After four progressively improved successful seasons on AMC, The Walking Dead remains a television show and property that is absolutely on fire in popularity. The horrific and often-gory zombie apocalypse program (based on the comic book by Robert Kirkman) remains a hot topic of conversation, and not really for it’s genre setting and horror creature usage, but more for it’s human element of survival and the worst humanity is capable of dramatically in a situation such as this.
Season 5 of The Walking Dead explores this concept far greater than the previous seasons. When we left Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of survivors in Season 4, they were loaded into a freight car like cattle by the residents of the falsely-advertised safe haven known as Terminus. Held captive with the intent to be potential recruits for Terminus’ way of life, or otherwise become food for their cannibalistic captors.
The premiere episode of Season 5 kicks off the season with one hell of an incredible bang (quite literally in one scene). It is perhaps the most suspenseful, action-packed, engrossing and electrically intense episode the show has ever produced. It is arguably the best episode of the entire series thus far. After Terminus is resolved, the season shifts focus to the group recovering Beth (who was kidnapped in Season 4) and then encountering a new too-good-to-be-true safe-have known as Alexandria; a place seemingly untouched by the undead thanks to its protective walls.
Throughout the three distinct story arcs, the group suffers major massive losses and setbacks, forming crack in their chain of unity and mistrust follows when they reach Alexandria and are divided about the perceived ‘weak’ citizens who live there; incapable of surviving outside the walls. Like Season 4, the season spends a strong amount a time on character depth and unique storytelling styles for certain episodes, but contains far more thrills than its predecessor.
Anchor Bay Canada releases Season 5 on a multi-disc Blu-ray edition on April 25, 2015 (two days after the show’s companion series Fear The Walking Dead first airs on AMC). The edition is nothing short of phenomenal for fans and collectors. The show is presented in a high-definition widescreen presentation with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, with a wonderfully detailed image (even among the show’s intentional gritty picture look).
The English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio mix is a gargantuan beast that puts many feature film audio mixes to shame. Everything is clear and rich to the ears, while the sound effects certainly give a system a work out. But the real bread and butter of the set is in the bonus content.
It seems every new edition that Anchor Bay Canada releases year-after-year continues to get more generous with supplemental material. Season 5 is loaded with goodies; audio commentaries, deleted scenes, in-depth featurettes on every single episode (from character, to story, to production), four retrospective featurettes on each significant character killed off, two segments focusing on ‘a day in the life’ of certain cast members, a focus on Alexandria and of course a special effects look at the melted zombies found in Season 5 in ‘Rotters In The Flesh’.
In a word, The Walking Dead Season 5’s Blu-ray edition is absolutely ‘phenomenal’. It is jammed-packed with top-notch content that the show has ever produced, earns incredible high-marks for its technical presentation of the episodes and offers a huge amount of bonus material that will keep fans busy for quite some time after purchase. If you need something to saturate your zombie-drama appetite heading into Season 6, then you really have to look no further than this excellent offering.