Z Nation: Season 1 (DVD) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Horror, Action
Distributor: eOne
Episodes: 13
Duration: 42 min (per episode)

Z Nation: Season 1 (DVD) – Series Review

Site Score
Good: Original, Gritty, Approach, Plot
Bad: Cheap effects at times, Citizen Z is a tad annoying
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

With ‘The Walking Dead’ currently being the go-to series when you wish to witness a zombie apocalypse firsthand, there are some other original zombie series surfacing, as well as spin-offs. While we will be discussing Fear The Walking Dead in the near future, now we were more intrigued by Syfy’s Z Nation, an original series that handles the undead end of the world a tad differently, especially on how their zombies behave. This one might bring us some new tips on how to survive an ordeal such as this one, you never know when people around you might go craving for some brains.


It has been roughly three years since the dead have been turning into walking rotting bodies that feast upon human flesh. The last pockets of the government are trying frantically to find a remedy for the zombie ‘virus’, but as a massive force of zombies are currently closing in on the testing facility where involuntary human trials are being conducted, time is of the essence and Dr. Merch (Lisa Coronado) injects three different possible cures in three convicts. As the first two perish, the doctor has to abandon her third test subject before seeing if the serum had any effect. Nonetheless, as the third victim keeps screaming, the military officer who was tasked with evacuating the doctor heads back to see what has occurred. Hammond (Harold Perrineau) extracts the third patient, who survived several zombie bites, whilst he was left behind. This oddball survivor turns out to be Murphy (Keith Allen), the man who can possibly save the world.

Nonetheless, Hammond’s forces are dwindling by the minute and before he knows it, it’s only Murphy and him, who have a mission to go to California in order to secure Murphy and develop a vaccine. Their journey brings them to a settlement where Roberta Warren (Kellita Smith), Charles Garnett (Tom Everett Scott), Doc (Russel Hodgkinson), Addy (Anastasia Baranova) and Mack (Michael Welsh) reside. Whilst the encampment does have a few random encounters, they live in peace for the most part. When Hammond and Murphy suddenly barge in stating they have the cure, their world gets turned upside down all of a sudden. Hesitant at first, they are forced to accompany them as their own base of operations suddenly gets swarmed by zombies, leaving not a single human being alive. This is the start of their adventure, even though Hammond already leaves the ragtag band of survivors to handle Murphy as he loses his life soon after the companionship was formed. Luckily they are being watched by Citizen Z (DJ Qualls), a former NSA employee, who is able to keep a close eye on them and provide them with instructions when needed.


Overall the flow of the series is actually a tad faster than The Walking Dead, as the episodes often comprise almost all of the characters, so the creators could move a bit faster with the story. Of course, nearly each episode tackles a separate subject, while keeping the main objective in mind. In the end it’s all about getting Murphy to California, in order to save the world.

Most zombie movies and/or series often situate themselves around the same issue, namely survival of the fittest. One does not know where the zombies came from, where the infection truly started and how people can be cured or at least become vaccinated in order to prevent more people to turn into the walking dead. This is often left on the background, making the survivors seem rather helpless, only occupied with their own survival. It’s a fun change of pace to actually know there is a ‘cure’ from the beginning of the series and that this is the main topic of the series, instead of mere survival of characters, hoping to live out their lives in relative peace.

Other differences are of course unique types of zombies, as it seems that some zombies do more than eating humans. What kinds you’ll encounter we’ll leave for you to discover.

Character evolution is important in a series such as this one, and luckily this was well taken care of, for most of the characters. You’ll see Warren have her internal struggles, and Murphy, who is a proper douchebag, encounter new experiences and evolve together with the serum inside of him. Citizen Z however falls a bit short in this department and feels more like a comical note, rather than a decent contributing character. Nonetheless, through it all, acting performances are quite nice and convincing, even the supporting cast members do a great job.


Even though the topic is rather serious, the creators did their best to implement some lighter characters, as well as the use of humor to brighten up the undead mood. While the humor is not always that great, it does help get the edge of some situations, giving your mind a small breather in order to pay attention again after that.

Unlike The Walking Dead, Z Nation did not have such a big budget, thus some special effects are done in a rather cheap looking fashion, which sometimes hampers the overall quality, but at the same time, the grittiness does have a few advantages. Overall some effects are in line with some of the more known B-type horror movies, some are done properly, whilst others are truly terrible. Luckily the terrible ones don’t happen that often.

Sadly, the box of the first season comes with no extra features. Whilst this is not the reason one would consider buying this series, it would have been fun to see some deleted footage, a making of, bloopers and perhaps some more background information.


Z Nation: Season 1 presents zombie fans with a fun and original alternative from many of the other zombie franchises on the market. You’ll be treated to an exciting tale where an apocalypse might be undone, at least to a certain extent. Characters are interesting and the story progresses at a steady pace, making for a very interesting end of the world scenario.


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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Z Nation: Season 1 (DVD) - Series Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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