Hmm. Let’s see. zombies vs. the closer-to-home threat from the corporatizing of American intelligence; the tense, subtle terror from a small group of rich men playing puppet masters to world events—or the fantastical, popcorn movie terror from a zombie war?
AMC TV has canceled the slow moving, but compelling Rubicon. Most likely the unsurprising, but disappointing, decision was rendered by the Powers That Be after they were certain that The Walking Dead had secured a large audience and kept it through a second episode. It is a terrible shame that the network could not find a way to keep both series in it stable.
In its initial 13-episode run, Rubicon never really got an audience large enough to be viable in an industry beholden to numbers of 18 to 49 year old viewers who tune in each week. I admit that the series moved slowly as we watched Will Travers (James Badge Dale) and Miles Feidler (Dallas Robert) parse intelligence; Kale Ingram (Arliss Howard) demonstrate his unique heroism, and Truxton Spangler (Michael Cristofer) exude evil from every pore and with every smirk.
Maybe Rubicon would have been more suited to the big screen—or a mini-series like British The State Within (2006). The battle fought was a battle of mind and will (no pun intended) and as happens so often in real life (and in the classic espionage novels to which it owes its pedigree). The Rubicon team lost the 13 episode battle to prevent a terrorist attack. The good guys lost. And in the battle of “the next AMC hit,” they lost again
I actually like The Walking Dead. After two episodes, I like the characters and their essential battle, but I’m a bit put off by the horror homage and the donning of zombie entrails as battle armor. I will miss Rubicon, but in this new media world, who knows where and if it may pop up again. I still think it would make a killer mini-series. Who knows, maybe Truxton Spangler is really a zombie.