Spike TV's series adaptation of Stephen King's classic novella The Mist has finally debuted, with additional episodes already online. Reviews from critics at large have been decidedly mixed so far, although the reaction from within the horror fan community itself has generally been a little kinder. There has also been some vocal displeasure from King diehards about all the changes made by the TV series to the original story, although that probably didn't stop a lot of those same people from tuning in to check out the first episode.
A fairly loose adaptation of King's story of otherworldly, Lovecraftian monsters and rampant paranoia, The Mist TV series is set in Bridgton, Maine, the same small town from both the book and Frank Darabont's 2007 film version. However, the mist that blankets this town primarily carries within it terrors of a more cerebral nature, instead of tentacled beasts with an appetite for humans. Another big change is that the characters - all of which were created for the show - are spread out in different locations around town, instead of just huddled up in the local grocery store.
While The Mist technically doesn't return to TV screens until June 29, Spike has opted to allow interested viewers to watch episodes 2 and 3 of the series online ahead of time. The episodes - entitled "Withdrawal" and "Show and Tell", respectively - can be viewed now by going to the Spike website, and will be available until episode 3's TV premiere date of July 6. It should be noted though that a cable provider log-in is required to view the advance episodes, so cord-cutters are out of luck. Episode 1 is free to be watched by anyone.
One of the biggest points of contention among fans of the Mist story has been the series' seeming lack of horrifying monsters, although showrunner Christian Torpe has been a bit cagey when it comes to clarifying whether or not any such creatures will ever make an appearance. To be fair though, most basic cable budgets aren't exactly high, and it's likely that money played a role in either the lack of monsters or their exclusion, whichever turns out to be the ultimate case after all 10 episodes of season 1 have aired.
That said, The Mist is definitely Spike's highest profile scripted drama in quite a long time, and the network undoubtedly wants it to succeed. To that end, it wouldn't be too surprising to see The Mist get picked up for season 2 prior to the end of season 1, as a way to assure curious viewers that they won't be wasting their time. It's a tactic that's been employed by multiple cable channels in the past, although only time will tell if ends up happening here.
The Mist airs Thursdays on Spike TV.
Source: Spike TV