One of the things that's seemed unclear about CBS' adaptation of Stephen King's Under the Dome is whether this 13-episode season would be a self-contained miniseries -o r "event series", as some networks might call it - or if it's the start of a bigger story that will be fleshed out beyond King's book in to a multi-season series. It sounds like that has yet to be determined, though the producers indicated that there's potential for the story to continue beyond the first season.
THR posted some updates on the project, after getting their first look at the drama. Under the Dome tells the story of a small New England town that finds itself inexplicably trapped under a mysterious dome, which proves to be a catalyst for drama that ensues in the town as people attempt to deal with the situation, gather resources and establish order. THR says we should expect big special effects from the season premiere, including (spoiler alert!) "gory amputations, car crashes and a cow brutally cut in half."
While there's no guarantee of a second season - which is often the case for any new series that has yet to premiere its first season - it's not being ruled out. THR says, "producers noted that there very much is the potential for it to continue on with a second season." That leaves us to wonder how they could extend the story. From what THR reports, King appears to be flexible on the idea of the producers changing up the story for the sake of the TV show. For example, his book takes place over the span of a week, but the first season will cross the one-week mark before it reaches its tenth episode. "Most episodes take place over the course of a day," the site reports. And that's not the only thing that could change...
"When we first started talking to Stephen, we came up with the idea of the town potentially being trapped for years at a time and that's something that [King said] you guys could get to do that I didn't," [series developer] Brian K. Vaughan recalled, noting it might necessitate a different ending to the series. "We pitched Stephen a far-out, big-swing idea for this to go several years, a different ending, and he was really excited by it."
Ahem, King wouldn't be alone in being open to the idea of a different ending from the book. While I'm not typically one to advocate drastic deviations from the story, when it comes to book-to-screen adaptations, in the case of Under the Dome, I can see the TV show benefiting from using the same concept and character structure and then taking some liberties with the plot and conclusion, even if they don't end up doing more than one season. As much as I enjoyed reading the novel, it wasn't one of my favorite endings.
It also sounds like they'll aim to answer the obvious questions - like why they can't dig their way out from under the dome - early on. We should also expect death, which sounds true to King's book.
Another thing noted is that there are new characters being added, including an interracial lesbian couple with a daughter. They're driving through town when the dome comes down and they end up stuck in Chester's Mill. That's just bad luck… unless you consider the misfortune of that cow…
For those who have read the book, we've already spotted a couple of notable changes. Like that it looks like Linda and Rusty are engaged (not married with kids) and trapped on opposite sides of the dome, and that people can't hear each other through it.
THR posted some new key art, which aims for heartbreak as it shows a little boy trapped inside the dome and his dog stuck on the other side.
Read THR's full breakdown here. And check out the latest stills from the series here. Under the Dome premieres Monday, June 24 at 10:00 p.m. Et on CBS.