Glen Bateman recognizes the animal from previous sightings around town, but does not know his name or who owns him. When the superflu tears through Woodsville, killing all the residents and most of the dogs, Bateman adopts Big Steve. He “took the liberty of rechristening him” — in his whimsical fashion, after the eponymous detective from a 70s cop drama.
- Miniseries (2020)
- Miniseries (1994)
- Marvel Comics
Also known as
Glen Bateman later Stuart Redman
After deciding to head west with Stu Redman, Bateman debates the merits of bringing Kojak along, even if they could find a motorcycle with a sidecar. Finally he decides the most humane decision is to abandon the dog, reasoning that he will have no trouble finding forage in post-plague Woodsville. As Kojak later turns up in the Boulder Free Zone anyway — badly injured and emaciated — Batemen is wracked with guilt over his decision; the dog was loyal enough to follow him halfway across the country.
In Under the Dome, the town of Chester’s Hill, Maine finds itself entrapped in a mysterious and inexplicable dome! However, before the action begins, the first pages of the book are dedicated to a dramatis personae that lists “Some (but not all) of those in Chester’s Mill on Dome Day.” Included on the list are three “dogs of note”: Horace the Corgi, Clover the German Shepherd, and Audrey the Golden Retriever.
More recently, she was joined by Yoshi, the Thing of Good, to balance the cosmic scales.
While the master of terror, Stephen King, may be well known for his horror, there’s another narrative element that is present in a shocking number of his stories and novels: dogs! While this list is far from exhaustive, we’ve gathered seven of our favorite canines from the many different levels of the Dark Tower. Does our listicle include your favorite of the Dogs of King?
In The Stand, we get one of King’s most heroic dogs: Kojak! While viewers of the recent CBS All Access Paramount+ adaptation may be familiar with the golder retriever incarnation of the canine, in the novel, he was a yellow lab.
While you may be most familiar with this story from the movie, the novel contains an extra level of tragedy: thanks to the fact that readers get to see part of the story from the St. Bernard’s perspective, the fact that Cujo is fundamentally a good boy who becomes infected with rabies makes his behavior even more heartbreaking.
Does the dog survive in the stand?
A partially eaten rat, and a dead horse. *Episode 8 spoilers* The dog protects a protagonist from a wolf, and it is implied the wolf dies. The dog does not die and is only minority injured.
Explaining the End of The Stand
Why the new ending, penned by King himself, gave the final episode a mystical twist – and left us with a taste of True Blood.
[Editors note: The following contains spoilers through the season finale of The Stand, “The Circle Closes.”]
Since its initial release in 1978, Stephen Kings The Stand has had a handful of incarnations. The story, set around a destructive pandemic that wipes out much of humanity and the subsequent re-formation of two morally divergent societies in its aftermath, always had a beginning, middle, and an end. But, in 1990, the novel was re-released with a substantial update – hundreds of pages King was forced to cut out of the original pressing (due to what the author noted in his updated book preface was the “accounting department” and a $12.95 sticker price) were finally shared in the “complete and uncut edition.”
As King noted in the preface of the 90s version, the additional material provided the opportunity for a richer story – like adding in a confrontation Frannie has with her mother before the world falls apart, when the college student reveals shes pregnant and about to enter motherhood on her own. (Her own mother doesnt take it well.)
While that particularly heated scene didnt make the CBS All Access (soon to be Paramount +) version of the 2020-2021 television show, King himself was able to give his story an update once again by penning the final episode of this TV series. According to series co-creator Benjamin Cavell, King, for many years, wanted to give heroine Frannie her own “stand.”
“He wrote a coda,” Cavell told reporters during an online press conference for the show late last year, and “the big reason that he wanted to do the coda, the thing that he had been thinking about for 30 years, is that, look, Frannie doesnt go on the stand in the book.”
Here, Cavell is referencing the trip several of the Boulder Free Zone committee (including Larry Underwood) make to the Flagg-controlled New Vegas at the urging of Mother Abigail, where they undermine the fear Randall and his minions have spread in this “bad place” society and help cause the destruction of it with their stand. (They have a little help from Trashcan Man returning with a nuke, as well as an avenging light force for good that strikes and kills a variety of characters before ultimately making the bomb explode, destroying everything on that side.)
“[Frannie]’s sort of seven, eight months pregnant by that point. She cant walk across the mountains to confront the Darkman,” Cavell noted. “So what I will say about the coda is that it is [King’s] planned attempt of the last 30 years to give her her stand.”
And that is what happens in the dramas final episode, but it also finds King making alterations to his own material. And its worth breaking down the changes to try and unpack their significance. So, Kings new version finds Frannie (Odessa Young) giving birth not to baby Peter, but a daughter she names Abigail (after Whoopi Goldbergs character, Mother Abigail). TV Stu (James Marsden) doesnt make it back in time to be there for Frannie as her now daughter gets – and recovers from – Capt. Tripps, but he does still make it back with the help of big Tom (following Episode 8s New Vegas nuclear explosion/the destruction of Randall Flagg).
When things settle into a groove in the Boulder Free Zone, Frannie suggests to Stu that their little family head off on their own, back to her home state of Maine. During their trip, while stopping at a unique farm (Mother Abigails OG home in the book) with cornfields and an old water well, TV Fran gets to make her “stand.”
Stu is kept busy by heading back to a town they saw on their drive, fetching supplies and baby medicine in this off-book twist, and while hes gone, Frannie positions herself atop a rickety old water well cover as she tries to pump H2O for herself, baby Abby and the late stand-against-Randall-taking Glen Batemans dog Kojak. Even though Randall exploded with the rest of his crew in the last episode, he manifests as a murky presence, whispering behind Frannie (he says hello and calls her a “bitch”) and she falls into the bottom of the water pit.
Just like sleep brought everyone visions of Mother Abigail and the Dark Man earlier in the book and show, being knocked out at the bottom of the well awakens TV Frannie in a dream-like/nightmare-esque vision of Randall (Alexander Skarsgård), who is kicking it by a tree, lounging against it, his denim shirt unbuttoned (I guess its quite humid in dream sequence land?).
He torments Frannie, letting her see her broken body from this dream-like other side, and runs down a list of her life-altering injuries from the fall. But, he tells her, she can go back to her body, be okay, and get back to her daughter (who is now crying). Oh, and Stu wont get crushed changing a tire on the way back if Randall can just have one kiss from her.
Just a smooch with True Bloods Vampire Eric Randall Flagg? Surely theres more to this bargain, Frannie suggests. Shes right. Devils-child Flagg also wants to be able to see through her eyes – a.k.a. possess her – “from time to time.”
So Frannie bites at the deal – as in, she leans in to kiss Flagg, but instead of a tender lip-lock she chows down on his lower lip before refusing his offer, telling him off, and running away and into the cornfields. Its there she runs into Mother Abigail, who commends her for taking a stand against evil. Shell be rewarded, the late prophet tells Frannie, whom she also notes will live a life long enough to have 70 grandchildren.
It’s about this time that Stu returns and finds out Frannie is at the bottom of a well — something he learns about from a young African American girl who we saw earlier in the episode, living in a tent in the cornfields of the house the couple stopped at, singing a song (coincidentally, the same song Mother Abigail was singing when Fran found her in the dream state). Stu and ghost, pre-teen Mother Abigail (who else could she be?) handle the truck pulley, while Stu goes down the well to get a still-unconscious Fran. Once the pair are back on solid ground, the young girl magically heals Frannie (a reward from God for taking a stand?) and then vanishes. Stu looks off into the sky, Marsden’s gaze full of gratitude and understanding.
As things start to wrap up, Frannie and Stu actually make it to Maine and we leave them smooching on the rocks overlooking the Atlantic after she hints to him they are going to have a big brood (Mother Abigail did say five more children and 70 grandkids). Its a peaceful way to wrap up their storyline, whereas the book left us with some troublesome questions about the future.
After a season that spent so much time on Harolds (Owen Teague) deterioration, prodded on by the show’s version Nadine (Amber Heard), Kings episode finally gave book readers something the drama had been missing – a deep dive into Frannies mettle. The book spends a lot of time in her head (much more than Harolds), revealing her to be a smart, determined, brave, and also vulnerable young woman, and this new coda gave Frannie the depth the show hadnt had time to previously explore (remember when her handling of the Capt. Tripps pandemic early days was mostly seen through Harold’s eyes in the pilot?).
While Frannie’s story gets a whole new ending, TV Randall Flaggs conclusion runs parallel to that of Book Randall. Instead of casting another actor to play Randall 2.0, Skarsgård plays the reborn/world re-emerging Randall (now going by Russell Faraday – no relation to Losts Daniel Faraday, we assume). Naked apart from a pair of boots (Book Randall had jeans and boots), he walks up to an indigenous tribe untouched by Capt. Tripps. In a little tweak reminiscent of True Blood, Skarsgårds character causes one of the indigenous men who aims a spear at him to explode (getting blood all over his unclothed body in Vampire Eric fashion – True Blood revival team, are you watching this?). Frightened, they bow down and start worshipping him just like in the book, and he gets his TV levitation powers back.
More than 1,100 pages of prose is no doubt hard to condense (once again) into a television series. King wrote a behemoth of the story, with many more layers to many of the characters and deeper relationships than the show was able to portray. For example, the journey that bonded Nadine and Larry and really explained why she threw herself at him before heading off to Flagg. Or Nadine’s odd relationship with Mother Abigail. Or the journey Larry (Caucasian character in the book and African American in the show) went through to become a leader, focused on the good of others instead of his partying and musical success, before dying in the New Vegas nuke explosion, how Fran and Stu’s love story developed, and much more from the perspectives of Nick and Tom).
When Season 1 of Game of Thrones aired, it was helpful to have read the book (or a friend who read the book), to make sense of it all. No doubt The Stand would have benefitted from a similar support network with work watercooler chats or post-watching party small talk to fill in the backstories and current relationships (and not airing during an actual pandemic). The Stand had a strong cast and source material, but overall, there was an uneven tone that lasts — despite giving one character some sort of happy ending.
The Stand is streaming now on CBS All Access. For more, check out our interview with showrunner Ben Cavell and the 21 best apocalyptic TV shows.