Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital

Season 1 Episode 1

Thy Kingdom Come

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 03, 2004 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Thy Kingdom Come
Artist Peter Rickman is jogging and run down by a stoned, two-time loser driving a minivan. He is admitted comatose to Kingdom Hospital, but not before encountering a frightening, ghostly figure whose mission is to use him to rid the hospital of malevolence, both human and inhuman, and to free its nine-year old mistress, Mary, from the hospital's haunted halls. When he awakens in an altered state with newfound but not necessarily welcome telepathic powers, Rickman finds he can communicate with the spirits, good and evil, man and beast, inhabiting the hospital. Mrs. Druse, an elderly patient with psychic gifts, is the first to hear the cries of the trapped ghost and attempts to persuade brilliant, eccentric surgeon Dr. Hook to join her quest to identify it. She is opposed in this effort by the hopelessly arrogant and mean-spirited chief neurologist Dr. Stegman, and the ebullient but vacuous hospital administrator, Dr. Jesse James, who is concerned only with the hospital's image.moreless

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  • The first in the series of Kingdom Hospital.

    This was the first episode of the short lived mini series of Kingdom Hospital. I remember how much i loved this show when it aired on TV. I is probably one of my favourite mini-series of all time. So in the first episode we are introduced to the Kingdom Hospital staff, a Dr Hook, and Dr, Stegman a patient named Sally and of course Peter Rickman who suffers a terrible accident and is rushed to the hostpital. Before long Peter begins to see some of the horrors which go on inside the walls of the hospitals. He sees the Ghost girl Mary and the evil man named Paul. We also learn that the hospital was built upon a mill which burned to the ground. So overall i think this is great episode which is definatly not to be missed.moreless
  • Welcome to Kingdom Hospital - a place you never want to go if you're ill. Another place you never want to go is into Stephen King's mind - it's brilliant, but the chances of gettin out alive are slim!moreless

    I really didn't know what to make of this at all. On the one hand, it's a straightforward story about a hospital with aspects of the supernatural. On the other, there are so many weird characters, scenes and surrealist aspects that it's like Twin Peaks with surgery.

    I liked it in the end, almost despite myself. It's a little over the top (and down the other side sometimes) and I'm not fond of the anteater,but I do find myself wanting to know what happens.

    The hit and run scene is really visceral, the comedy works well, but so far the horror/ghostly aspect isn't quite so developed. I expected to be much more creeped out than I was. I do hope future episodes (yes I'm watching the series on DVD) develop the creepiness more. I think so far the weirdness is getting in the way of taking anything too seriously.

    I'll keep watching though.moreless
  • Welcome to Kingdom Hospital. Are you ready? Sit back and enjoy the anesthesia.

    This is the first episode in one of Stephen King's best miniseries to date. This is the episode that introduces us to the weird and unique characters who inhabit the hospital. We find out, before the opening credits, that before the hospital stood, the spot was occupied by a textile mill that made uniforms for the Union army during the Civil War. The mill, which depended greatly on child labor, burned to the ground. Many of the children did not survive. It appears obvious that at least one child's ghost haunts Kingdom Hospital. We are brought into the hospital by Peter Rickman, America's most famous artist, who is hit by a van while running on the side of a road. Rickman is a representation of Stephen King. King, "America's most famous writer, was hit by a motor vehicle when he was jogging near his home in Maine. This episode admits us into Kingdom Hospital, where we encounter the neat and wonderful characters that Peter encounters.moreless
Claudette Mink

Claudette Mink

Celeste Daldry

Guest Star

Ryan Robbins

Ryan Robbins

Dave Hooman, Charlie (Voice)

Guest Star

Charles Martin Smith

Charles Martin Smith

Earl Swinton

Guest Star

Beverley Elliott

Beverley Elliott

Brick Bannerman

Recurring Role

Ty Olsson

Ty Olsson


Recurring Role

Benjamin Ratner

Benjamin Ratner


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Kingdom Hospital is a slightly altered world and from the mind of Stephen King, but it is supposed to be a real, functioning hospital. Given the potential litigation, no hospital would put a sick woman on a stretcher into an elevator on her own. An orderly would have to accompany her in case of a malfunction, or if she became sicker.

    • When the paramedic is examining Peter on the side of the road, he states to the hospital on his radio the Peter's right eye is "fixed and dilated", however, on several close-up shots that follow, you can clearly see his pupil is not dilated.

    • Trivia: The reason Johnny B. Goode is not present in this episode is because of a burst water pipe in the new underground parking garage that is under construction.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • James: Dr. Hook to ICU stat. Extension 99.
      Otto: What's 99?
      Blondi: (thinking) How the hell should I know? I'm just the dog.

    • Peter: (thinking) Antubis. Antubis. Guardian of the Gate. Am I going to die?

    • Peter: (thinking) I'm not actually talking, am I? This is bad.

    • (about Peter)
      Carrie: I would've said that he was totally gorked.
      Hook: Oh, he was.
      Carrie: What happened here?
      Hook: Medical terms? A miracle.

    • Draper: I admitted Eleanor Druse yesterday.
      Liz: Good Time Sally's back in town.
      Draper: She's presenting with numbness of the right arm and possible neurological insults.
      Elmer: What is this? Her tenth admission? That's just since I've been here.
      Hook: Well, sooner or later, the little girl who cries wolf is telling the truth, Elmer.

    • Mrs. Druse: The world is full of mysteries.

    • Natalie: Okay, well then, what are...what are the chances of it being a compression rather than a fracture?
      Hook: Not good.
      Natalie: How not good?
      Hook: I don't wanna discourage you with statistics, Mrs. Rickman. Statistics are for groups. Your husband i-is one talented driven man. His chances are one hundred percent...or zero. I'm sorry.
      Natalie: You're sorry? You're sorry? You're so sorry? Why do you keep saying that?
      Hook: Because there's nothing else. The chances that your husband will wake up and be the same old Peter are small, Mrs. Rickman. The chances that he will walk again or paint are also small. Although, of course, we're hopeful. The chances that he will be his old self, and walk, infintesimal. I am still so sorry to tell you these things.

    • Hook: Okay. There it is, Elmer. I always pause here and imagine that I am the first neurosurgeon. The first to boldly journey into the workings of a human mind.
      Elmer: Cool.
      Hook: Yes, it is. Inside this skull is another universe; the biggest, scariest haunted house of them all.
      Liz: Elmer, will you hurry up and tell Dr. Hook how profound he is so we can get inside this poor man's noggin and reduce the cranial pressure.
      Hook: Anyway, after I've paused to reflect on the gravity of what it is I'm about to do, and only after I've done that, do I proceed with my mission.
      Elmer: Yes, doctor.

    • Hook: First we open our crainiotomy and excavate the hematoma. Capisce, Elmer?

    • (Peter is hallucinating on trauma bed)
      Hook: Uh, and I want a dozen double-stuffed Oreos IV push. Ready with a thousand milligrams of peanut butter crackers and two amps of Nestle's Quik.

    • (in trauma room with Peter)
      Liz: Sweatpants, no pockets. Can't do a wallet biopsy on this one.
      Ollie: I know who he is.
      Liz: Oh, uh, do you want me to guess? Is there a prize?

    • Antubis: Watch for Mary. Listen for her bell. It's a death bell.

    • (Antubis licks ant off Peter's face)
      Antubis: Yum. Antsolutely delish.
      Peter: (groans) Please don't hurt me.
      Antubis: You're a real mess, my friend. I mean seriously racked up.
      Peter: Please. Please.
      Antubis: Save your strength. That would be my advice. You'll need it.

    • Abel: The artist's wife is here.
      Christa: Now the flies will spark.

    • Narrator: (closing narration) But there's a price to be paid for the miraculous. And Blue Cross dosen't cover it. This is Kingdom Hospital, where the ground is uneasy, and old secrets have begun to rise to the service. Please come again.

    • Swinton: Hey, Doc, listen, I hope you got yourself a really big ice scraper 'cause winter could start anytime now and up here the winters are long. It's not like Boston.
      Stegman: Up here, very little is like Boston, I find.
      Swinton: Well, that's the way we like it.
      Stegman: There's a crack in the parking lot.
      Swinton: You know what? I got one of those, too. In the back of my pants.

    • Narrator: Years later, a hospital was built here. Kingdom Hospital. The bleaching and dyeing vats have given way to doctors and researchers and operating rooms filled with modern equipment. Here, life is charted with lasers and EKGs and MRIs. There is no place for superstition. Rational thought has replaced whispered myths about the unquiet, hungry dead. But there is such a thing as intellectual arrogance. And arrogance is blind. Perhaps the ground Kingdom Hospital stands on is still uneasy, for the cold and damp have returned.

    • Narrator: A hundred and fifty years ago, the Gates Falls Mill stood here. It employed two hundred men and women. Good Yankees all. Sixteen-hour shifts during the Civil War, when Gates Falls Mill made uniforms for the Union Army. The job of the men wearing those uniforms was to end the "peculiar institution," the peculiar institution being slavery. When the mill burned in 1869, most of them got out. The fire started in the first floor. Most of the adult mill workers escaped. Most of the children... most of the children did not. This is the realm of darkness.

    • Antubis: I do you a solid, you do me one. That's how it works. Tell Hook about Mary. Tell the old woman. They'll hear you...if you make them.
      Peter: I don't understand.
      Antubis: You will. And when you do...ant-solutely delicious.

    • Hook: I've ordered an MRI.
      Stegman: I beg your pardon?
      Hook: M as in Map, R as in Rat, I as in Idiot.

    • Narrator: This is Kingdom Hospital, which stands on uneasy ground. Here, the cold and damp have returned. And as the gate swings open, the dead may also return.

  • NOTES (18)

    • Filming Location: Workers' Compensation Board building, Richmond, British Columbia

    • Fryeburg is the name of the the hometown of the guy who hit Stephen King himself when he was out jogging. This is confirmed by King himself on the DVD commentary to the episode.

    • Ed Begley Jr. is listed as "Special Appearance By."

    • Backing this up, if you replay and slightly slow down the voices surrounding the arrival of Antibus in the hospital, you can distinctly hear "Behold the anteater, guardian of the gate" - a Dark Tower reference.

    • Fryeburg Fair was also mentioned in Bag of Bones, The Mist, Needful Things, and The Tommyknockers, as well as the short story Mrs. Todd's Shortcut (Skeleton Crew).

    • The name "Lenny Stillmach" is from the novel Bet Your Life by Richard Dooling - Dooling is a Producer for the series. Stephen King wrote a highly-favorable blurb for the novel and is a big fan of Dooling's.

    • Other Stephen King in-jokes: Rickman is wearing a "Little Tall" t-shirt - Little Tall is the island town that features in Dolores Claiborne and Storm of the Century.

    • The EMTs at the accident pass a Nozz-O-La truck (a brand of soda mentioned in The Dark Tower IV and VII). Dr. Hook can also be seen drinking a can of Nozz-a-la in the meeting with Stegman.

    • The last name Bannerman is also from The Dead Zone.

    • According to the closed captioning, the anteater's name is "Antubis," which appears to be a play on Anubis, the Egyptian deity.

    • The scene in question is not from the series The Chair as was commonly thought: the guy playing the Host is actor Mark Brandon, but in the reality series the host was John McEnroe. The game show we see here is a fictional creation, an allusion to the "reality" game shows mentioned in King's novel The Running Man.

    • This episode is two hours long.

    • "Warrington Inn" is probably a King in-joke to the Warrington Lodge, mentioned in Bag of Bones. In the novel The Stand, there is also an ambulance driver in Sanford by that name - Jim Warrington.

    • The name of the janitor, Johnny B. Goode, references the name of the popular song performed by Chuck Berry.

    • Stephen King does not do the narration, although some on-line sources and even the close captioning says that he does.

    • Music featured in this episode included:
      "Red Dragon Tattoo" by Fountains of Wayne
      "Gin and Juice" by The Gourds

    • A lot of the character names have connections to famous people or things, eg: Dr. Hook (a '60s band), Jesse James (the robber) and Johnny B. Goode (the name of both a film and a song).

    • The opening sequence recreates Stephen King's jogging incident that nearly killed him in 1999. Rickman's injuries are essentially identical to those that King received after his accident.


    • Title: As well as using the word 'Kingdom' from the episode's title, the title itself is a direct quotation from The Lord's Prayer, known to Christians and others the world over. It is taken from the Bible, which includes two versions, one in Matthew 6: 9-13 and one in Luke 11: 2-4. It is taken from the beginning of the prayer (though translations differ slightly). The prayer goes 'Our Father which art in heaven/hallowed be thy name/thy kingdom come/thy will be done/in earth as it is in heaven.'

    • Dr. Hook: (singing) Come listen to a story about a man named Jed, Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed.
      Part of the theme song of the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.