Stephen King materials are hot property these days, with countless numbers being adapted for the big and small screen.
One of King’s finest novels of the past decade was the deliciously dark crime thriller Mr Mercedes pitting a retired cop against a killer who mows down a dozen innocent people at a jobs fair.
Like all of King’s best work it’s engrossing because it’s a character driven story, but we ask is the TV series adaptation up to scratch?
As we know in the past King adaptations on the small screen can fail to hit the right tone or just simply be poor (Under the Dome I’m looking at you).
The first series of Mr Mercedes is an extremely faithful adaptation which gives book readers the beats they crave and also adapts some plot strands into some the seasons biggest triumphs.
Casting was key to with Brendan Gleeson really embodying the role of Detective Hodges and Harry Treadaway going to some dark places as Brady Hartsfield.
In supporting roles Breeda Wool is a scene stealer as Brady’s only friend Lou and on the opposing side Holland Taylor’s Ida, the faithful and sarcastic neighbour of Bill Hodges.
The balance between ‘hero’ and ‘villain’ is finely poised and we get a better look at Brady’s broken psyche throughout the series although his endgame isn’t as epic as the version in the books.
What I would say is you don’t have to choose between the book and series of Mr Mercedes as both are equally brilliant and really highlight King’s penchant for character driven stories, no matter how dark.
Suffice to say I will be checking out the rest of the Bill Hodges trilogy of books soon.
TV wise Mr Mercedes has been greenlit for a third season with AT&T network delighted with the response and no immediate plans to end the series anytime soon (famous last words).