The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season review

The popular zombie series keeps the scares coming with the addition of a little jailhouse shock

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of survivors decide to set up home in an abandoned prison, but after crossing paths with 'The Governor' (David Morrissey), they soon learn that the living can be even more dangerous than the (un)dead…

This third season of the hit comic book adaptation sees The Walking Dead evolve into a relentlessly dark yet brilliantly addictive and totally convincing piece of survival horror. And while the odd narrative misstep still holds the show back from perfection, when viewed in quick succession (rather than on a week-by-week basis) the entire run holds together extremely well, and its sheer unpredictability and chutzpah make any flaws easy to overlook.

Picture: Shot entirely on 16mm for a grittier, somewhat vérité aesthetic, The Walking Dead's distinctive visual style is perfectly replicated by this set's AVC 1.78:1 1080p encodes. Grain is finely resolved and looks very natural, black levels are impeccable and the amount of fine detail on show regularly impresses.

Admittedly, there are some source-related issues, such as the softness witnessed in some shots and light banding on a handful of occasions. But overall this remains an authentic hi-def presentation - one that makes amends for the lacklustre treatment the second season received on Blu-ray in the UK.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: The Walking Dead boasts one of the most enveloping and atmospheric soundtracks of any TV show, so it's no surprise to discover that this set's DTS-HD MA 5.1 tracks are an audiophile's delight.

The constant use of the surrounds helps make the onscreen action feel much bigger in scope than the budget can necessarily afford to show us. At the same time, the clarity of the audio and an expansive dynamic range gives it a greater sense of precision and potency than you might expect from a TV series.

Only the lack of the 7.1 tracks that appeared on the US Blu-ray hold this boxset back from scoring five-out-of-five in this category.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: The bulk of the special features gathered together by EntertainmentOne appear on the set's fifth Blu-ray platter and take the form of six (fairly inconsequential) deleted scenes and eight behind-the-scenes featurettes exploring the show's characters (old, new and dead), visual effects and the shooting of certain key scenes.

Spread across the other discs are five informative episode-specific commentaries featuring various combinations of the show's cast and crew.
Extras rating: 3.5/5

We say: The show’s best season to date is also its best UK Blu-ray release so far

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season, EntertainmentOne, Region B BD, £45 Approx