The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season

American TV's flesh-eating ghouls take a second bite out of Blu-ray

This televised adaptation of Robert Kirkman's best-selling independent comic book series rumbles on with this extended 13 episode run (which plays much better when viewed en mass like this, rather than on a weekly basis). The main thrust this time is the gang's belief that their search for a safe haven from the zombie hordes may be over after the chance discovery of an isolated farmstead. However, tragedy is never far away and there are plenty of surprises – even for those who know the comics well.

Picture: Unlike Anchor Bay's recent US release, which spread the episodes and extras across four discs, EntertainmentOne's UK Blu-ray release is a three-disc affair that squeezes all 13 episodes onto just two hi-def platters. With between 277 and 300 minutes of content on each it's hardly surprising that something had to give – and in this case its the grain structure of the AVC 1.78:1 1080p encodes.

Shot on 16mm film, The Walking Dead has a deliberately grainy look, one that this Blu-ray release struggles to accurately recreate. There's certainly plenty of grain on show, but it's incredibly unrefined and robs the already soft visuals of even more clarity. Banding can also be an issue at times. Does this mean it's unwatchable? Not at all, as it's still considerably better than Channel 5's artefact-ridden terrestrial TV broadcasts. But it's definitely not as good as it could – and should – have been.
Picture rating: 2.5/5

Audio: Another change from the US set comes with the audio. While the former received Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio, here in the UK we get a choice of DTS-HD MA 5.1 or Dolby Digital 2.0. The lossless mix is still pretty good, with excellent use of the surrounds, but once again it's annoying to know that it could have been better.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: The final Blu-ray in the set houses eleven featurettes and eight deleted scenes (including a must-see 13-min alternate opening to the season) with optional commentary by producer Glen Mazzara. Which, of course, means that we don't get the five episode commentaries and six Webisodes that also appear on the US release. Instead we get a 'UK exclusive' text-only character guide. Whoopie!
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: This compromised Region B set falls someway short of the US release

EntertainmentOne, Region B BD, £40 Approx, On sale now