[Blu-ray Review] “The Walking Dead” Complete Season 3

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The Walking Dead relied on a slow burn of a pace for its second season. The opposite can be said for season 3…

While the series has had its share of ups and downs with storyline, the third season of the series saw huge advancement compared to the previous. Rick and his group of survivors were left wandering the landscape, looking for shelter at the end of season 2, with a prison blindly just beyond reach. Fast forward several months, the third season brings the group to the prison, which they make their home. But they soon are tormented by The Governor, a local figure that reigns over the fortified town of Woodbury.

It is easy to say that season 2 was plagued with repetition, as the scenery never strayed far from Hershel’s farm. The introduction of both Woodbury and the prison give the third season the variety needed in atmosphere which was beneficial. Season 3 was all about big moments including shocking deaths, epic attacks, and the return of characters we thought were long gone Yes, Morgan and Merle from the first season. Morgan and his son were the first humans that Rick encountered after waking from his coma in the pilot. Merle, older brother to Daryl, was last seen handcuffed on the roof of a building. Reuniting these guys with the storyline was far from disappointing.

Rewatching the third season may still bring about the same emotions felt while watching the broadcast. Even with the series being split into two halves, introductions of strong solid characters like Michonne, and the return of missed characters, some fans still felt a bit let down by the series. Yet, like the seasons before it, the 5-disc release of season 3 is full of bonus features. And these bonus features can truly make one rethink any negative response they may have had during broadcast…

The set, available on DVD and Blu-ray, has audio commentaries on five episodes. There are also six deleted scenes that include a zombie Laurie that will have fans wishing the scene had not been cut. The best part of the bonus features are the featurettes. There are eight total and each is saturated with amazing information about the series. This is where certain aspects of the season that may have felt mediocre, might have a bit of redemption.

The first featurette, Rising Son, is about Carl and his character’s journey through the series thus far. There is also a feature on Michonne and one on The Govenor. There is also a featurette about the two together. It is very interesting to see how the cast and crew view their characters and storyline. The discussion of transition from comic to TV is also something that is repeated throughout each of the featurettes. Diehard fans of the comic are definitely going to be the harshest critiques of the series. The discussion of how and why, though it is condensed into a few minutes, is eye opening. Making the Dead is, of course, a featurette on the makeup effects for The Walking Dead. It is always enjoyable to hear Greg Nicotero ramble and see his creations come to life. Perhaps the most intriguing of the featurettes is Safety Behind Bars. The prison was the main setting for season 3, and to create it, the crew put a cement façade on the studio buildings. From there, fences were erected and fake bricks were added. To see the transformation is definitely magic.

There is a special limited edition for this set this year. Last year, the packaging was a zombie head with a screwdriver through the eye for the second season. In honor of its main villain, The Walking Dead season 3 is available with a “zombie head tank” designed by McFarlane Toys. It looks truly epic, however, with bountiful bonus features the season 3 set is a definite must no matter what.