There's a lot of pressure riding on the pilot episode of The Mist. Given the astonishing number of Stephen King adaptations heading our way, there's a chance that The Mist could be, well, missed, and then there's also the diehard fans who will instantly compare the show to the book and the film adaptation that preceded it.
Fortunately, the Season 1 premiere of Christian Torpe's show holds up remarkably well, establishing its own unique take on Stephen King's original novella, while still capturing what makes the story so chilling in the first place.
However, while you were caught up wondering where the mist came from or figuring out which cast member would die first, you might have missed a number of allusions to the wider mythology of The Mist. So, join us as we lift the fog from your eyes and explore these in more detail.
1. Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Monsters
Before something hidden in the mist devours his dog, the very first thing we see is a spider crawling over Bryan Hunt's face. Anyone who's read the original book or seen the movie knows that the mist contains a number of spider-like creatures that plague the town of Bridgton. From the smaller Gray Widowers with their corrosive webbing to the gigantic arachnids whose legs are taller than trees, this recurring motif will likely play a more prominent role in future episodes of The Mist TV show.
2. Don't Get Lost In The Mist!
Following Hunt's first encounter with The Mist, the amnesiac soldier arrives at a crossroads, torn between seeking shelter in the town of Derby's Mill or Bridgeville. In the end, Hunt chooses the latter option, presumably because it's three miles closer, but what's interesting here is that the former may sound familiar to fans of King's work. While he's never written specifically about a town called Derby's Mill in Maine, both Tarker's Mill and Chester's Mill appear in a few of King's novels, including Cycle of the Werewolf, Silver Bullet and Under the Dome. Coincidence or a hint at the shared universe that binds each of Stephen King's books together? You decide.
3. The Arrowhead Project Takes Aim At The Town Of Bridgton
After Bryan Hunt is thrown into prison, the police officers on duty decide to call Arrowhead, and let them know that one of their soldiers has gone rogue. It's only a fleeting reference, but fans of The Mist mythology know it's likely that The Arrowhead Project will play a key role in future episodes, and we're guaranteed to see more of the shady Government organization in action as the show progresses. Eagle-eyed fans may have also spotted that The Arrowhead Project insignia has been changed, but we doubt that their intentions have.
4. What — Or Who — Lurks In The Mist?
Anyone who's seen Frank Darabont's version of The Mist or read Stephen King's novella knows that a number of deadly creatures lie in wait for the residents of Bridgton. Torpe's TV show switches up this formula by replacing some of the monsters with swarms of insects, and people who may not be who they seem.
However, some parallels do remain. Sure, there's no direct equivalent for the religious zealot Mrs Carmody, but Frances Conroy will seemingly play a similar role on the show, reacting to The Mist through spiritual means. Furthermore, the supermarket setting that's so important to previous versions of The Mist has been replaced by a larger mall and a variety of other locations which will broaden the scope of the TV show, helping to sustain the narrative beyond just an episode or two.
5. The Mist TV Show Is More Timely Than Ever
The best horror movies and TV shows are always about far more than just the scares, and this is certainly true of Christian Torpe's adaptation of The Mist. Sure, the monsters that lurk outside take up a fair chunk of screen time, but in reality, it's the monsters within that are the most terrifying of all.
In the pilot episode alone, homophobic assault, slut-shaming and racial abuse at the hands of the law all affect the residents of Bridgton before the mist even shows up.
"You know your father can't hear you when you're wearing make-up."
Now that the mist has finally arrived in full, the political concerns that the show taps into will become even more prominent, as the town of Bridgton begins to tear itself apart. Stephen King himself has made no effort to hide his disdain for the current political climate in the US, so it's only fitting that a new adaptation of his work could turn out to be the most relevant one yet.
Tune into Spike TV each Thursday to uncover the secrets of The Mist and check back here weekly to find out what you missed!
What was your favorite scene from the first episode of The Mist? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!