Tag Archives: The Walking Dead

thewalkingdead

86: The Walking Dead S07E01 And Why We’re Stopping Here, Also: Z Nation S03E05 S03E06

We watched THE WALKING DEAD Season 7 premiere like millions of others. So…that happened. But in this special episode, world-renowned zombie scholar Arnold T. Blumberg (the Doctor himself), as well as producer/co-host and fellow horror aficionado Scott Woodard, explain why they are now done with that series. If you care to hear their informed opinions about why TWD has now gone too far for even a zombie expert, listen on! The guys also cover the latest two episodes of the must-watch series Z NATION, which remains an entertaining balance of horror, humor, and human nature!

Check out our Patreon page and support the show!

Show Music: “Bitter Pill” (feat. Vosmoy) by Still Pluto, and “Myst on the Moor” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

We welcome all feedback at doctorofthedead@yahoo.comcontact@g2vpodcast.com, or on the G2V Facebook page! Find the show on Twitter at @DoctoroftheDead!

The Doctor of the Dead at Walker Stalker Philly 2016

meavatarjessIt was back to the Walker Stalker convention for the first weekend in October, this time held outside Philadelphia, PA! We arrived on the 1st of the month – the 48th anniversary of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – and had a wonderful time meeting new friends and reuniting with a few old ones. And best of all, it was time for me to meet up with the folks from Z NATION!

Brace yourself, because this is a huge photo-essay with over 40 pictures (including a few animated GIFs)…or is that 50?…and every one of them has a caption that tells part of the story! And that was pared down from over 700! On we go…

Let's DO this! We're about to head into Walker Stalker Philadelphia 2016... Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Let’s DO this! We’re about to head into Walker Stalker Philadelphia 2016…
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
First thing we did was locate the Z NATION team as they greeted fans, signed autographs, and posed for pictures.  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
First thing we did was locate the Z NATION team as they greeted fans, signed autographs, and posed for pictures.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Doesn't Nat's photo make him look so sad? Aww. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Doesn’t Nat’s photo make him look so sad? Aww.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Russell signed his banner; what a collectible! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Russell signed his banner; what a collectible!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The Z Nation team have such a great rapport with everyone. Anastasia Baranova hugs a fan, while "The" Murphy meets...another Murphy! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The Z Nation team have such a great rapport with everyone. Anastasia Baranova hugs a fan, while “The” Murphy meets…another Murphy!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There were all manner of vendors and organizations in attendance, including the Zombie Mud Run truck. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There were all manner of vendors and organizations in attendance, including the Zombie Mud Run truck.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
In this collage you'll see a zombie keeper and his puppety charge, Fake Negan and Fake Daryl shooting the breeze instead of each other, zombies consulting a guide for where to shamble next, and a gleeful attendee sticking it to the undead. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
In this collage you’ll see a zombie keeper and his puppety charge, Fake Negan and Fake Daryl shooting the breeze instead of each other, zombies consulting a guide for where to shamble next, and a gleeful attendee sticking it to the undead.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Some of the dealers included the Evans City-based Living Dead Museum, Big Papa's Collectibles (where I bought some LEGO minifigs; more on that later), and - of course - "Stuff and Thangs." Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Some of the dealers included the Evans City-based Living Dead Museum, Big Papa’s Collectibles (where I bought some LEGO minifigs; more on that later), and – of course – “Stuff and Thangs.”
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Need weapons for the apocalypse? They've got you covered at Walker Stalker. Perhaps...TOO covered. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Need weapons for the apocalypse? They’ve got you covered at Walker Stalker. Perhaps…TOO covered.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Want to get a Lucasfilm-licensed tattoo on site? Yup, that appears to be a thing. Who knew? Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Want to get a Lucasfilm-licensed tattoo on site? Yup, that appears to be a thing. Who knew?
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
This laughing zombie was soliciting attendees to come into the fencing for a photo op, but he creeped the hell out of me.  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
This laughing zombie was soliciting attendees to come into the fencing for a photo op, but he creeped the hell out of me.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Artist Rob Prior was back to work his phenomenal illustrative magic. This time around, we saw him beginning an extraordinary triptych of Catwomen! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Artist Rob Prior was back to work his phenomenal illustrative magic. This time around, we saw him beginning an extraordinary triptych of Catwomen!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The con began on October 1st, the official anniversary of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and Johnny himself - Russ Streiner - was in attendance, with pink hair no less! It was back to normal the next day, so I suppose this was a "birthday" color?  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The con began on October 1st, the official anniversary of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and Johnny himself – Russ Streiner – was in attendance, with pink hair no less! It was back to normal the next day, so I suppose this was a “birthday” color?
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There he is folks, the man everyone is trying to see! Natalie was able to get a much closer shot of the man himself, Norman "Daryl" Reedus, in comparison to our long-distance glimpses at Walker Stalker NJ. And look, no sunglasses! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There he is folks, the man everyone is trying to see! Natalie was able to get a much closer shot of the man himself, Norman “Daryl” Reedus, in comparison to our long-distance glimpses at Walker Stalker NJ. And look, no sunglasses!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
No...I don't think so. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
No…I don’t think so.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Zombies love me for my brains. I know, that's an old one, but I'm entitled. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Zombies love me for my brains. I know, that’s an old one, but I’m entitled.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Hey look, it's Kevin Kriess of the Living Dead Museum sporting a snazzy Rick Grimes hat and spinning the "Wheel of Lucille!" Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Hey look, it’s Kevin Kriess of the Living Dead Museum sporting a snazzy Rick Grimes hat and spinning the “Wheel of Lucille!”
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
On Saturday, I was joined by the "Nightly Nerd," Bailey Hyneman, to chat with THE WALKING DEAD's Tyreese, Chad L. Coleman! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
On Saturday, I was joined by the “Nightly Nerd,” Bailey Hyneman, to chat with THE WALKING DEAD’s Tyreese, Chad L. Coleman!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

At the end of our panel, I presented Chad with a custom LEGO minifig of Tyreese (courtesy of Big Papa's)! Photo by @FeatherMishap
At the end of our panel, I presented Chad with a custom LEGO minifig of Tyreese (courtesy of Big Papa’s)!
Photo by @FeatherMishap

(See @FeatherMishap‘s entire album of the panel here)

On Sunday, it was time for the main event (for me anyway): A panel with the Z NATION cast! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
On Sunday, it was time for the main event (for me anyway): A panel with the Z NATION cast!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There were smiles all around as we talked about everything from the big Season 2-set movie, "No Mercy," to recent episodes in the newly premiered Season 3. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There were smiles all around as we talked about everything from the big Season 2-set movie, “No Mercy,” to recent episodes in the newly premiered Season 3.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Russell "Doc" Hodgkinson promises a special strain of Z Weed for your local dispensaries. I don't doubt him. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Russell “Doc” Hodgkinson promises a special strain of Z Weed for your local dispensaries. I don’t doubt him.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
It was a fast-moving and eventful hour; why, we didn't know where to look first! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
It was a fast-moving and eventful hour; why, we didn’t know where to look first!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Keith "Murphy" Allan delights in his newfound dedication to leadership in the post-apocalypse! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Keith “Murphy” Allan delights in his newfound dedication to leadership in the post-apocalypse!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There's something so mesmerizing about The Murphy... Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There’s something so mesmerizing about The Murphy…
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Nat "10K" Zang looks like he's about to lose control as Anastasia "Addy" Baranova tells it like it is! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Nat “10K” Zang looks like he’s about to lose control as Anastasia “Addy” Baranova tells it like it is!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
We eagerly await the next question from a huge and really engaged audience of devoted Z NATION fans. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
We eagerly await the next question from a huge and really engaged audience of devoted Z NATION fans.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The question came up: "Where was Vasquez during the events of 'No Mercy?'" Nat tells me to "just let it go, man!" All right!  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The question came up: “Where was Vasquez during the events of ‘No Mercy?'” Nat tells me to “just let it go, man!” All right!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A fan teaches the Z NATIONers how to dab! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A fan teaches the Z NATIONers how to dab!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Me and the Z NATION team after the panel, #StrongerTogether! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Me and the Z NATION team after the panel, #StrongerTogether!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The end of Sunday brought my panel with Jason Cabassi on the "Evolution of the Zombie." Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The end of Sunday brought my panel with Jason Cabassi on the “Evolution of the Zombie.”
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
During the panel, we fielded questions on the origins of the zombie genre and what we prefer - shamblers or runners? So you know, the usual. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
During the panel, we fielded questions on the origins of the zombie genre and what we prefer – shamblers or runners? So you know, the usual.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
It's always great fun chatting with Jason and fans about how this whole crazy zombie thing got started. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
It’s always great fun chatting with Jason and fans about how this whole crazy zombie thing got started.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A powerhouse Walker Stalker team! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A powerhouse Walker Stalker team!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
And here's a look at the woman behind the camera, Natalie Litofsky, with her "apoca-pants!" Photo by Jason Cabassi
And here’s a look at the woman behind the camera, Natalie Litofsky, with her “apoca-pants!”
Photo by Jason Cabassi
On the way out, I was struck by how much this reminded me of the doorway at the Haddonfield hospital at the end of HALLOWEEN II.  Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
On the way out, I was struck by how much this reminded me of the doorway at the Haddonfield hospital at the end of HALLOWEEN II.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
So I mentioned LEGO minifigs. I bought a group of custom zombies and zombie fighters, including takes on WALKING DEAD characters like Carol, Andrea...and Daryl! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
So I mentioned LEGO minifigs. I bought a group of custom zombies and zombie fighters, including takes on WALKING DEAD characters like Carol, Andrea…and Daryl!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
...And yes, Daryl has his wings printed on the back too! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
…And yes, Daryl has his wings printed on the back too!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The zombie minifigs are formidable - they've beheaded other LEGO minifigs and carry the trophies! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The zombie minifigs are formidable – they’ve beheaded other LEGO minifigs and carry the trophies!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Lurking behind them is the Headless Horseman from a SCOOBY DOO set, just because. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Lurking behind them is the Headless Horseman from a SCOOBY DOO set, just because.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
With ribs exposed, this LEGO minifig is a macabre image in plastic. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
With ribs exposed, this LEGO minifig is a macabre image in plastic.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

Oh, one last thing. My father, Marvin Blumberg, is as big a Z NATION fan as DOCTOR OF THE DEAD co-host and producer Scott Woodard and I are, and since his birthday was just days earlier on September 29th, I asked the cast if they wouldn’t mind recording a brief greeting…

And that’s all from Walker Stalker Philly 2016! Until next time!

TRAILER: The Walking Dead Season 7 (with the Doctor of the Dead’s reaction)

meavatarjessSo by now many of you have already seen the new Season 7 trailer for THE WALKING DEAD debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con, but now the Doc is here to offer his reaction to what we’re seeing in this glimpse of the zombie-laden TV saga’s seventh year! First, here’s that trailer:

And now, how about we break it down western-style, since the show owes a lot to that genre…

THE GOOD

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at Jul 22, 2016 4.59 PM
The opening montage pulls at the heartstrings for sure, reintroducing all the players while making it clear how hard it’ll be to say goodbye to at least one of them in that S7 premiere. Once again the show makes a good use of music to underscore an emotional situation, and there’s Carol doing her cute “innocent Carol” bit once again. As for the usually-stellar zombie effects, Greg Nicotero and his team appear to be pushing the Walkers even further into decay in a variety of intriguing ways. There will doubtless be ongoing homages to zombies past, as well; that last shot of a horde of sand-encrusted undead even led DOCTOR OF THE DEAD producer/co-host Scott Woodard to say “those sand walkers are so Fulci at the end!” And then there’s the arrival of the Kingdom and King Ezekiel, which leads me to…

THE BAD

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at Jul 22, 2016 5.08 PM
…Shiva. We knew that Ezekiel’s tiger was going to be accomplished by CGI due to a variety of legitimate production reasons, but our first glimpse is…odd. Oh sure, it looks amazing, that’s not the problem; it’s just that Shiva really looks like he isn’t even in the same shot with Ezekiel, so the interaction between actors and computer-generated animal may not be all that convincing. Still, we shall see – this is only a trailer, after all!

THE UGLY

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at Jul 22, 2016 5.01 PM 1
By “ugly” here, I’m talking more about sad inevitability and an emotional roller coaster ride. We know Season 7 is going to kick off with a jarring death, and Negan’s arrival means the world of our heroes is about to get a whole lot uglier. I’ve talked on the DOTD podcast about the show’s unfortunate tendency to fall into cyclical storytelling, and so a lot of Negan’s over-confident glib dialogue does come off as just another variation on the Governor and other past antagonists. But let’s face it, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a delight to watch, so although Negan will speechify like every other super-villain, perhaps it’ll be a bit less tedious to endure. I suspect it will also be harrowing!

THE WALKING DEAD Season 7 debuts on October 23 at 9pm on AMC. Invest in Kleenex now.

CONVENTION REPORT: WALKER STALKER CON NEW JERSEY 2016

meavatarjessI’ve been appearing at Walker Stalker Conventions since 2014 (even though I was introduced as a newcomer at the start of this one, but what can ya do), but never before have I had as much fun or been as delighted to be involved in programming as I was this July 9-10 at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, New Jersey for the 2016 Walker Stalker Con New Jersey! Let me tell you all about it…

Time for the Doctor of the Dead to head into the apocalypse! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Time for the Doctor of the Dead to head into the apocalypse!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

In past years, I’ve only been able to appear for one day, but fortunately this time I had the chance to work both days of this sprawling show. Having moved the New Jersey event to this location for the first time, the convention clearly benefitted from the increased space, and they had no trouble packing in crowds on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, the number one draw was none other than Daryl Dixon himself, Norman Reedus, but there were many other fellow THE WALKING DEAD cast members in attendance as well as FEAR THE WALKING DEAD cast, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD‘s Russ Streiner, other actors, artists, vendors, and even a certain world-renowned zombie expert known as the “Doctor of the Dead!”

Can you see Norman Reedus in this picture? No, we mean the real one. Well neither can we... Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Can you see Norman Reedus in this picture? No, we mean the real one. Well neither can we…
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
...and this was as close as Natalie could get in order to get the previous pic! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
…and this was as close as Natalie could get in order to get the previous pic!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

DAY ONE: Saturday kicked off at 10:45am with a roundtable panel in which several of us, including a random fan chosen from the audience, discussed the TWD Season 6 finale and what might lay ahead for our heroes in Season 7. When asked to sum up the series in one word, I mused about it for a moment then realized what it had to be: “humanity.”

IronE "T-Dog" Singleton and Scott "Hershel" Wilson joined the Doctor of the Dead for an hour of fun and fans. Photos by Natalie B. Litfosky
IronE “T-Dog” Singleton and Scott “Hershel” Wilson joined the Doctor of the Dead for an hour of fun and fans.
Photos by Natalie B. Litfosky

That was supposed to be my one and only panel for Saturday, but I was asked to step in and handle some on-stage interviews when original moderator Jason Cabassi was unable to make it to the show until Sunday. First up, a delightful chat with IronE “T-Dog” Singleton and Scott “Hershel” Wilson at 11:30am. Probably the best part of this panel was discovering what a strong bond these two actors had forged in their short time together on the show.

IronE Singleton and the Doctor of the Dead! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
IronE Singleton and the Doctor of the Dead!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

My next panel wasn’t until 4pm, so until then G2V’s newest contributor Natalie Litofsky and I did a turn or two around the floor, checking out some vendors and discovering just what a huge crowd Norman Reedus had drawn; no shock there. I caught a glimpse of Elvira herself, Cassandra Peterson, and I also had time to say hi to DOCTOR OF THE DEAD guest Roger Ma, author of THE ZOMBIE COMBAT MANUAL.

The Doctor is reunited with Roger Ma of the ZOMBIE COMBAT MANUAL! Ready for battle! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The Doctor is reunited with Roger Ma of the ZOMBIE COMBAT MANUAL! Ready for battle!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

By the time we returned to the stage area, we caught the end of a phenomenal live art presentation by Rob Prior, who dazzled the audience with a dynamic two-handed painting style as he crafted a deadly accurate rendition of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan.

Artist Rob Prior bringing Negan to life on paper. On the left, Prior at work; on the right, the final piece backstage. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Artist Rob Prior bringing Negan to life on paper. On the left, Prior at work; on the right, the final piece backstage.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

Then at 4pm, it was time to head back on stage to interview Deanna Monroe herself, the incredibly energetic Tovah Feldshuh. From anecdotes about wearing zombie make-up in her final TWD appearance to stories of family and famous career highlights, she kept the audience in rapt attention and even gave them a rendition of “Neverland” from PETER PAN. And then it was time to head out and rest up for Sunday!

The Doctor and Tovah "Deanna Monroe" Feldshuh fielded questions from the audience and paused backstage for an all-smiles pic afterward. Photo Natalie B. Litofsky
The Doctor and Tovah “Deanna Monroe” Feldshuh fielded questions from the audience and paused backstage for an all-smiles pic afterward.
Photo Natalie B. Litofsky

DAY TWO: Although shorter, my Sunday schedule was a perfect capper for a great weekend. At 2pm I took the stage with Jason Cabassi for my very own panel on the “State of the Zombie” in 2016. Talking about ZOMBIEMANIA, my University of Baltimore zombie college course, DOCTOR OF THE DEAD, and my opinions on the current state of zombie film, TV, and beyond, we had a great time chatting about all kinds of zombies living and dead, as well as fielding questions from the audience.

Jason Cabassi joins the Doctor for a talk about - what else? - zombies! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Jason Cabassi joins the Doctor for a talk about – what else? – zombies!
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

For my final panel of Walker Stalker New Jersey 2016, I couldn’t have picked a better interview subject than Tyreese himself, Chad L. Coleman. It was an all-too-short hour of discussion about the craft of acting, the deeper meaning of a show about zombies and post-apocalyptic survival, and even conversation about how artists provide meaningful reflection on our culture in troubled times like these.

Chad L. Coleman shared some inspirational anecdotes with the Doctor and the Walker Stalker crowd. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Chad L. Coleman shared some inspirational anecdotes with the Doctor and the Walker Stalker crowd.
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

It’s also worth noting that Michael “Abraham” Cudlitz and the Walker Stalker team have turned a growing social media fan reference to Abraham’s “Bisquick” quip on the show into an impressive charity drive that encourages fans to bring Bisquick and other non-perishable food items, which are then distributed to local food banks at convention’s end. And as Cudlitz himself tweeted, the drive is doing very well indeed:

https://twitter.com/Cudlitz/status/752309569917943808

Having spent many years in the comics industry working conventions like the San Diego and New York Comic-Cons, and appearing as a guest at DOCTOR WHO shows since 2001, I can definitely say that in such a short time the Walker Stalker team has distinguished itself as capable of putting on events that are a delight for everyone involved. I look forward to the next time I get to slip on the ol’ skull shirt and see everyone again…perhaps Philadelphia in October? Until then!

The Doctor posed with the Suicide Squad's own Harley Quinn. Because...why not? Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
The Doctor posed with the Suicide Squad’s own Harley Quinn. Because…why not?
Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky

STUFF: Universal Studios’ Walking Dead Attraction Goes Year-Round

meavatarjessThis time around, maybe we should file this under “STUFF & THANGS!”

Get ready for a truly apocalyptic way to celebrate the 4th of July! Debuting this 2016 holiday, THE WALKING DEAD ATTRACTION at Universal Studios Hollywood is a “fully immersive journey” pitting you against “hungry walkers” as you traverse “nightmarish iconic landscapes that bring the most popular cable TV show in history to life!”

16-ONL-18912-WD-Video-No1-Dynamic-Lead_961x421_FMRik

This really sounds like every WALKING DEAD fan’s dream (without the worry of little things like the world actually coming to an end). Read all the details here, and check out the attraction’s official website too! And by the way…where’s Judith?