Original Transmission Date: 12/06/2006
The Stephen King short story Battleground remains one of my favourite pieces from the worlds leading writer of dark fiction. I first read it at the age of fifteen and its ingenious narrative and rapier sharp construction left a lasting impression on me. It was first published in the September 1972 edition of Cavalier, and then in the wake of the tremendous success of Carrie (1974) Salem’s Lot (1975) and The Shining (1977) was anthologised in King’s first collection of short stories Night Shift (1978). For my money this still remains King’s most original and consistent collection of tales. The decision to include Battleground as a part of TNT’s anthology series Nightmares & Dreamscapes left me both excited and worried. In the past television’s treatment of King’s works had gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. The first mini-series to be based on his work was Salem’s Lot, which aired in November 1979. In many ways this was as good as it got. Since Tobe Hooper’s memorable and chilling effort, small screen adaptations of King have struggled to live up to this early benchmark. Amongst the very worst of King’s mini-series adaptations include such abominated trash as The Tommyknockers (1993), The Langoliers (1995) and Rose Red (2002). The made for television movie hasn’t fared much better with stinking offal such as Sometimes They Come Back (1991), Trucks (2000), and Desperation (2006). How would the first anthology series based on King’s work fare?
© Shaun Anderson 2011