The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 1 “No Sanctuary”: An Apology

The Walking Dead (Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC)

The Walking Dead is more than a mindless horror-drama about a cultural fad past its prime – and so are many other zombie stories. The season 5 premiere, “No Sanctuary,” is proof.

I hope you clicked on this article because you only read the title and thought, “What? Is she apologizing for The Walking Dead still being on the air?”  Nope, this is an apology – as in defense – of why The Walking Dead is so awesome.  I apologize1 for misleading you, but since you’re already here, why not kill some time and hear me out?

This article on The Walking Dead is going to be a one-off. It’s my one chance to convince you, using this week’s TWD episode, that zombies are a legitimate genre of both screen and literature that should be taken seriously. Full disclosure: I like zombies2. No, I mean I really like zombies3. Most people would think this (almost unhealthy) love of zombie movies, books, comics, and academic papers4 would keep me from being able to be objective about the genre, but those people are stupid and haven’t met me5.


I will be discussing The Walking Dead comics. I won’t mention anything from recent issues nor will I give away anything that the television series has taken from the comics and is still developing6. However, I will discuss events that differ between the comic and television series. If you think that’s a spoiler, stop reading this article. But frankly, you’ve had over 11 years to read the comics – you should’ve read them by now if you’re worried about spoilers.

  1. pun completely intended  
  2. favorite movie: Dawn of the Dead (1978)   
  3. wrote a 35 page research paper about how George Romero changed both filmmaking and Western culture, and wrote a 98 page zombie screenplay during grad school? check and check.  
  4. that’s right, enough academic papers about the zombie genre exist to fill numerous books. Feel free to question Western society and the future of education  
  5. probably because I’ve been known to stay in on a Saturday night to read those aforementioned books  
  6. like when the X-Men are going to show up once the group gets to D.C. and Cyclops destroys a herd of walkers with one glance  

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About Becca Marshall 36 Articles
Becca has been writing about film and television since convincing her junior high English teacher that comparing and contrasting the film and stage versions of Romero and Juliet was a good idea for a term research paper. After getting her BA in English and film studies, she doubled down on liberal arts and got an MA in television, radio, and film from Syracuse University. Becca is incredibly proud to be an Aggie and entertains her non-Texan friends with Southern colloquialisms. Her hobbies include watching Golden Girls and her interests include all things zombies - she's simple, not basic. Email: