Stephen King on the Small Screen (Book)

In this follow up to Stephen King on the Big Screen (2009), Mark Browning turns his critical eye upon the much-neglected subject of the best-selling author’s work in television, examining what it is about King’s fiction that makes it particularly suitable for the small screen. By focusing on this body of work, from ratings successes The Stand and The Night Flier to lesser- known TV films Storm of the Century (1999), Rose Red (2002), Kingdom Hospital (2003) and the 2004 remake of Salem’s Lot, Browning is able to articulate how these adaptations work and, in turn, suggest new ways of viewing them. 


This book is the first written by a film specialist to consider Stephen King’s television work in its own right, and rejects previous attempts to make the films and books fit rigid thematic categories. Browning examines what makes a written or visual text successful at evoking fear on a case-by-case basis, in a highly readable and engaging way. He also considers the relationship between the big and small screen. Why, for instance, are some TV versions more effective than movie adaptations and vice versa? In the process, Stephen King on the Small Screen is able to shed new light on what it is that makes King’s novels so successful and reveal the elements of style and approach that have helped make King one of the world’s best-selling authors.

Mark Browning has taught English and film studies in a number of schools in England and was senior lecturer in education at Bath Spa University. He is the author of David Cronenberg: Author or Filmmaker? and Stephen King on the Big Screen, also published by Intellect. He currently lives and works as a teacher and freelance writer in Germany.

Chapter 1: Vampires 
It (Tommy Lee Wallace, 1990)
Salem’s Lot (Tobe Hooper, 1979)
A Return to Salem’s Lot (Larry Cohen, 1987)
Salem’s Lot (Mikael Salomon, 2004)
The Night Flier (Mark Pavia, 1997)
Chapter 2: Stalk and Slash? 
Children of the Corn (Fritz Kiersch, 1984)
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (David F. Price, 1992)
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (James D.R. Hickox, 1994)
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (Greg Spence, 1996)
Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (Ethan Wiley, 1998)
Children of the Corn VI: Isaac’s Return (Kari Skogland, 1999)
Children of the Corn 7: Revelation (Guy Magar, 2001)
Children of the Corn (Donald P. Borchers, 2009)
Chapter 3: Monsters vs Aliens 
The Tommyknockers (John Power, 1993)
Needful Things (Fraser C. Heston, 1993)
The Langoliers (Tom Holland, 1995)
The Mist (Frank Darabont, 2008)
Chapter 4: Sometimes They Come Back 
Sometimes They Come Back (Tom McLoughlin, 1991)
Sometimes They Come Back… Again (Adam Grossman, 1995)
Sometimes They Come Back… For More (Daniel Berk, 1998)
Ghosts (Stan Winston, 1997)
Rose Red (Craig R. Baxley, 2002)
Kingdom Hospital (Craig R. Baxley, 2003)
Riding the Bullet (Mick Garris, 2004)
Chapter 5: Apocalypse Now 
The Stand (Mick Garris, 1994)
Storm of the Century (Craig R. Baxley, 1999)
Desperation (Mick Garris, 2006)
Chapter 6: Tales of the Unexpected 
Quicksilver Highway (Mick Garris, 1997)
Nightmares & Dreamscapes (2006)
Battleground (Brian Henson)
Crouch End (Mark Haber)
Umney’s Last Case (Rob Bowman)
The End of the Whole Mess (Mikael Salomon)
The Road Virus Heads North (Sergio Mimica-Gezzan)
The Fifth Quarter (Rob Bowman)
Autopsy Room Four (Mikael Salomon)
They’ve Got One Hell of a Band (Mike Robe)
Golden Years (Kenneth Fink, Episode 1; Allen Coulter, Episodes 2, 4 and 6; Michael G. Gornick, Episodes 3 and 7; Stephen Tolkin, Episode 5, 1991)
Thinner (Tom Holland, 1996)
‘Chinga’ (episode of The X Files, Kim Manners, 1998)

'A brilliant examination of the TV adaptations of Stephen King's books - beginning with my favourite, IT, it looks at the accuracy of the adaptations, the choice of actors, the direction, and the results. This is an utterly fascinating study of a literary icon and his treatment on TV. Superb, finely detailed and well written. A must-read for any King fan, and compliments the earlier Big Screen title by the same author. Outstanding.' –
'King adaptations in television are mostly mentioned in passing, if at all, even in those works proclaiming to analyse a wide range of material. Browning thus provides a platform for King’s television pieces to be discussed in their own right and outside of potentially restricting or distorting theoretical frameworks. ' – The Gothic Imagination
'A superb achievement and a great companion to Stephen King on the Big Screen, in fact so greatly do they complement each other that I recommend strongly the reader buy both.' – Destructive Music- Steve Earles

Related Titles