So here's the thing, though. Of the 6 episodes in this first season, Darabont wrote 2 himself ( Days Gone By and Guts), and non-staff writers Kirkman ( Vatos) and Glen Mazzara ( Wildfire) each wrote one. Darabont is said to have co-written and rewritten all of the episodes, so he's had a strong hand in everything the show has done so far.
The plan for Season 2 is to employ freelance writers for the episodes. While it sounds rather drastic, this seems to me like a quality control issue. Darabont, writer/director of such films as The Shawshank Redemption, has clearly shown in his work that he's a man of high standards. He's also a man from the feature side of the business, so having to work with a staff of writers is likely not his style.
My take on this is that it's a good thing for the series overall. It'll likely mean he writes more episodes himself, and will have a much stronger voice in the ongoing story. Were it not Darabont behind the wheel, or someone with an equally impressive track record, I'd be worried about the future of my favorite new series, but I'm pretty comfortable with this.
In related news, it looks like those who are waiting for the DVD/Blu-Ray release to see the show, it's being planned for a Spring 2011 release. AMC has wisely decided not to wait for the run-up to Season 2 for its release, as that's almost a full year away.
So what do you all think of this? Detriment to the series? Saving grace? Not a big deal either way?