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I remember seeing this dramatic mini-series in the late '90s-'00s, but it may have been created in the '80s. I believe it was an adaptation from a book by a well-known author.

The setting was in the US after some rapture-like event. I don't remember the cause, I just remember that there were a very small number of people left, and almost all of them were critical characters. The portions I remember involved traveling through the desert towards a big city (Las Vegas?), and I believe the final conflict was there in the city. The main story was about this final conflict/showdown between these people who were representing the forces of good and evil. There were definitely some religious themes as well.

There are only two characters I remember. The main character was your generic conflicted Everyman with good morals, so not much detail there. The other was a gentle-giant type who was big and strong but had the mind of a child. I think he ended up being very important towards the end.

Unfortunately that's all I remember right now, but I'm hoping it was popular enough to be obvious to someone. The one series I know it's not is Left Behind. The one I saw was not nearly as directly Biblical.

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    "M-O-O-N, that spells dead." Sound like your "gentle giant's" tag line? – Zeiss Ikon Nov 21 at 14:53
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It is definitely a The Stand based on Steven's King novel with the same title.

There was no rapture - instead, a deadly biological weapon has been released which has killed 99% of the population (the virus is deliberately introduced to USSR and China to assure mutual destruction).

With time, two groups of survivors emerge: one group is made of people who were dreaming about an elderly woman called "Mother Abigaile", whom later go to create a "Free Zone" - a democratic society in the Boulder, Colorado. The second group follows Randall Flagg, an evil being with supernatural powers, who starts to rebuild an army.

Randall Flagg with/without makeup. enter image description here

With time, both groups became aware of each other and the Free Zoners decide to send infiltrators to Las Vegas - all of them are quickly dispatched by Flagg, with an exception of Tom Cullen - a mentally challenged big man, who has been hypnotised (himself?) to believe that he has been cast out of the Free Zone.

You can see Tom Cullen in the background here: enter image description here

With the conflict becoming inevitable, dying Mother Abigaile sends the remaining council members from the Free Zone to negotiate with Flagg, but one of them breaks a leg on the journey. The rest are captured by Randall's army and are about to be executed when one of Flagg's crazy followers brings a nuclear warhead. Flagg attempts to stop him using a ball of energy, but it is transformed into "a hand of God", which grabs and detonates the warhead, destroying Las Vegas.

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    +1 Also some connections to other works by Stephen King: Randall Flagg is one of the servants of the Crimson King from the Dark Tower series, and the idea of a super-flu virus killing most of the world's population is first seen in King's short story "Night Surf" (which has no supernatural elements). – Andres F. Nov 21 at 21:06
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    Which of the two images of Randall Flagg is the one with makeup and which is the one without? – Moo Nov 22 at 2:13
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    There is no rapture but it is a two-part miniseries (at least, that's how it is broadcast in France) and if you only watch the second part with its biblical post-apocalyptic mood, it is easy to believe of a rapture-like event. – Taladris Nov 22 at 4:08
  • Isn't the Super-Flu an analogy for the rapture? – Jontia Nov 22 at 8:50
  • It was a 4 part mini series in the US. The everyman mentioned in the question, and also the one who breaks his leg, is Stu Redman, played by Gary Sinise. I don't remember the virus being deployed in China and the USSR since it was an accidental release and everyone involved died quickly. I remember it was spread quickly just by normal air travel. – aynber Nov 22 at 13:40
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This is undoubtedly "The Stand", based on the corresponding novel (?) by Stephen King.

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    Could you explain why you believe this is the correct answer? How does it match the criteria listed in the question? – F1Krazy Nov 21 at 14:01
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    One-liner answers like this don't really answer the question. Without some support on what makes The Stand the right answer, you can/should be undercut by someone else with the same answer, but better support. – Zeiss Ikon Nov 21 at 14:52
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    This is definitely the answer, though I'm hesitant to accept it without some more explanation as @F1Krazy mentions. Perhaps someone could edit it in? – David K Nov 21 at 15:09
  • I'm in my car right now so I really can't copy and paste any thing or links. But believe me it is the stand. The people who would be considered the good people are traveling through the cornfield I believed to Kansas to an elderly woman who is blind. Rob Lowe and the guy who was coach's assistant in the show Coach were the man who traveled with the mentally challenged gentle giant. Gary Sinise was our hero. The bad guy with a character named Randall Flagg and he set up base in Las Vegas and that was where the final Conflict was. Molly Ringwald was in it as well. – ArlettaS Nov 21 at 17:23

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