The announcement of Hulu‘s Castle Rock series has made one thing rather clear. This is in fact a very good time to be a fan of Stephen King. In July we will have a film adaptation of The Dark Tower as well as It in September. It was just a few days ago that I shared the amazing piece of fan art inspired by that 1986 novel.
Castle Rock is an upcoming 10-episode series, furthermore it is an exclusive for Hulu. Produced by J.J. Abrams with show creators and writers, Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason. Whom you might know from the criminally underappreciated Manhattan.
I’m not sure about you but I am totally digging the vibe of that teaser trailer. As to why this in fact looks to be a Stephen King Multiverse series, I will let the Hulu Press Release explain: “A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — a reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”
Of course, fans of Stephen King know of Castle Rock all too well. 35 works of King’s fiction feature or mention that fictional town in Maine. Starting with the Dead Zone in ’79 up to 2014’s Revival.
J.J. Abrams went into a little more detail when appearing on a recent episode of The Tonight Show. As well as describing the surreal experience of watching 2005’s The Descent with the author in a movie theater.
In my youth on a Sunday morning it meant two things.
1) My Father would make us both a very large breakfast. Bacon and eggs, hash browns, buttered toast and some sausage links.
2) We would watch the Rifleman on a station we picked up from Tulsa thanks to the rabbit ears on the TV in our living room.
There was actually three things Sunday meant…in addition to those first two:
3) After eating and watching the Rifleman we would take a very long nap.
For those who have never had the pleasure of seeing an episode of the Rifleman before today, the series dealt with Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) who was a homesteader and his young son, Mark McCain (Johnny Crawford) as the two find themselves in various western adventures in the fictitious town of North Fork in the New Mexico Territory. Lucas McCain also happens to be quite deadly with both the Winchester rifle and six shooter, though the program always pushed Lucas’s reluctance to use violence to solve a situation.
The show ran from 1958 to 1963 on the ABC network and as you can see in the photo up top with Sammy Davis Jr., it had almost every popular guest star of the time coming into town and getting involved with Lucas McCain and his son.
This creepy episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery originally aired on the NBC network on the night of February 23rd, 1972. The first tale stars Richard Thomas (The Waltons), Michael Dunn (The Wild Wild West), Geraldine Page (The Rescuers), and Barbara Steele (8 1/2). It deals with a young man (Thomas) who must pretend to be a Sin-Eater at a nobleman’s wake.
The second tale in the episode deals with an abusive couple who mistreat their maid, in this case a robotic servant. It stars Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), Broderick Crawford (Highway Patrol), Henry Jones (Vertigo), Severn Darden (The Six Million Dollar Man), and Lana Wood (Diamonds Are Forever). I have to say that I’m always very moved by Dr. Kessler’s (Darden) righteous anger towards the couple in this tale, he really does a great job with it.
This episode was directed by Don Taylor and written by Rod Serling, much like his masterpiece on Twilight Zone “Walking Distance”, Serling plays with the theme of going “Home” again…home in this case being Tim Riley’s bar.
They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Single Program on the U.S. television in 1971 and when you see the incredible moving performance that William Windom delivers you’ll see why, though I hope it doesn’t sound as if I’m belittling the fantastic job Diane Baker does. I challenge you to not tear up a little during the moments as Susan Darrow sings Auld Lang Syne towards the end of the episode.
A huge thanks to Hulu for uploading this classic episode and to the Fear and Loathing page for that excellent TV guide pic up top.