Warning: This may contain spoilers for The Walking Dead and Z Nation!!
These are two of the best Zombie Apocalypse TV series, in my opinion, with Fear the Walking Dead coming a steady third and although they both tackle the Zombie Apocalypse, they approach it from completely different directions…
The Walking Dead is well known for its grittiness, the plotlines are sometimes dark and TWD invests a lot of time in developing its characters, so that when they meet their demise, it’s far more impactful to the viewer.
Z Nation, on the other hand, has outrageous plotlines and insane zombie deaths, including those killed by the Cheese Wheel as shown in this video.
Talking about zombies, both shows have the same zombie “Bite of Death” but if you had to give an award to the best zombies, that would go to ZN for their many different types of zombie: the Blasters (nuclear and which could run really fast), Phytos, (half zombie, half plant), Radioactive zombies. Another difference is that the Z Nation zombies can run, which speeds up the action, but personally I’d prefer the Walking Dead zombies as I can’t run that fast!!
Warren versus Rick
My heart will forever be with Rick, he was the leader in The Walking Dead, everything he did was for the group, everyone looked up to him. His job was to keep everyone safe, lead them into battle and ultimately create a safe world for them all to grow old in.
But then there’s Warren in Z Nation, if ever you needed a model for Girl Power, then she was it. Tough, dependable and always there when needed. She was tasked with getting Murphy, the only human with an antidote for the zombie virus to the CDC Lab, and boy, she was never gonna give up on that!
Murphy vesus Eugene
This may be a bit of a tenuous link, but both had either the means to save the entire human race or said that they knew the cure to save the human race.
Murphy had undeniable proof, having been bitten several times, with the bitemarks to prove it and had lived to tell the tale; Eugene said that he had to get to Washington DC as he had the cure for the zombie virus, but unfortunately for him, he was found out to only be saying this so he could get safe passage to Washington DC.
Murphy, on the other hand, grew from strength to strength and could even control the zombies with his mind.
Where The Walking Dead’s storyline was sometimes a long drawn out affair, remember series two on the farm where they seemed to spend the whole time searching for Sophia, the story goes from initially having to battle zombies to later on the main enemy was other humans and the zombies were an unwelcome distration. But saying that, I loved Neegan with Lucille, the Governor and Alpha and her Wisperers, so villians aren’t necessarily a bad thing !
Z Nation had an overarching storyline, it did sometimes have ‘filler’ episodes which were much more tongue-in-cheek than normal, but the group’s main objective was to use Murphy to find a cure for the zombie virus.
The Walking Dead had more of an apocalypse feel to it – they ran out of bullets and petrol and grew their own vegetables.
In Z Nation there was Z-Weed, apocalypse weed and the last season included zombies that could talk, eating Z-Bizkuits to keep them happy. There was also a neverending supply of bullets and most abandoned cars had petrol in them!
Whilst The Walking Dead will always be my first love, Z Nation was a fun-filled ride with lots of giggles and imaginative zombie deaths. Z Nation has finished with its fifth series and I will miss it, TWD goes marching on into its 10th series and I will be there rooting for the characters that we know and love!!
Times when The Walking Dead was referenced in Z Nation:
Puppies and kittens: This phrase has been used by the characters in Z Nation a lot, they use it to describe zombies, it was also said by Rick to Glenn in the opening episode of The Walking Dead.
Neagan and Lucielle: In an episode entitled “Heart of Darkness” Hector makes the comment, “I’ve heard of someone wrapping barbed wire around a baseball bat….. but never a whole zombie,” an obvious allusion to Neegan.
Glenn and the dumpster: In one scene in Season 3, the Trump spinoff looks under a dumpster for somebody and says, “Nobody could have survived that!” Maybe a nod to the Glenn “death”.