By James Hibberd
December 16, 2020 at 10:31 AM EST
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Watch Alexander Skarsgard's first full scene as the demonic supervillain Randall Flagg in this exclusive scene from The Stand limited series.

Here's all the setup you need before viewing: A global pandemic has killed 99.4 percent of the population, leaving only a small number of people who are naturally immune. Prison inmate Lloyd Henreid (Nat Wolff) is one of the survivors, but he's been languishing in his cell, starving to death, forgotten by prison authorities and a government that no longer exists. Enter a mysterious man (Skarsgard) who could be Lloyd's savior or his damnation.

Check out the first two minutes of the scene below – which is quite faithful to the chapter in Stephen King's 1978 novel – and then read on for some behind-the-scenes insight from showrunner Benjamin Cavell.

"It's a seduction scene," Cavell says. "And it was very important to us that Flagg was attractive – not just physically attractive, obviously, it's Alexander Skarsgard, so we've got that covered – but we wanted an audience to be able to easily imagine why people would follow him. We didn't just want the takeaway to be, 'Anybody who's vulnerable to falling under the sway of this guy must just be inherently evil.'"

The Stand is about a pandemic that leaves two groups of survivors to battle for the soul of America. One is a Boulder-based group of largely "good" people is led by the angelic Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg), and the other is a Las Vegas-based clan led by Flagg.

Here's the trailer:

The Stand premieres Thursday, Dec. 17 on CBS All Access.

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The Stand (2020 series)

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