Just like the walkers that plague the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, the universe based on the comic book series doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Despite the flagship series coming to an emotional end last year, a number of spinoffs remain to feed the insatiable appetites of zombie-lovers. Fans of the AMC horror show are certainly excited about the one centered around Norman Reedus’ character, and we don’t have to wait too much longer. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon is set to premiere on September 10, and critics who screened the six-episode series say they’ve found a new reason to be excited about the franchise.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon will see the fan-favorite character washing ashore in France and tasked with escorting Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi), a young boy born from a pregnant walker, from Marseille to Paris. Let’s see what the critics are saying, starting with Amy West of GamesRadar, who rates the series 3.5 out of 5 stars. The critic says the spinoff brings back the nuanced, character-driven story that attracted fans to early seasons of The Walking Dead. West writes:
With its spin-offs, the franchise has carved out an opportunity to start afresh, to streamline itself and revert back to its glory days. Well, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon doesn't quite achieve that, but it comes much closer than its predecessor The Walking Dead: Dead City – and close enough, really, to make it worth your while.
Others are also impressed by the new six-episode spinoff, with Cameron Bonomolo of ComicBook.com calling the series “epic and entertaining,” with the European setting differentiating it from the others series. Bonomolo rates the show 4.5 stars out of 5, writing:
Norman Reedus is magnifique, reenergized by what is destined to become event television. Already renewed for a second season, the new series delivers what Walking Dead fans want — and something entirely unexpected. Daryl Dixon is The Walking Dead as you've never seen it before, enlivened and reinvented to prove that there's a lot of life left in the zombie drama. Vive la Walking Dead. Long live The Walking Dead.
David Opie of Digital Spy shares that enthusiasm, calling the Norman Reedus spinoff the best The Walking Dead has been in ages with a 4-out-of-5 star rating. The spinoff explores new themes for the universe and makes Opie excited about what’s to come next from the other Walking Dead spinoffs. In the critic’s words:
Hints of prophecy and visions and even otherworldly powers bring something entirely new to this world, and it's perfect that a sceptic like Daryl is the channel through which we see this new world order. That's not to say something supernatural is definitely afoot. We'll leave that for you to decide, dear viewer, but it's about time that bold new ideas like this took centre stage in a world that's already gone to hell in a very literal sense.
Charlie Mason of TV Line calls the new series “très bien” and echoes the above critic that the question of whether or not Laurent is the messiah is a different path than The Walking Dead viewers are used to traversing. Daryl Dixon isn’t without its flaws, but at the end of the six episodes, Mason can’t wait for more. He grades the series a B-, saying:
That said, Daryl Dixon is by no means perfect. There are some murky motivations, eyebrow-raising coincidences, and here and there dialogue that is more mystifying than it can possibly have been intended to be. But the setting is stunning, the score by David Sardy is magnificently cinematic, and the walkers are… let’s just say that they’re not your grandma’s, OK?
Longtime fans of The Walking Dead surely all have their theories and predictions about the Norman Reedus spinoff, and regardless of if those are fulfilled, it’s good to see such promising reactions from the critics. Now we can sit back and wait for more badass Daryl Dixon moments. The premiere is just around the corner, too, as The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon is set to kick off at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on AMC and will also be available on AMC+. Check out our 2023 TV schedule to see what else is coming soon to the small screen.