Stephen King's apocalyptic series "The Stand" is coming

Stephen King's apocalyptic series The Stand is coming

The miniseries based on the novel by the fantasy horror master who, in 1978, had imagined humanity decimated by a super influence starts on StarzPlay January 3

Whoopi Goldberg There could have been no better (or worse, time) depending on your point of view) for the arrival of The Stand. The series, available from January 3 on StarzPlay, appears to have been conceived after the arrival of the pandemic. But that's just a coincidence. First of all, because the Stephen King novel, from which it is based, came out over 40 years ago, in 1978. Secondly, because the first miniseries inspired by King's apocalyptic tale dates back to 1994. At that time it was broadcast on the ABC channel and, among the actors, there were Gary Sinise in the role of the protagonist Stu Redman, Rob Lowe and, above all, a list of notable cameo appearances, from John Landis to Kathy Bates, as well as Stephen King himself. Finally, the streaming series on StarzPlay was finished in March 2020, just days before the sets closed due to the arrival of the pandemic.

But let's get to the story. A super flu that can't help but remember Covid, but with a death rate of over 99 percent (and very repellent symptoms based on the release of brownish mucus and an abnormal swelling of the neck), it has almost exterminated the entire world population . To the delight of conspiracy theorists, the virus of history was created in the laboratory with the idea of ​​making it a biological weapon but was accidentally released outside. Patient 1 or super spreader who will initiate the infection is a security officer, who escapes from the laboratory and travels in a car with his wife and child from California to Texas, until he crashes into a gas station and infects everyone who rushes in. help him.

Stephen King (he told it himself) with the novel The Stand had promised himself to write a sort of The S ig nore of the rings in a contemporary version. And this explains the fantasy part of the story, that is, the two entities that, initially, appear in dreams to the survivors. Mother Abagail (played by Whoopi Goldberg), who invites her group of survivors to join her on a farm in Nebraska, and the obscure Randall Flagg (actor Alexander Skarsgård) who gathers her devotees in Las Vegas (which, for King, should represent an equivalent of the Land of Mordor).

Alexander Skarsgård plays Randall Flagg It should be remembered, in this regard, that The Stand represents the debut in the mythology of King by Randall Flagg, who reappeared in a dozen other novels published subsequently, always in the guise of the incarnation of evil. Super influence aside, in short, the real core of the novel and the TV series is the eternal conflict between the forces of good and evil that act through the characters.

The protagonists

Let's see, then, which are the main ones. Although it is an ensemble story, there is a protagonist and it is Stu Redman, played by James Marsden. We see him at the beginning of the series inside a super secret military base where he was taken against his will. As a survivor of Patient 1's outbreak, he has been captured to undergo a series of medical tests in hopes of identifying what makes him immune to the pandemic.

Playing Frannie Goldsmith, another key figure in the story, is Odessa Young, who, in the series, appears for the first time together with the insufferable nerdy boy Harold Lauder (Owen Teague) in a pre- pandemic and, shortly after, with a temporal leap that takes us directly to the post apocalypse, safe with the rest of the survivors and waiting to give birth to her child.

James Marsden in the part of Stu Redman In this regard, among the defects of the series, we must mention an excessive confusion of the various temporal planes, as if the writers had an expectation of the level of public attention a little too optimistic. In reality, especially those who have not read the novel, risk getting lost easily and, potentially, surrender to the first episodes.

A positive aspect, however, is the choice of the cast. As for the main actors: Jovan Adepo in the part of Larry Underwood (we find him in the first episodes in a New York devoid of the pandemic) and Amber Heard who plays the teacher Nadine Cross. But there are also many mini participations, in the tradition of cameo roles of the previous TV version. Here are some examples: Hamish Linklater who plays Dr. Ellis, head of tests on Stu Redman (unfortunately he becomes infected and does not survive beyond the first episode); J. K. Simmons, as General Starkey (who appears in only one memorable scene of the first episode); and Bryan Cranston, who voices the president of the United States.

Another plus but only for those who already know the story are the numerous variations compared to the novel and the surprise ending. Stephen King rewrote it specifically for this new TV version. Although, to be precise, this isn't the first time he's done it. The writer has already added a final post in the Uncut Edition published in 1990 but was not satisfied. At least not until now.

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