How ‘The Walking Dead’ changed the course of the TV revolution
“Hang on, I’m going to make you some tea,” Rick says, and the camera tilts forward as we see our friend Dale slowly trudge on the rocky beach with the crumpled, blackened shirt and bandana draped over his right ankle. The camera zooms into Dale’s face as the sound of a teapot pouring steaming water plays in the background. Over and over again, Dale is shown drinking tea, or taking a break. His calm, matter-of-fact voice makes him sound like any other man on the shore at the start of a tough day, walking and talking about the work he’s doing. Then it cuts back to the camera, as Dale’s voice asks, “You know, Rick–” and the camera zooms on Rick’s face. “If you ever need anything, just yell and we’ll come and pick you up.” Then Dale’s voice again, just loud enough for us to hear. “If I need anything, I can take care of myself.”
As Dale says those words, the camera zooms out, showing just Rick and the back of Dale’s head–but not the front of his torso. Dale’s expression turns pensive. Then he nods, and we cut back to Rick and Dale from the beach, and we see Dale carrying the blackened shirt from the burned-out truck he’s been walking in. The camera zooms back into the sandy dirt, where the shirt is shown to be torn and charred. Then Dale’s face again as Rick tells Dale what he’s been through. Then the camera cuts back to the beach, to Rick and Dale sitting on the wooden jetty at the edge of the sea. Rick is now holding one of Dale’s hands.
It was the moment Dale made his film debut back in 2010, in AMC’s The Walking Dead. But the moment was a long time in coming. And it wasn’t just because AMC had been a pioneer in making its shows for streaming for so long. It took the show a long time to grow out of its niche, especially when it has to explain how its zombie apocalypse is affecting the