Clocking-in at over a mind-boggling 800 pages, Stephen King’s 1978 sci-fi/horror novel, The Stand is an epic battle of good versus evil. This TV miniseries was also an epic event when it first aired in 1994, garnering huge viewing figures and scoring impressive reviews. The King novel is getting another adaptation this year from Josh Boone, so now is the perfect time to revisit this 4-part, 360 minute long, Mick Garris directed series.
The majority of the world’s population is wiped-out when a chemical weapon is accidentally unleashed. One group of survivors is drawn towards the matriarchal Mother Abagail (Ruby Dee), while another group gravitates towards the villainous Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan). Humanity is at a crossroads between good and evil and someone must make…The Stand.
Stacked with an impressive cast which includes Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, Ossie Davis, Miguel Ferrer, Laura San Giacomo, Molly Ringwald, Ed Harris and Kathy Bates, The Stand is an huge multi-strand narrative filled with a curious collection of characters. It might be a little hokey when you watch it now, a quarter of a century after it first aired, but there’s no denying that this is a fantastic yarn. It helps that Stephen King himself adapted his novel for the screen and if anyone can understand what makes this story work, then it’s the man who originated it in the first place.
Not only is Stephen King one of the most prolific writers of recent times, but his work is also adapted for the screen at a fascinating rate. Some of these adaptations are better than others, but there’s no denying that The Stand is one of the better efforts. Mick Garris’ series had plenty of room to breathe, unveiling the story at an interesting pace.
Now, in the 21st Century, Stephen King’s work is as popular as it has ever been, racking up TV and film adaptations left, right and centre – so now is a good time to look back at older adaptations and see how (and why) his work continues to fascinate audiences of all ages. Admittedly, the ending of The Stand might not deliver as well as you’d expect, but King’s stories are all about the journey, not the destination.
This new blu-ray release of The Stand comes with a short ‘making-of’ documentary and a commentary Mick Garris and Stephen King – what more do you want?