New showrunner Angela Kang takes the helm as Rick Grimes prepares to make his exit from one of the world’s most popular TV series. “The Walking Dead” Season 9 stars award winner Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Heartbreaker), Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints, Triple 9), Lauren Cohan (All Eyez on Me, TV’s “Whiskey Cavalier,” Mile 22), Danai Gurira (Black Panther, All Eyez on Me), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, TV’s “The Good Wife” and “Grey’s Anatomy”), and Academy Award® nominee Samantha Morton (2003, Best Actress, In America).

Last season brought the culmination of “All Out War,” which pitted Rick Grimes and his group of survivors against the Saviors and their leader, Negan. With Negan’s life in his hands, Rick had a character-defining choice in front of him, and he spared Negan to uphold the values his late son, Carl, championed – values that created conflict within his group. Now, with our survivors rebuilding civilization under Rick’s leadership a year and a half after the end of the war, it’s a time of relative peace among the communities. However, the world they knew is rapidly changing, nature is literally taking over, and, as time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles and danger. But nothing can prepare them for the formidable force they’re about to encounter, threatening the very idea of civilization our survivors have worked so hard to build.

Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay Entertainment
Year: 2019
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Run time: 441 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 5 BD
Region: 1

If you are looking for good-quality entertainment that provides action, lessons in morality, a little bit of philosophy, and characters to identify with and become invested in, then this show is for you. I would not recommend it for people who are incapable of suspending their disbelief, or for people who have to have gratuitous sexuality and violence in a program in order to enjoy it (a market HBO has more of a corner on).

For me, the show is, or at least was, about Rick Grimes. He was the person who first caught my attention. What makes his character so compelling is that it demonstrates the heroism of the everyman in the face of adversity. Rick is so seemingly ‘normal,’ an ‘average guy,’ and yet he finds it within himself to do extraordinary things. He is moral, yet also manifests the vacillations of someone who is trying to navigate some of the murky ethical waters of real life. Life rarely presents us with the luxury of simplicity. In time, other characters have also appealed to me; still others have earned my contempt. TWD has an uncanny ability to make some villains likeable at times, or even present them as mostly subjective villains. Sometimes, even one of the ‘bad guys’ of the show has been dispatched, you will find yourself missing them at times. At the same time, heroes like Rick sometimes do things that are clearly immoral and wrong, which makes you very disappointed in them (the episode “Still Gotta Mean Something” is probably the most heart-wrenching example of this).

The show is also about zombies – obviously. They are the ever-present contextual backdrop, and although the threat they pose undulates with the story’s circumstances and with the passage of time, the show is always about them, ultimately. The makeup and effects provided by the genius Greg Nicotero could not be any more top-notch. These are not your grand-dad’s zombies with blue face paint. They are really, truly, disgusting walking corpses.

Movie Quality: 9/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1:78:1 aspect ratio. Watching this show once again in high definition on Blu-ray and originally having watched this show on AMC on its first run. Colors look much better with each passing season yet still retain that drab and gritty look really making you feel as a part of the atmosphere. The grit helps in bringing the viewer to this world of zombies. Since most of the show this season takes place at the Prison, the interior and exterior scenes look absolutely stunning and then add the natural greens of the foilage looking so life like. Blacks are very ink like as if each frame of the show was ripped right out of the comic books. The fourth season is astounding on Blu-ray and a nice upgrade from the first two seasons in high definition.
Print Quality: 9.5/10

The audio is presented in a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix. I found the Dolby TrueHD mix an upgrade from the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix while the show was broadcast on television. As the majority of the film features dialogue, when there’s action…the lossless soundtrack does a good job in making those scenes quite immersive by utilizing every channel. From zombies groaning and moaning, gun shots being fired, and birds chirping fill up the soundfield very nicely. Dialogue is clean through the center channel with no apparent issues.
Print Quality: 9.5/10

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • “Seasons Change” Featurette
  • “In Memoriam” Featurette
  • “The Whisperers: Behind the Mask” Featurette
  • “Rick Farewell” Featurette
  • “Time Jump” Featurette
  • Bonus Scene: Episode 908
  • “Inside Episode …” Featurettes per episode
  • “Making of …” Featurettes per episode

Special Features: 9/10

Final Thoughts

Season 9, which garnered a lot of praise from critics, was pretty good, and I consider it an improvement over Seasons 7 and 8, it was solid, and I look forward to Season 10 in October to see where the series goes.
Overall Rating: 9/10