The Walking Dead Season 5 Blu-ray Review
No matter what you think of The Walking Dead – and there are definitely plenty of people on both sides of the fence – there’s no denying that it is one of the most-watched shows on television, and ignited a renaissance of horror-themed TV series. While fans of the show anxiously await the next season, Anchor Bay has released The Walking Dead Season 5 on Blu-ray and DVD, packed to the brim with hours of in-depth special features.
The Walking Dead follows Rick Grimes, a man who served as a sheriff’s deputy in the old world. Upon waking from a coma in the hospital, he quickly discovers that the world has gone to hell, with zombified hordes having overtaken the entire planet. Rick finds a group of survivors and sets out to find answers about what caused this viral outbreak, and how to turn it all around. Suffering through unending chaos, horror, and betrayal, Rick and his band of survivors refuse to give up hope, traveling across the United States in search of life and some semblance of normalcy.
If you want to experience The Walking Dead Season 5 in its purest form, I highly suggest picking up the Blu-ray version. All of the show’s grit and grain (so uncommon in today’s filmmaking) is maintained in great detail, and all of the gore, oily hair and filthy clothes are well defined. There are no noticeable compression artifacts, and though The Walking Dead has a rather bleak color scheme, there are a few times when bright color shines through, such as in plant life, sunsets or good ol’ arterial spray. In some of the darker shots (of which there are many) the grain can get a bit overpowering, filling every inch of shadow with specks and spots. Obviously it all comes down to personal taste, but those who have only caught the show on TV may be surprised just how much of the 16mm film grit is wiped clean in the digital broadcast.
Each of The Walking Dead Season 5’s sixteen episodes are on the first four disks of the five disk Blu-ray set. As always, Season 5’s Blu-ray set has a very impressive selection of extras. Every single episode gets an in-depth analysis with the cast and crew in “Inside The Walking Dead”, where actors and producers break down story beats and character motivations. Additionally, every episode has a “The Making of The Walking Dead” clip, which showcases stuntwork, set building, CGI creation, make-up, and more. There’s also audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and featurettes on character arcs, building the town of Alexandria from scratch, and life on the set from two of the actor’s perspectives.
The complete list of bonus features are:
- Audio commentaries featuring Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer Tom Luse, Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor/Director Greg Nicotero, Director Julius Ramsay; Actors Lauren Cohan, Chad L. Coleman, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Danai Gurira, Alana Masterson, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Norman Reedus, Christian Serratos, and Steven Yuen.
- Deleted Scenes
- Inside The Walking Dead
- The Making of The Walking Dead
- The Making of Alexandria
- Beth’s Journey
- Bob’s Journey
- Noah’s Journey
- Tyreese’s Journey
- A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz
- A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt
- Rotters in the Flesh
Overall, The Walking Dead Season 5 is another superb release that fans will certainly enjoy. There are so many intriguing and informative special features in this set that it will take most people days to get through them all, and the audio and visual quality is stellar. Die-hard fans will want to check out the Limited Edition of Season 5, featuring unique packaging designed by the talented McFarlane Toys and set for release in December.