen application, which will allow the user to post live comments on the episodes, respond to surveys and talk to other fans via a chat system.