That also happens to be a terrifically small lens with which to look at the character, though. While the 1987 includes a backstory involving a career as a pilot refusing orders and being incarcerated in a military prison, Richards’ story comes from a much more simple and dark place in the novel. As originally created by Stephen King/Richard Bachman, he is an ordinary man in his late 20s living in abject poverty with his wife and sick baby. He is representative of society’s lowest class – destitute, blacklisted, and left to suffocate in the egregious pollution of the fictional Co-Op City. It’s desperation and the need to get pneumonia medicine for his daughter that drives him to volunteer for the Games Network – a propaganda arm of the totalitarian government with an assortment of shows that see people risk their lives in hopes of life-saving compensation.