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With the arrival of The Stand’s fourth episode, the CBS All Access miniseries has hit an important point. All of the key protagonists have been introduced, so what’s really left is to further develop them and, because it’s a non-linear story, showcase their character-shaping moments along their individual journeys. That still leaves a lot of ground to cover from Stephen King’s original novel, and while a lot of what we see play out in “The House Of The Dead” is translated directly from the pages of the original book, there is also a fair amount of new material too.
Constant Readers who watch the episode will recognize one for one reproductions of scenes like Nadine Cross’ seduction of Harold Lauder, and the Boulder Free Zone committee discussion about sending spies to New Vegas – but with these weekly features I focus on the alterations that are made, and “The House Of The Dead” features more than a few…
The Body Crew Becomes The City Watch
It was easy to predict that certain changes in the miniseries would cascade into other inventions for the show, and here we have a good example. In the third episode, “Blank Page,” the Boulder Free Zone was shocked by the arrival of a crucified man warning of a pending attack from Randall Flagg, and the consequence of that in the fourth episode is that Mother Abigail’s followers raise their guard a bit – much further than just having Stu Redman become the community marshal, as happens in the book just as a security measure as the population continues to grow. The decision by the central committee to have the Body Crew become the City Watch is a standout one, if not especially because it directly leads to a major event that will be discussed at the end of this feature.
Confrontation With Garvey Plays Out Much Differently
The ambush pulled off by the psychotic misogynist Garvey in The Stand miniseries is definitely one the show’s most disturbing and frightening thus far, and the character, portrayed by Angus Sampson is certainly threatening all by his lonesome. That being said, the circumstances are very much scaled up in Stephen King’s book, which has Garvey not as a lone wolf, but instead a part of a whole team of murderers/rapists who have been capturing and torturing women. Making the situation even scarier is that Stu Redman and Glen Bateman don’t just show up at the right time, as they are with Fran Goldsmith and Harold Lauder when it all goes down. Both end up with semi-positive outcomes, as the good guys win and Dayna Jurgens is introduced as a bold force to be reckoned with, but the source material is much bloodier and more chaotic.
Tom Cullen Doesn’t Get Hypnotized
Speaking of Dayna, this episode of The Stand sees her agreeing to take on one of her most important roles from the book, being a spy sent into Randall Flagg’s New Vegas, and joining her separately on the same mission are two others from the Boulder Free Zone. This includes Judge Harris (who is changed from the male Judge Farris in the book), and Tom Cullen – but one massive difference in the case of the latter is that this new version completely nixes him being hypnotized. Stephen King originally had it so that Nick Andros and the others put Tom in a trance so that he will keep his cover story in the west and know when to travel back to Boulder. It’s one of the more fantastical parts of the novel, but it’s not in the miniseries at all.
Nick Andros And Julie Lawry Don’t Have Sex
As depicted in both the book and the adaptation, Nick Andros first encounters Julie Lawry when they are attempting to search for supplies in a department store, and the episode ends with Nick and Tom Cullen ducking her gunfire, but many of the details of the scene are switched up beyond that. It opts not to include Julie’s introduction pretending to be a mannequin as a security measure, but more significantly it skips the bit where she and Nick have sex. In Stephen King’s original version, Julie doesn’t meet Tom until after a bit of loneliness-curing coitus, though she is just as cruel to the gentle giant as she is in the miniseries, leading to the three Captain Trips outbreak survivors to not stick together.
The First Lights On Attempt Actually Goes Well
Getting the electricity back on is an event worth celebrating in a post-apocalyptic world, and the folks of the Boulder Free Zone do so properly in the Stand miniseries – with rock star Larry Underwood even putting on an electric guitar performance for the crowd of Mother Abigail followers. It’s a happy moment, and definitely a much happier event overall than how things go when the power first returns in the book. At first there’s a whole lot of happiness when it’s discovered that the Power Committee has completed its work, but that happiness is brief because the circuit is overloaded as a result of the city being full of appliances that were still on when the world shut down. Not personally knowing much about advancements in power grids that have happened in the last 40 years, I can’t say if the more modern story was benefitted by better systems or better preparedness.
The Origins Of The Dynamite
Chalk it up to the will of Randall Flagg, but in Stephen King’s The Stand we don’t actually know how Harold and Nadine wind up acquiring the explosives that they plan to use to kill the Boulder Free Zone Committee. It goes from “everything but sex” to “we’re building a bomb” rather rapidly. The miniseries fills in the gaps a bit, and rather cleverly. Controlled avalanches activated by dynamite are most definitely a thing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, so having that be the source for the antagonists getting their hands on armaments is a smart way to answer a question previously left unanswered.
Teddy Weizak Dies A Bit Earlier Than Expected
When you get down to brass tacks, the end of Teddy Weizak’s life in both the book and miniseries is the same: he’s murdered by Harold Lauder and Nadine Cross. What separates the two mediums, however, is both the timing and the methodology. In the source material, Teddy is one of the many victims who is killed as a result of the explosive planted by the sinister duo to massacre the Boulder Free Zone committee. This new take instead sees him come across Harold and Nadine at what is just the worst moment, doing his rounds as a member of the City Watch, and for his trouble he gets peppered full of bullets. How will the Flagg-following felons get away with it? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
Speaking of next week and the story’s primary antagonist, The Stand is finally giving audiences their first look at Randall Flagg’s dominion in episode 5, which has the Elvis Presley-inspired title “Suspicious Minds.” Once again I’ll be back with another book-to-miniseries comparison as soon as next chapter goes live at midnight PST, so be sure to check back here on CinemaBlend as soon as you’ve watched!