Despite its enduring popularity and more than a decade-long run, The Walking Dead franchise is facing an unexpected horror scenario in the UK – without a streaming service or channel to call home.
The three latest spin-offs, Tales Of The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: Dead City, and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, find themselves amidst a broadcast blackout, much to the frustration of British fans.
This sudden unavailability of such a popular franchise raises many eyebrows, given the ever-evolving landscape of digital streaming.
Tales Of The Walking Dead was previously accessible via the now defunct AMC channel on BT, but with the channel’s recent closure, the show has vanished from the British screens.
On the other hand, the more recent Dead City and Daryl Dixon spin-offs have not seen the light of day in the UK at all, even though they were both welcomed with rave reviews from both critics and viewers in the US.
The lack of a broadcasting avenue for these spin-offs highlights a larger issue of geo-restricted content, a scenario quite contradictory to the global access ethos of streaming platforms.
British viewers find themselves in a digital deadlock, with highly anticipated shows held at bay. Let’s take a closer look – to try and understand why.
The Walking Dead In The UK: A Troubled History
The Walking Dead‘s journey in the UK has seen its fair share of turbulence.
Initially airing on the Fox Channel, its passage was smooth with episodes airing shortly after their US release.However, with the shutting down of Fox in 2021, the show transitioned to Disney+, under the adult-oriented category, Star.
At that point, UK fans of the franchise had to pay more (for a Disney+ subscription) – but at least they were getting the new episodes quite close to their US airing – and all 11 seasons of The Walking Dead are available on Disney+ UK to this day.
Fear The Walking Dead, the first major spin-off, was available both on BT’s AMC channel – and on Amazon’s Prime Video, where it is still available today.
The short-lived The Walking Dead: World Beyond is also available on Prime Video in the UK.
But things started going downhill with this year’s spinoffs… As the UK audience finds itself deprived of the latest narratives from The Walking Dead universe, here’s a closer peek into what they’re missing out on:
Tales Of The Walking Dead
This anthology series sheds light on new and existing characters within The Walking Dead universe, each episode telling a unique tale.
From the backstories of beloved characters to introductions of new survivors and villains, the series expands the lore of the post-apocalyptic world.
The Walking Dead: Dead City
The show revolves around Maggie and Negan as they travel a post-apocalyptic Manhattan to rescue Maggie’s kidnapped son, Hershel, amidst dangers in a chaotic NYC.
Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan reprise their roles as Maggie and Negan.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
A deep dive into the life of the fan-favourite character, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), as he finds himself in France, struggling to piece together how he got there or why.
The series tracks his journey across a broken but resilient country (where the Zombie plague apparently originated) as he hopes to find a way back home.
These spin-offs, while expanding the universe of The Walking Dead, have unfortunately become elusive tales for the UK audience, leaving them hungrier for more of the undead saga.
And, in 2024, fans are also expecting yet another spinoff – The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, starring Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira – but, of course, there’s no word on whether we’ll get to see it in the UK.
AMC+ In The UK: A Fading Hope?
The intrigue doesn’t end with the mysterious absence of the recent spin-offs. The larger narrative also encompasses the elusive entrance of AMC+ into the British market.
AMC+ is an American subscription video-on-demand streaming service. Launched on June 11, 2020, AMC+ is a premium bundle that combines the live feeds and program libraries of the company’s television networks and streaming brands, along with its own exclusive content.
Subscribers of AMC+ get early access to original series, such as AMC’s The Walking Dead franchise, with new episodes available up to a week before their cable television premieres.
In terms of global expansion, AMC+ has been making strides. After its launch in the US, the service was introduced in countries like Canada, Australia, India, and New Zealand, along with several European countries and Latin America.
However, despite the growing demand for streaming services, the possibility of AMC+ making its way to the UK shores looks bleak at this point in time.
This notion is further cemented with high-profile shows from AMC, like Interview with The Vampire, being recently sold to the BBC in the UK.
This move by AMC not only underscores a diverging path from its potential AMC+ launch in the UK but also hints at a strategy to partner with local broadcasters instead – as they did in the past.
While this approach ensures a level of availability for its content, it does leave a lingering question on how consistent and comprehensive this access will be, especially for franchises with a large, loyal following like The Walking Dead.
Then again, do we really want yet another separate streaming service with its own monthly fee?
Furthermore, it’s curious why streaming services that carried The Walking Dead franchise in the past – Disney+ and Prime Video – are not picking up the new spinoffs.
Here We Go Again: American Shows Missing In The UK
In the world of television broadcasting, the delayed arrival of American shows on UK shores has been a noted trend.
This delay often hinged on traditional broadcasting norms, licensing agreements, and sometimes even content modifications to suit local sensibilities.
However, as the digital wave swept across, bringing with it the promise of a global village, the lapse between American and UK premieres started to shrink.
The advent of streaming giants like Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+ marked a significant shift. These platforms, with their global outreach, began launching their shows simultaneously across multiple regions, including the UK.
The paradigm of ‘global release dates’ championed by these platforms has certainly changed the game.
It not only caters to the growing impatience of audiences living in a fast-paced digital world but also curtails piracy to a certain extent, which often finds its roots in these viewing lags (not to mention possible spoilers on social media).
However, this progressive narrative faces a hiccup when we glance at the operations of some other notable players in the streaming arena.
Platforms like AMC+, HBO Max and Hulu, which either have a limited presence or are non-existent in the UK, often showcase a delayed broadcast pattern.
For instance, Max (formerly known as HBO Max) tends to sell most of its shows to Sky, a practice that sometimes results in later UK premieres compared to the US (though Sky has been improving on that front, especially with highly talked about shows such as Game of Thrones and Succession).
Moreover, Hulu (and ABC), whose content often finds a UK home on Disney+, also sometimes exhibits a time lag in the UK broadcast.
While the content eventually makes its way across the Atlantic (in most cases), the delay reinstates the traditional waiting period that the digital age promised to eradicate.
As viewers grow more accustomed to simultaneous global releases, the pressure mounts on streaming platforms and broadcasters to bridge these time gaps.
How Can I Watch The New Walking Dead Spinoffs In The UK?
I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of options for you, as of this writing at least.
Tales Of The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: Dead City, and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon are all unavailable to stream in the UK – even on the digital VOD stores.
Even if you’re willing to watch the shows via physical media (DVD and Blu-ray) – those shows are only available as US imports on Amazon UK, which means they’re usually more expensive (because of the added shipping) – and you’d have to wait longer.
Daryl Dixon is not yet available to order, as the series is still airing in the US.
- We have contacted AMC UK for a response, but they have chosen not to comment at this stage.