Take the Smoke Monster from Lost, the prehistoric reptiles of Jurassic Park, and the weather events of Sharknado and put them in a blender. Now garnish with a heavy dose of horror and you've got Spike's The Mist, a new sci-fi series based on Stephen King's 1980 novella of the same name. And while the show is gearing up to be its own unique entity, some viewers will undoubtedly be curious about what happens in The Mist book, which may provide clues of how this all plays out. Well, firstly, the novella was never published as its own standalone piece. It was included in two horror anthologies by King: first Dark Forces in 1980, and then Skeleton Crew in 1985. The novella also inspired a movie in 2007.
In the story, a dense, unusual mist spreads over the town of Bridgton, Maine (though in the show the town is called Bridgeville), following a violent thunderstorm. Inside the mist lurks mysterious creatures that are killing anyone who dares to venture outside. The story's protagonist and narrator is a commercial artist named David Drayton who drives to the local supermarket with his son Billy and their estranged neighbor Brent Norton, whose car was damaged in the storm. The mist descends upon the supermarket and David gets trapped inside with fellow shoppers, setting up a post-apocalyptic story of escape.
When the supermarket's generator stops working, a young employee goes outside to try and fix it, but gets yanked into the mist by a tangle of tentacles. Later, Norton and a small group of others leave to try and seek help, but they, too, are killed by a huge, unseen creature. As the events unfold, readers are introduced to two soldiers working on the nearby military base, where a secret operation called "The Arrowhead Project" is underway. The soldiers eventually commit suicide in the grocery store, implying that The Arrowhead Project is somehow responsible for unleashing these creatures onto the town. Eventually, David and the remaining survivors make it back to the car, but not without one more casualty: Ollie Weeks, the store's manager, gets sliced in half by the claw of some unholy giant crustacean.
Unfortunately, this does nothing to clue you into what the Spike series has in store. As Entertainment Weekly previously confirmed, The Mist is adding entirely new characters to King’s premise, so it may be hard to discern which characters (if any) have a book or movie counterpart. But hey, not knowing exactly how things will play out kinda makes the prospect that much more fun.
You can catch The Mist when it premieres on Spike starting Thursday, June 22.