The TV adaptation of Stephen King’s “Mr. Mercedes” starts tonight on AT&T’s Audience Network, with so far positive reviews for the series. However, producers do expect backlash over the opening scene, which eerily resembles recent European terror attacks.

Positive reviews for ‘Mr. Mercedes’

After getting a peek into the new, 10-part drama series, reviewers have already published their thoughts on “Mr. Mercedes.” NPR’s critic, David Bianculli, considers the new series to be good enough to become a major triumph for the TV network. With David E. Kelly at the helm, Bianculli said the show has an excellent cast, with Brendan Gleeson, Harry Treadaway, Kelly Lynch and Mary-Louise Parker starring.

It also has the backing of one of the best horror authors, who took a different turn with “Mr. Mercedes,” by writing a “hard-boiled detective story” for a change.

The LA Times’ critic said that besides the gruesome opening scene – which he said was not handled “delicately” – the show has a slow start, but Robert Lloyd said that is a good thing. He said this leaves room for events to get “crazy” later. Lloyd also complimented the cast for their performances. Lloyd went on to point out there are two more books in King's “Mr.

Mercedes” novel series and that he would be surprised if they weren’t also adapted for TV.

Gruesome opening scene for ‘Mr. Mercedes’

Due to the gruesome and terrifying opening scene – which shows a Mercedes car driving into a crowd of people queuing at a job fair – producers are expecting blow back, as the scene is so eerily similar to events in recent terrorist attacks in Europe.

A masked character is seen to plow into people, leaving 16 dead and more seriously injured, in reasonably graphic detail. As noted by The New York Daily News, as the police investigate the case, there are also flashbacks to the horror of that scene.

Last year a terrorist drove a truck through pedestrians in Nice, France on the Bastille Day holiday, killing 86 people.

This action inspired other terrorists to launch vehicle attacks in London and memories of the horror of those attacks are still fresh in people’s minds. Jack Bender, director and executive producer of “Mr. Mercedes,” did admit some European advertising buyers were put off by the gruesome scenes. He said they asked themselves at the time whether they should actually do this.

When “Mr. Mercedes” premiered last week, Bender told the audience that the opening scene was shot a few days prior to the Nice attack, adding that this method then seemed to become the “drug of choice” for maniacs and terrorists. However, he said while these tragedies are daunting, and he felt the responsibility of the situation, producers felt they had to go ahead to show how that terrifying case crippled Hodges – the retired detective working on the case.

He added that while he wouldn’t be surprised if there was backlash on social media, they felt they had a responsibility to not gloss over the story. Bender gave the comparison of someone being shot in a TV show and a network saying there shouldn’t be blood, saying if someone gets shot, it is obvious that they will bleed.

Meanwhile the new 10-part “Mr. Mercedes” series starts tonight at 8 p.m. on Audience Network. In the meantime, readers can get an introduction to the series in the trailer below.