The Stand Episode 1

The Stand Episode 1 is the premiere of the post-apocalyptic dark fantasy drama miniseries based on the beloved 1978 Stephen King novel of the same name. The Stand Episode 1 entitled “The End”, introduces us to the setting and starting premise of the miniseries.

The plot centers on a pandemic of a weaponized strain of influenza that kills almost the entire world population. The few survivors, united in groups, establish a new social system and engage in confrontation with each other. Now, in 2020, this is too close to home watching the opening scenes of The Stand Episode 1 as the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 global pandemic!

But of course, there have been so many films and TV shows about a post-apocalyptic future that it’s virtually an over-used trope by now. The Walking Dead is probably the best example of the cultural impact of this trope. So how does The Stand then translate to a pandemic-weary audience in 2020?

Not too well it has to be said. The Stand Episode 1 chooses to contain two timelines in its narrative and that makes thing confusing. We are introduced to a couple of main characters that presumably will carry the story along on their actions and decisions.

First we have Harold Lauder (Owen Teague) a misfit relishing the change of the status quo seemingly in his favour but perhaps finding out that the more things change, the more they actually stay the same. Then we have Stu Redman (James Marsden) another survivor initially detained by the authorities to determine the root of his immunity but ultimately escapes when everyone around him dies.

Then, we are teased with visions of two key characters who will be underpin the thematic conflict presented in The Stand. There is Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård) who will contest the good vs evil battle in this morality tale.

Not much to recommend The Stand Episode 1 with, based on the evidence in this series premiere. Surely, it can only get better?

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