Stephen King has always voiced his unhappiness with the results of the Stanley Kubrick version of THE SHINING. "Kubrick didn't really do the book, he did a Stanley Kubrick film," King said in an interview in Creepshows: The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Guide (a highly recommended book for fans of King's films). In Stephen King at the Movies, King likened it to "a great big beautiful car with no engine inside it. It's a film that has all kinds of style, and it's gorgeous" but he felt that while the visuals were beautiful, the story was rather lacking. And many of us who've read the novel are inclined to agree.
In 1997, King finally got around to making his own version of the film, a mini-series for ABC starring Steven Weber, Rebecca DeMornay, and Melvin Van Peebles. Although highly publicized and critically praised, the film failed to garner ratings that were expected and, unlike the rest of the King ABC miniseries, it never even got a VHS release in the USA. Kubrick's version is considered the be-all, end-all classic, and most people weren't quick to embrace King's vision -- the miniseries still routinely takes a beating for not being the Nicholson version, which is a shame since there's so much good in it. But at least it finally made it to DVD. For those interested, some of the promos from the original airing of the film are available to watch at Creepshows: Stephen King Movies.
To promote the miniseries, TV Guide ran an extensive spread on it, including the lost prologue from the novel, "Before the Play," which had previously only been published in a 1982 issue of Whispers Magazine. Sadly, even TV Guide wasn't totally on-board with the miniseries... I received my subscription issue of the magazine with the King cover, but when I went to buy another copy, I discovered that all of the local stores only stocked a cover of Tom Hanks (who had a TV special on ABC the same week). I guess they figured Hanks would sell more issues. I feel the need to say this because I could've gotten better scans here, but with only two copies of the issue (one with each cover), I wasn't going to mutilate my copies to scan them. The center of the digest is a little bowed where it's bound, and the later pages of "Before the Play" are tilted because of a stupid cardboard ad opposite. But I figure for those interested in the miniseries and the missing prologue, this post has a treasure-trove of information despite whatever anomalies.... Also, blogger has a tendency to skewer the position of photos when you post a lot of them, but they're all numbered sequentially.
These wonderful photos appeared on ABC's now-long-defunct exclusive AOL website when the miniseries aired... and I haven't seen them resurface anywhere, so I'm happy to get them back online... And there are a few additional photos from the film here.