The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed for television by Frank Darabont. It is based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The series stars Andrew Lincoln as Sheriff's Deputy Rick Grimes who wakes up after being in a coma to find the world dominated by "walkers", resembling the zombies of George A. Romero's horror movies. He sets out to find his family and other survivors along the way.

The Walking Dead premiered on October 31, 2010 on the cable television channel AMC in the United States. Based on its reception, AMC renewed the series for a second season of 13 episodes which premiered on October 16, 2011. Two episodes into the second season, AMC announced that the show would return for a third season. The series has been well received by critics, and has received many award nominations, including a Writers Guild of America Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series Drama. The series has also attained strong Nielsen ratings, beating various records for a cable series, including receiving 9 million viewers for its season two finale to become the most-watched basic cable drama telecast in history.

Based on the comic book series of the same name, The Walking Dead tells the story of a small group of survivors living in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Most of the story takes place in the Atlanta metropolitan area, as the survivors search for a safe haven away from the shuffling hordes of predatory zombies (or "walkers," as they are referred to in show) who devour and infect any living thing they catch. The plot is focused primarily on the dilemmas the group face as they struggle to balance their humanity with their survival.

The group is led by Rick Grimes, who was a sheriff's deputy before the zombie outbreak. At every turn they are faced with the horror of the dead walking again, the changing dynamic of their group, and hostility from the scattered remains of a struggling human populace who are focused on their own survival now that the structures of society have collapsed.

Season 1 (2010)Edit

Season one follows Sheriff Rick Grimes as he attempts to find his family and lead them to safety. The series begins with Rick waking up from a coma. He awakes to a post-apocalyptic world overrun with the walking dead ("walkers"). Leaving the hospital Rick discovers his wife and son are missing. Acting on a rumour from a fellow survivor he arms himself and begins a perilous journey to Atlanta, Georgia, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is said to have set up a quarantined "safe-zone" in the city, reasoning that his family may be there. During his journey, Rick sees the devastation to both society and infrastructure left by the disaster. Upon reaching Atlanta, he soon discovers that the city is overrun by the undead and is no longer a safe zone.

A few miles outside the city Rick's wife Lori and son Carl have been hiding from the walkers with Shane Walsh, Rick's former colleague and best friend. They have established a camp with a small group of survivors. After being rescued from Atlanta by the group and reunited with Lori and Carl, Rick assumes command of the group with Shane. Part of the group goes back into Atlanta to recover weapons, where they come into conflict with other survivors but Rick soon eases the tensions. On their return to their camp, they find it has been nearly overrun by walkers. Hoping to find medical treatment for an injured member, the remainder of the group decide to return to Atlanta and seek aid from the CDC.

In the CDC "safezone", all but one staff member, Dr. Edwin Jenner, have either fled or killed themselves. Dr. Jenner explains that his research into the cause of the infection has not yielded a cure. The CDC building is not the safe haven the group believed it would be. The following day, lack of fuel for the generators causes the safety protocols to be initiated. An explosion, meant to prevent the escape of deadly diseases, will destroy the CDC. Dr. Jenner explains that the French may have found a cure, as they survived the longest in their labs. Dr. Jenner and Jacqui, a member of Rick's group, decide to stay in the CDC and end their struggle. Another member of the group, Andrea, attempts to stay as well due to her despair after her sister Amy's death. Dale stays with her and says that if she doesn't leave, he won't. To prevent his death, Andrea makes a last minute decision to leave, thus saving them both. Before the group flees, Dr. Jenner whispers something into Rick's ear. The group escapes just as Jenner and Jacqui are killed by the explosion.

Season 2 (2011–2012)Edit

The second season begins with Rick and his group of survivors escaping the CDC. They decide that Fort Benning would be their next destination. Along the way, they come across a traffic jam of abandoned vehicles on I-85. The group loots several vehicles and, as a large horde of walkers approach, are forced to hide under the vehicles. Sophia runs off into the woods to escape a walker. Carl is accidentally shot during the initial search. The remaining group deals with interpersonal relationships while various searches for Sophia are performed. Otis, the man who shot Carl, leads Rick and Shane to a large, isolated farm owned by a veterinarian named Hershel Greene. The survivors move to the farm while Carl recovers. Rick's group tries to co-exist alongside Hershel's family, but dangerous secrets and disagreements over leadership cause tensions to rise. Glenn builds a romantic relationship with one of Hershel's daughters. He also discovers that Hershel's barn is full of walkers, some of which are Hershel´s family members. When Shane forces the walkers out of the barn and the group open fire, Sophia appears as a walker and is shot by Rick.

Hershel, reacting to what has happened, orders Rick and his group to leave immediately, before disappearing to grieve for his family. Daryl begins to withdraw from the group. Rick and Glenn go searching for Hershel and discover him drinking heavily in a local tavern. After trying to persuade Hershel to return, two other men enter the bar: survivors from another group. The situation rapidly turns sour and there is a brief but bloody gunfight which leaves the two new survivors dead. The dead men's former group quickly finds and opens fire on Rick, Hershel, and Glenn at the bar. The noise of the firefight attracts a large horde of walkers, and in their desperation to get away, the other group of survivors leave one of their members, Randall, behind. Rick cannot stand the thought of leaving him to be killed by walkers, so the three blindfold him and take him to the farm. However, once they get him there, they realize that he could lead the remainder of his former group to the farm. Rick decides to drive Randall into the countryside to abandon him but is attacked by walkers during a disagreement with Shane. Shortly before the walkers arrival, Randall confessed that he had previously been to Hershel's farm. With the secrecy of the farm's location compromised, Rick decides to bring Randall back for possible execution. Hershel's daughter Beth tries to kill herself in order to escape a seemingly hopeless situation. The group deliberates over the fate of Randall and, despite Dale's protests, decide to execute him. Carl begins experimenting in danger, and is found watching Rick as he prepares to execute Randall. Dale is fatally wounded by a walker, and as a result is killed by Daryl as an act of mercy. After Dale's funeral, the group decides that they need to rediscover their humanity. The group conducts a search for Randall, whom Shane secretly released and killed nearby. Daryl and Glenn come to the realization that the dead can come back without previous exposure to walkers. Shane uses the search for Randall as a ploy to silence Rick, but the plan backfires and Rick is faced with killing Shane. Just minutes later, Shane reanimates as a walker and Carl shoots him.

Carl's gunshot attracts a large horde of walkers; Rick and Carl take refuge in the barn. Rick instructs Carl to ignite the barn after drawing walkers inside in order to save both himself and Carl. In the ensuing battle, Jimmy and Patricia are killed, Andrea is left behind, and the RV is lost. Andrea survives on her own, and is later rescued by a hooded woman accompanied by chained, armless walkers. The survivors, consisting of Rick, Lori, Carl, Glenn, Daryl, Carol, T-Dog, Maggie, Beth, and Hershel, regroup on the highway, but are forced to make camp due to lack of gasoline. A frustrated Rick declares that "this isn't a democracy any more" after revealing what Dr. Jenner told him—all of the survivors are infected. A large prison looms in a pan out of the final scene.