Donna and I have been avid followers of AMC's new zombie show The Walking Dead. It's been pretty entertaining so far, with a good mix of drama and eww -- zombies(!) moments. One of my hopes for the series is that the cause of the zombie fever is never revealed. Hints, maybe. Wild guesses that are never confirmed or denied, sure. But once the mystery is solved, I think something will be lost from the series that it can't get back. However, this is television, and clever writers won't be able to resist the temptation to try and come up with their own clever rationale for how clever they can be. Clever.
With that in mind, I thought I'd explore some of the possible theories for patient zero and try and determine their likelihood.
Theory 1: A Comet Did It
This, as you probably already know, would be a direct rip off of Night of the Living Dead. I doubt that a show that has shown such originality early in its run would resort to this. [Odds: 100 - 1]
Theory 2: Scientists Did It
This is almost as tired a cliche as the idea of zombies roaming the earth itself. Either evil scientists working for some shadowy conspiracy to take over blah blah blah or good scientists working on a cure for yada yada yada have their good works appropriated by the government to turn into a weapon capable of *snore*. Sadly, this one probably has legs. [Odds: 4-1]
Theory 3: God Did It
It's Judgment Day: do you know where your kids are? Well, they should be in school unless they're dead, in which case they should be clawing their way out of their graves right about... now. This would take the show in bold new directions, as religion hasn't been a focus of the scripts so far. But if this is the direction they go, they'd better go all the way, by which I mean apocalyptic lunacy, souls being ripped from bodies, and Jesus and Satan going mano a mano for the title. Somehow I just don't see the series going in that direction. [Odds: 50-1]
Theory 4: Bush Did It
He's responsible for everything else that's wrong in the world, might as well throw "zombie apocalypse" on the pile. There haven't been any CGI-enhanced flashbacks of press conferences where President Obama alludes to inheriting a zombie disaster from the previous administration -- yet. [Odds: 15-1]