I’m one of many (12 million+) who love “The Walking Dead”. I’m also one of the much smaller group (about 6 million) that also watches “Revolution”. Both post-apocalyptic dramas, one features civilization’s end brought on by zombies brought to life by a mysterious virus, the other brought on by electricity stopping due to an even more mysterious cause. And each primarily follows the efforts of one band of survivors trying to make a go of it. In each case, we eventually find that the obvious obstacle to survival (zombies, electricity not working) isn’t the real villain. But I started wondering – what would happen if these two groups faced off? Let’s compare and contrast:
The Walking Dead features a group of survivors from diverse backgrounds, fighting to stay alive in a world where much (most?) of humanity has been killed or turned into zombies by a mysterious virus. The leader of the group is Rick, a former sheriff (or deputy, I forget) who has slowly changed from a law-abiding, upstanding citizen to a hard-hearted, sometimes delusional man whose son is even more cold-blooded. He leads an eclectic group that includes his son, who is not yet a teenager, a young Asian man, a country vet and his two daughters, a survivalist (Daryl) whose favored weapon is a crossbow, and a mysterious African-American woman. There were other main characters – Rick’s wife, the survivalist’s bigoted brother, others – but they were killed off as the show progressed. You can’t afford to get too attached to characters in The Walking Dead. They’ve been in various stages of “on the run” for three seasons now, although season two had them sheltered at the country vet’s farm for a while, until the zombies arrived again, and season three had the ensconced in an abandoned prison, threatened as much by another group of survivors as by zombies. One thing about the group in TWD – they look like they’ve been on the run in a world where civilization has collapsed. They look like they haven’t had a shower in months, nor a change of clothes. It’s a grimy, grungy bunch of folks.
Revolution likewise is set in a world where civilization has collapsed. In this case, all electricity and electronic technology has stopped working. The time lapse is longer – it seems to have happened several years previous – but the world still seems to have many fewer people in it. There’s a small band of survivors who are seeking – something. Honestly, I’m not sure what they’re after. Maybe it’s to find a secret device that started the whole mess. The group is led by a young woman (Charlie) and her uncle Miles, who in this show is something of the counterpart to TWD’s Rick – although his past is mysterious, he has a military background, compared to Rick’s law enforcement. In Revolution, the opposition isn’t zombies, though – it’s the militia, who have established an apparently despotic reign over the United States, or part of the United States, or something – they are headquartered in Philadelphia. The survivors in Revolution also have a crossbow! Charlie wields it, although her crossbow is not nearly so impressive as Daryl’s in TWD. And here’s another difference – the group in Revolution always looks like they just stepped out of the mall. Always dressed nicely, always clean and coiffed. It’s amazing how, in a world without electricity, they can always look so good.
So, if they faced off, what would happen? No doubt in my mind. It would be over in short order, and the Walking Dead gang would still be out there fighting zombies. The ex-military guy from Revolution would give them a little trouble, but he’s nothing they haven’t dealt with, while the Revolution crew haven’t seen anything like the bunch from TWD. Plus, as I said, the TWD crossbow is way cooler.