Fear the Walking Dead is a spinoff of The Walking Dead. The initial marketing promised a more extensive look at the start of the crisis, which would have resulted in something that was much different from its parent series. Unfortunately, that potential was never fulfilled. Even worse, Fear the Walking Dead made suboptimal use of its most interesting characters, with the result that the first two seasons were rather lackluster to say the least. However, Season 3 of Fear the Walking Dead was a significant step-up compared to the preceding seasons, so much so that it would not be inaccurate to say that it is starting to eclipse its parent series, though that says as much about The Walking Dead as about Fear the Walking Dead.
Is Fear the Walking Dead Starting to Eclipse The Walking Dead?
It is not uncommon for a series to take some time before finding its proper stride, but if Fear the Walking Dead is one such example, it sure took it some time to reach this point. Still, the resulting is a lot more interesting, rendered so by a combination of bolder narrative choices, better action scenes, more interesting world-building, and increased tension through increased engagement with the characters. Overall, Season 3 of Fear the Walking Dead was much improved compared to the preceding seasons, which was unexpected but nonetheless welcome.
In contrast, The Walking Dead is beginning to resemble one of its zombies. It is still moving, but it is looking more than a little bit lifeless, which is not an encouraging sign to say the least. Granted, there never was a time when the series was without its blemishes, but in recent seasons, those blemishes have started to overwhelm their much more pleasing surroundings whereas once the reverse was true. As a result, it is no wonder that Season 8 of The Walking Dead has seen massive falls in its numbers, even though it was once capable of standing firm in the face of incredible competition. At this rate, one can’t help but wonder whether The Walking Dead has entered into a downward spiral, one with an ending that would make it very clear whether Fear the Walking Dead has eclipsed it or not.
With that said, while Fear the Walking Dead is on the rise even as The Walking Dead sinks, there is still time for their prospects to change. TV shows can have their share of ups and downs, meaning that it is not impossible for Fear the Walking Dead to suffer a decline and The Walking Dead to see a recovery at some point in the future. For that matter, the people behind the series seem to be well-aware of the need to restore interest in the franchise, as shown by the announcement of a crossover between the two series that will be coming out in the future. Whether that will succeed in restoring the flagging The Walking Dead remains to be seen, but for the time being, it is clear that Fear the Walking Dead has gained the upper hand in the comparison between the two.