Every type of zombie story has its own version of the undead. 28 Days Later has its Rage virus pseudo-zombies. World War Z has the fast-moving, twitchy hordes of zombies. The Walking Dead has committed to a shambling sea of walking corpses. One would think that Fear the Walking Dead would follow suit. That is not entirely true.
Fear the Walking Dead has taken a majority of its basis for zombies from the original show. The walkers in both shows seem to have turned regardless of if they are bitten, and they still fully die before they turn. Fear has changed a bit about their version of the zombies in a big way.
A Reason to Fear the Walking Dead
The walkers we see from the beginning of the show are much more dangerous. A single zombie is enough to easily bring down a survivor. A lot of this strength seems to stem from just how hard they are to take down. In Fear the Walking Dead we see a walker take hits to the head like champs. This combined with the survivors’ lack of experience with the infected, which leads to a much more harrowing experience.
This is a pretty big contrast to the walkers of the parent show, The Walking Dead. Straight from the beginning of the show, we see Rick manage to survive an encounter with a sizeable herd inside Atlanta. Even after losing his horse and being cornered he manages to put down several walkers and escape to the inside of a tank.
In later seasons we saw characters take down walkers with their bare hands. There seems to be a great explanation for the difference in ability for the undead threat in each show.
The Walkers Aren’t As Old
The walkers in Fear the Walking Dead haven’t spent a great amount of time in their zombified state. This is especially true in the earlier seasons. This means they haven’t had nearly the opportunity to decompose that their Walking Dead counterparts have. As such, they are just better put together.
These stronger zombies help Fear the Walking Dead to better tell the story of where the end of days started. Humanity ultimately losing to these stronger, sturdier zombies is much more believable than their loss to the half-rotted walkers of The Walking Dead.
As the show continues it is likely we will see this change.
In fact, we can already see the degradation of the walkers when we compare them to Season 1. Eventually, the zombie horde will match seamlessly with that of The Walking Dead. For a look at how that might play out, check out my other article on the evolution of zombies in The Walking Dead universe.