Where will you make your stand? That’s the question Stephen King spent over one thousand pages answering in what’s regarded as one of his best novels, the post-apocalyptic horror-fantasy The Stand, and coming soon to CBS All Access as a limited event series.
The novel is set in a devastated world where humanity is on the brink of extinction after a US bioweapon based on the influenza virus accidentally escapes containment, and then deliberately released globally in a vain and misguided attempt to disguise its true origin – killing over 99% of the world’s population. The few remaining survivors in the US begin to experience visions drawing them towards to two opposing forces – the saintly Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and the demonic Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård) aka the Dark Man- and what follows is a titanic confrontation between the forces of good and evil that’ll decide the fate of humanity.
The sprawling epic also stars all of James Marsden, Odessa Young, Jovan Adepo, Amber Heard, Owen Teague, Henry Zaga, Brad William Henke, Irene Bedard, Nat Wolff, Eion Bailey, Heather Graham, Katherine McNamara, Fiona Dourif, Natalie Martinez, Hamish Linklater, Daniel Sunjata, and Greg Kinnear.
The show’s official synopsis is as follows:
The Stand is Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård), the Dark Man.
According to CBS All Access “The Stand will close with a new coda written by the famed author himself”, which marks the third time King has tinkered with the ending. The original novel was published in 1978, and later reprinted in 1990 as the ‘Complete and Uncut Edition’ which saw King restore some cut text, alter the order in which some of the chapters appeared, and even move the novel’s time period forward from 1980 to 1990.
Let’s take a look:
I’m a bit on the fence here, and it boils down to one thing – the villain. Everything else looks pretty good to me, but I’m not sold on how Flagg is presented. He comes across as a standard bad guy and a touch cheesy to me, rather than a truly menacing force of evil hell bent on destruction. I’m hoping that’s down to the trailer just not revealing too much about him.
What do you think?
The Stand will premiere on CBS All Access on 17 December, and consists of nine episodes that’ll air weekly. There’s also no confirmation as yet if this’ll be heading to another streaming service, like Netflix or Prime Video, for those of us outside of the US.
Last Updated: October 12, 2020