Interview: Hal Cumpston Reflects on The Development of Silas

Hal Cumpston as Silas – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Macall Polay/AMC

Silas’ journey so far on The Walking Dead World Beyond is sad. Knowing that his father was abusive towards him and his mother really tramutized him. Anyone that suffers from that dark past, I would have sympathy for and I do for Silas. On this exclusive quick interview, Hal Cumpston breaks down the development of Silas on the most recent episode of The Walking Dead World Beyond.

How did you mentally prepare for your flashback scenes before the cameras started rolling?

Hal: I was very excited and ready to go for this episode for a while so there wasn’t too much trouble trying to get into character.

There is one thing that your character and Felix has in common and that is, that their fathers were not great role models to them when they were teenagers and young adults. Have you and Nico Tortorella talked about that behind the scenes?

Hal: We filmed such a long time ago I can’t remember discussing it exactly. We spent 6 months with each other so there isn’t really a topic we didn’t delve into. 

How intense was it for Silas to know that the first walker that he killed, is his father? And will we find out if his mom forgave him?

Hal: Silas is still intensely haunted by his past in particular having to kill his father twice. And I cannot answer the second question for now.

The first season is going to conclude soon. What are your favorite memories being part of World Beyond’s first season?

Hal: My mind is a bit hazy about particular memories from set but it was definitely a lot of fun. I’d say the overall experience that I get to be so lucky to do this as a job is definitely what sticks with me the most. But to give a funny memory there was a hilarious shocker where a cake was arranged for Annet’s “Birthday” yet low and behold it wasn’t her birthday. Another time that was funny was a day on episode 3 where I couldn’t make eye contact with Nicolas Cantu in an emotion scene because Nick, Nico and I had the giggles.

How challenging was it for you at first when you were first introduced into this universe of The Walking Dead?

Hal: I was pretty all over the place emotionally as I didn’t have a point of reference, it being my first US audition. The overall feeling was more of a “I’m so lucky to be here” than being a challenging or daunting experience. I did feel pretty comfortable pretty quickly thankfully. The fact all I had to do was act and I had money for the first time in my life was an easier version of life than the previous years working non-stop for little moneys on my indie film.

If there are any two characters between the main show and Fear The Walking Dead that you would like to see Silas interact with, who would they be?

Hal: Rick and Daryl probably. Sorry boring answer but that’s who realistically would probably be the coolest.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1 Finale Review

Nicolas Cantu as Elton, Ted Sutherland as Percy – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Macall Polay/AMC

The first season of World Beyond has come to an end. It has been a rocky road as there has been more bad episodes than good. Believe me when I say that I did not want to come in the series with a negative mindset. But when you have too many inconsistencies and terrible dialouge during the episodes, I cannot let it slip and not aknowledge them.

The seventh episode is their best episode. I was also on the set for that episode and was also happy with the finished product. Every episode before the seventh, has been either mediocre, or just straight up bad. One of those episodes, even featured a wolf that served no purpose, and a top-tier level of cringe during that dance scene. It is reasons like that where fans would look at this as a CW Network show. On this review, I will review the final two episodes of the season into one review. Those episodes are, “The Deepest Cut” and “In This Life.”

I will have to get this out the way right now. Felix’s Boyfriend Will should have been introduced earlier this season. I like the scenes that Will had with the family and Felix. But by the time they reunited, I did not feel that emotional attachment that these two had at the final scene. It works on the other two shows because the characters were seperated for a long stretch of episodes. But here, it did not work as he was introduced at the last minute. But outside of that, I am liking what I am seeing from Will so far.

Speaking about the ending, I am curious to how the second season of World Beyond will begin. Hope is the asset that Elizabeth wanted all along. When Hope solved that CRM cipher, I knew right away that she is what they were looking for. With Hope agreeing to go with CRM for them to transport her to her father, it can finally open more to what CRM is all about. However, The acting between Hope and Huck is passable.

When I watch actors or actresses like Melissa McBride or Alycia Debnam-Carey, they can both have those emotional scenes that I can suspend my disbelief in believeing that they are feeling that emotion. All throughout World Beyond and the final episode especially, Hope has been crying way too much. Alexa Mansour is a good actress, but those scenes do not make me believe what the character is feeling. You do not need to cry for a scene to be emotional. It comes off as trying too hard rather than organic.

While I was watching these two interract, I was eager to see how Hope will deal with the undead in this situation. And her inexperience is still showing on a grand scale. The way Elton handled the undead looked silly when he taped the two together at one point, but it made sense for him. I also believe that the ninth episode is Elton’s best episode. Those hallucination scenes with him and Percy really stood out to me. His own conscious was questioning him whether if he should leave Percy or not. But he believed in himself to do it. And I love how the reveal of Huck shooting Percy was filmed and acted too. Kudos for the production team to give me a jump scare because I totally did not see it coming when he sat back up.

Alexa Mansour as Hope; single – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Macall Polay/AMC

The fight scene between Felix and Huck is great. It is one of the longest, uninterrupted fight scenes in the universe of The Walking Dead. They both were evenly matched at a few points. And the fight choreography enhanced the scene as I was really engaged with the fight. Hope had to stop the fight because she knew that she was leaving. But what will that mean for Iris on the second season? Especially since Huck does not know that CRM took out the Campus back on the first episode.

Of all the episodes, Iris also stood out on the finally as Alicia Royale did a great performance with the character. It was frustrating to even try to like Iris this season. But the last two episodes made up for it. Hope is not the only one that is with CRM. Silas given himself up to CRM in order for Percy and Elton to escape the area. Where he will be placed, is up in the air for the second season. I honestly wish that the entire group did not split up because I have seen it done on both shows. And now on World Beyond, it has happened again. I do not believe that they are all too far though.

I think there is room to fix several of the issues of World Beyond on season 2. There also needs to be more hints on how this will tie into the Rick Grimes movies. The A/B stuff is intriguing, but it did not add to anything after that scene. The Walking Dead World Beyond is a two-season show and things need to pick up fast on the second season. The finale is good. But I did not leave with the urgency of anticipating the second season. But I hope that it is better than the first season.

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Danguard Ace

DVD Review: Danguard Ace

By Robert “Rob Base” Greenwood

(Most parts taken from Wiki)

Planet Robo Danguard Ace (惑星ロボ ダンガードA (エース)) was a Japanese anime series created by Leiji Matsumoto & Dan Kobayashi. It was licensed by Jim Terry Productions as part of the Force Five TV promotion as simply “Danguard Ace”.

The English dialog was written by Lynn Garrison, who later combined a number of episodes into a feature length presentation which gained a cult following on Showtime network during the late eighties.

The lead robot also appeared in Marvel Comics’ Shogun Warriors series, as well as the Mattel toy line of the same name.

In 2009, William Winckler Productions produced three all new English dubbed movie versions edited from the original series. Producer William Winckler, known for Tekkaman the Space Knight, wrote, produced and directed the English films, which are seen on broadband in Japan.

Danguard  Ace is Matsumoto’s only contribution to the giant robot genre.

Danguard Ace takes place on a future Earth in which nearly all natural resources have been depleted. People have begun looking toward other planets to survive, in particular the fictional tenth planet, Promete. Although people had hoped to peacefully begin settlement there, disaster strikes as the first explorers are destroyed by betrayal.

After this event, an individual named Mr. Doppler leaves toward Promete on his own ship, and declares himself Chancellor of the planet. Using Promete’s resources, Chancellor Doppler constructs a vast military force greater than that of Earth’s. He forbids anyone approaching the planet, under the insane belief that only he is entitled to it.

To gain control of Promete, the governments of Earth begin constructing massive combat robots. Doppler is able to attack and destroy all robots before they are completed, except for Danguard Ace. The forces sent to attack Danguard’s base were destroyed because of the efforts of Captain Dan. Nothing is known of this mysterious man, save that he previously served Doppler while under mind control.

Takuma Ichimonji, son of the man who betrayed the initial Promete exploration team, becomes a cadet at Danguard’s base. Ichimonji hopes that he might restore his fathers honor by fighting against Doppler’s forces.

Some of the main characters designs were similar to characters from Space Battle ship Yamato or known in the U.S.  as Star Blazers.

Takuma Ichimonji character resembles Space Cruiser Yamato character Susumu Kodai. The doctor on the show resembles Dr. Sakezo Sado from Space “Cruiser” Yamato.

To hardcore Anime fans, series such as Danguard Ace and Space cruiser Yamato are more nostalgic than iconic.  As new younger fans come into the world of Anime and Manga these new breed of fans don’t have a connection to the older works and unfortunately great series like Danguard Ace will eventually disappear from the Foreign (American and abroad)  mind completely.

Hopefully with great DVD releases coming from Shout and Sound foundry we will help a new age discover what started the flood.

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The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 1, Episode 8 “The Sky is a Graveyard” Review

Nicolas Cantu as Elton, Hal Cumpston as Silas – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

The Walking Dead World Beyond returns for another strong episode. Eight episodes in, and the plot is really picking up. “The Sky is a Graveyard” begins right where we left off as there are long hidden truths that finally came out. The seventh episode is my favorite of the season. And I can also say, that this episode is my second favorite as well.

Hal Cumpston’s acting is convincing and striking. The whole time I watched “The Sky is a Graveyard”, I was really sold on how the character Silas was tramutized. There is one major thing that is a common ground in the universe of TWD. And that is, there is a high percentage of bad fathers in this world. I felt really bad for Silas with the way his father treated him and his mother. But I did chuckle when they were both listening to rock music.

The first walker that Silas not only seen but killed, is his father. I could not imagine what his thought process was at the moment. That is also something to think about whenever Silas is on the screen. I had a feeling that there was more than what appeared with Silas. And my instincts were correct. But I am also not convinced that he killed Tony. I believe that Huck did it.

Alexa Mansour as Hope, Nicolas Cantu as Elton – The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

Huck had to do it because the end of the episode revealed why she was missing not too long ago. Tony and Percy had a CRM vehicle, and a map with different refueling locations. There was no way that Huck would let them stay alive. Add in to the fact that CRM knows that the group are coming. And Huck has to not let her cover be blown. Imagine if they all showed up there with Tony and Percy? Elizabeth would not allow that and I believe that she just wanted Hope, Iris, and the rest alone without anyone else on the way. Huck is also Elizabeth’s daughter and that is something I did not expect.

I also did not believe it when Silas revealed to Iris that he killed them both as well. My theory is, maybe he seen Huck do it and she told him not to tell them.

Speaking of secrets, Hope finally revealed to Elton that she killed his mother. I wish that this scene was more impactful than it should be. But I just did not feel the emotion that I thought that I would when the reveal happened. They should have not cut to footage of Elton leaving as the narration of Hope telling him was on. I wanted to see Elton’s reaction right there. That choice of editing should have not happened. And where are Silas and Elton are going to go? They are not ready to handle the outside world yet. That is based on what we seen of the both of them since World Beyond started airing.

With those minor issues aside, I still think that “The Sky is a Graveyard” is a strong episode. I can also say that I am glad that things are turning to the dark side of the apoclapse for the group.

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Fear The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 7 “Damage from the Inside” Review

Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark, Alexa Nisenson as Charlie – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC

“Damage From the Inside” serves as the mid season finale of Fear The Walking Dead’s sixth season. That was not the original plan as AMC halted production of the actual mid season finale at the start of the pandemic. Even so, this episode has a ton of strong performances by Alicia Debnam-Carey and Lennie James.

The surprise reveal at the end made my jaw drop. I will have to admit that because Grace was not on my mind at the time. Grace seems like she is going to give birth at any moment now. Virginia is going to use her as leverage against Morgan. When this does happen, it can make Morgan’s uprising go to a bad turn. That also depends on how many people he can gather to go against Virginia.

Alycia really stood out on “Damage From the Inside.” Especially the scene when her and Charlie was talking about The Stadium from season 4. Timeline wise, it has been almost a year since they were last there. So going back there to look for Madison could be a longshot. The Stadium was overrun by walkers. And I still wonder if Madison is alive.

When we were first introduced to Ed, I thought for a second that it was the same Ed from the Althea Tapes. But it turns out that this Ed is a animal hunter. The collection of his trophies in his shed spooked me out. Ed also attached horns on the walkers to weaponize them. That came back to haunt him later in the episode as the walkers came in. Ed accepted to be eaten by the dead and Alycia, Charlie, and Dakota were saved by Morgan.

Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC

Another scene I like, is the standoff between Strand, Alycia, and Morgan. I thought that Strand aligning with Virginia was just a plot for him to turn on her. But he is a full fledged member. It will be very interesting to see which side he is on once everyone is together against Virginia. All of which, could happen on the next episode.

How Morgan will react to seeing Grace will be something to look forward to. I also suspected that Morgan was the one who took out the rangers because of the way the tree was chopped down. Morgan is doing everything that he can to launch the revolt against Virginia. And so far, the pieces are coming together for his plan.

With Virginia having Grace, and Morgan having Dakota, this situation could be smooth, or deadly. I like this episode and episode 8 needs to arrive ASAP! Fear The Walking Dead’s current season is the best in years and it left me more satisfied and anxious than ever before.

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