First, let's clear up a misconception. "Kingdom Hospital" was created specifically as a limited series with a beginning, middle and end. Like "The Prisoner", King had envisioned it as a "true" novel for television. If ABC had chosen to renew it, King would have developed a series of different story arcs. So it wasn't cancelled so much as it concluded. Another point to clear up--King's series created in collaboration with co-writer Richard Dooling, director Craig Baxley, executive producer Mark Carliner was an attempt to graft King's unique sense of humor and horror to Lars Van Trier's original allowing it to reach an American audience better.
King's series is every bit as effective in its own way as Lars Van Trier's "The Kingdom" but one made for a very different audience. An American audience. Since Lars Van Trier was an executive producer on the series, I doubt that he would have given it his blessing if he didn't see King's version as a quirky complimentary vision to his own. A warning, though, about "Kingdom Hospital". This is a ghost story not a horror thriller. The show unfolds at a leisurely pace allowing the story to unfold gradually creating suspense vs. a rapid fire horror story. "Kingdom Hospital" has more in common with, say, "The Stand" or even "Twin Peaks" (and the original source mini-series as well) in that regard.
Anyhow, on to the DVD. Looks terrific and the CGI effects are top notch throughout most of the series. The campy over-the-top acting style of this "E.R." meets "Twin Peaks"series is crossed with King's twisted imagination. In the first episode we're introduced to most of the main characters at The Kingdom--Hook (Andrew McCarthy), Sally (Diane Ladd) the psychic who appears to be more than a few bricks shy of a full load, Jack (Peter Rickman)an artist who, due to a terrible accident, ends up at Kingdom (and is a stand-in so to speak for King in a bizarre collison between art and life). Oh and who can forget Stegman (Bruce Davison)who has an aura of...evil about him. All must help save Kingdom Hospital and a little girl who died on the same grounds the hospital is build on by the name of Mary. By the way, the number 19 shows up quite a bit in the series...linking it to King's The Dark Tower series.
The two hour pilot has an audio commentary by King, director Buxley, producer Carliner and the visual effects supervisor. There's also a number of great featurettes included on this four disc set including "Inside the Walls" which focuses on the making of the series, a discussion of the various characters,a discussion on the creation of the visual effects for the bizarre looking Antubis as well as a tour of the hospital. King also contributes a two page essay on the series in the booklet enclosed with the first two disc set. The transfer is in high definition so it looks amazingly sharp and crisp.
While the series doesn't quite live up to its potential by the conclusion, it's still a fascinating and fun ride while it lasts. It's not exactly a horror series per se more a glimpse into the haunted lives of those bound to serve in "the kingdom".