All sorts of thrills now await on CBS All Access
Editor’s note: This is the part of an occasional series about streaming services and TV programming.
The scariest thing about Stephen King thrillers may be how well — or how poorly — they translate to the big or small screen.
Not everyone is up to the task of adapting Mr. King’s popular novels.
Fans have praised adaptations such as “The Shining” (1980), “Maximum Overdrive” (the 1986 film with Mr. King’s cameo at an ATM machine with a serious attitude problem) and the 2017 film version of “It,” which proves some clowns are nothing to laugh about. But fans have also expressed disappointment with projects such as the 1994 ABC miniseries “The Stand,” which failed for this viewer and others to live up to the page-turner’s drama.
That’s not stopping another try at “The Stand,” Mr. King’s take on the end of the world. CBS All Access will start airing episodes Dec. 17, and that’s part of what’s new on the streaming service this winter.
“The Stand” is a horror story of biblical proportions. The world is embroiled in a plague and the fight between good and evil.
The series stars Whoopi Goldberg as 108-year-old Mother Abagail, Alexander Skarsgard as Randall Flagg, James Mardsen as Stu Redman and Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith.
There’s another new program, which debuted Thursday on CBS All Access: “Texas 6.”
The documentary series follows the Greyhounds, a high school football team as players attempt to win the 6-Man Football State Championship. CBS said the series depicts the spirit of a small town and teammates who show up for each other on and off the field.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can check out “Console Wars,” a CBS All Access documentary now streaming about Sega, a 1990 fledgling arcade company that assembled a team of underdogs to take on video game giant Nintendo. The men and women who fought on the front lines for Sega and Nintendo discuss what CBS calls “the battle that defined a generation.”
If you prefer to go toward the future instead of the past, there’s “Star Trek: Discovery,” which really has gone where no “Trek” series has gone before. Fans agree the recently launched third season, in which the crew jumped through a wormhole to the 32nd century, is the series’ best.
Previously a sequel set before Capt. Kirk and company, the show is now in the most future time point of any “Star Trek” program. Many fans feel it’s about time. The far future sounds enticing.
The series is living up to its potential for imagination.
There’s a bit of a plot spoiler coming up.
The Discovery crew has found itself arriving at a time when warp travel is difficult because of The Burn. But Discovery has the advantage, because of its spore drive, of going anywhere in an instant. That means a lot of special missions ahead as the Discovery works with the Starfleet of the future to restore the once great United Federation of Planets.
The crew, meanwhile, is feeling all sorts of emotions, from missing the families they left 930 years behind them, to their astonishment at futuristic technology. As always, stars Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones have great chemistry as Cmdr. Michael Burnham, the idealistic, impulsive and compassionate science officer, and Capt. Saru, the cautious Kelpien who appreciates Michael’s perspective. Mary Wiseman brings out all the fun sides of the down-to-earth but destined-for-space Ensign Tilly, a bright, talkative and funny officer who has become a favorite of fans as she grows toward becoming a leader.
The series has all sorts of Easter eggs, such as a recent episode in which the Discovery crew discovers the Federation and Starfleet headquarters and a USS Voyager-J, meaning many generations of the ship from “Star Trek: Voyager.” Also, fans love the new combadges and personal transporters. Who needs a pad?
Tidbits for fans and fun cameos grace “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” an animated CBS All Access comedy series that focuses on junior officers of an unimportant ship, the USS Cerritos, a California-class ship.
If one ship can be named after a California city, others can be too.
Still, it was a surprise when Santa Barbara County fans saw the debut of the USS Solvang.
The ship named after the North County city with a Danish theme ran into some trouble on one of the episodes, but at least, one thing’s for certain. Solvang made it into outer space.