Space Ramblings

Cell of a Miniseries

In contrast to a lot of the negative feedback on a possible Cell miniseries, I don’t think it is such a bad idea. It is fairly hard to screw up a concept as straightforward as “cell phones make everyone who uses them into a zombie.” I’ll grant you it’s possible. George Romero has lately shown us that it’s possible to screw up even simpler zombie movie premises by overlaying them with MySpace and War on Terror posturing, but assuming the producers use some common sense, and don’t overburden us with too much soapiness, even the destructive powers of the SciFi Channel can’t entirely kill the idea of cell phones turning humans into a zombie hive mind. So long as they come up with a better cause for the whole thing than some terrorist virus.

Cell though might work better as a TV series, than as a miniseries. The plus side of reworking Cell as a TV series is that a world gone zombie storyline works quite well on a TV series basis, and it’s probably only the gore and the lack of imagination that prevented a zombie TV series from being made. I don’t count Babylon Fields, since while it was a zombie TV series, it never actually got made, and its zombies were something more complicated than even Cell could cover. I think Babylon Fields was the real predecessor to True Blood and would have made for a much smarter and much less campier TV series, but there’s no use crying over spilled zombie milk.

A TV series would have to change Stephen King’s original story in many places, which is a plus, as the book could have an editor or four. It has its moments but King hasn’t been able to write a good ending in a long time, and Cell is no better, though it’s certainly better than the endings for Insomnia or Dark Tower VII or pretty much anything else he’s written, besides From a Buick 8. A miniseries though will probably follow the story a little too closely, especially if King has enough oversight, and a glance at The Shining miniseries that he praised as the most authentic version of his work should remind you of the consequences of that.

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