Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’ shows TWD franchise still has worthwhile stories to tell

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Courtesy of AMC.

This review contains a minor spoiler from S1E1.

“Daryl Dixon,” the newest spinoff of “The Walking Dead” universe featuring Norman Reedus as fan-favorite character, Daryl Dixon, premiered Sept. 10. With the introduction of this new show, “The Walking Dead” officially boasts five spin-offs. This one follows the adventures of the titular character as he finds himself across the pond in France after journeying from the Commonwealth back in America.

Of all the spin-off shows, “Daryl Dixon” does the best at building a world beyond what audiences might expect. This starts in episode one with an instant change in architecture, land and language. Characters obviously speak in French given the location, and the architecture screams with European motifs, as seen at the convent Daryl finds himself in during the first episode. The most interesting aspect of the plot comes when the show explores how other countries handled the apocalypse. In the main show, every character in the American setting felt like they simply accepted the zombie apocalypse as the new normal, but in France, many of the characters seem to still harbor hope that the world will come back from disaster. This angle proves interesting to explore as a viewer because the original show never explored how people behave in the apocalypse outside of North and South America. On top of that, the story even presents new Walker variants that pose more of a threat to protagonists, such as Burners that have acidic blood and skin that burns people who cross their path.

Norman Reedus’ performance feels stronger than ever. In “The Walking Dead,” he burned bright light in a sea of mediocrity, so giving him his own show naturally made the most sense. His embodiment of Daryl Dixon never ceases to amaze, and his wordless gazes sometimes say more than dialogue ever could. Daryl fans will be pleased to know his character remains very much the same from the mainline show, but appears more at the forefront of the narrative, giving him a satisfying arc that will have audiences craving another season.

When people think of “The Walking Dead,” music never really stands out as a notable element of the show’s appeal. Yet, “Daryl Dixon’s” music stands out as uniquely haunting and appropriate to the setting and narrative. Its unique blend of orchestral, hymn-like chords and epic action-supporting swells make for a soundtrack that stands out in the 13-year franchise.

Everything feels cranked up to the max in terms of production scale. The set pieces loom large and prove different than anything attempted before in the franchise. The toe-curling action sequences leave viewers on the edge of their seats through each stab, shot and punch. For once, “The Walking Dead” feels much larger than a small television show.

“The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon” marks a turning point for the franchise’s spin-offs. With something for any viewer, the show appeals to both old fans, through its little surprises and callbacks, as well as a show for new audiences that does not punish them for missing out on all the seasons of television that came before. 

3 ½ Eiffel Towers out of 5

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About the Contributor
Ryan Ranc, Life & Arts Reporter