The summer TV season, once the empty space populated by the repeats of shows already seen now offers a new segment for original programming. On Wednesday a collection of short stories by master storyteller Stephen King, bows with two episodes in "Nightmares and Dreamscapes." The first episode, "Battleground" airs commercial free and will be followed by "Crouch End". 8 episodes over 4 weeks brings out top talent for TNT's mini-series.
"Battleground" stars William Hurt as a cold-blooded killer, a professional hitman who takes out the CEO for a toy company and steals a favorite toy from the desk of the CEO as a souvenir. Supernatural Karma brings a toy army to provide justice. This episode is scripted by Richard Christian Matheson and is directed by Brian Henson.
The "Crouch End" episode is a tale of an American couple visiting a friend in England and find out their old friend may be far Older and Not From Here at all. It's a near Lovecraft story.
King's power as prolific writer and, more than that, constant moneymaker, has finally over the last few years provided far more control over projects that wind up on television. The recent ABC "Desperation" was a first-rate adaptation. Also, given the success of Showtime's Masters of Horror, fans of King and of the uncanny have much to celebrate.
A Twilight Zone style anthology of King's stories is long overdue and this first effort has more than a small chance of success, and will add some fine storytelling to the summer season.
The official web-site is here, and a breakdown of all the actors and directors (including the "X-Files" Rob Bowman) are all here. And via Stephen's own website is a link-filled listing of all episodes and when they air.