As your favorite television shows end for the season (Mad Men, Game of Thrones) and many audiences anticipate this fall’s high-profile offerings, CBS has been touting its big summer event series, Under The Dome. Based on Stephen King’s 1,000+ page chronicle of Chester’s Mill, a small Maine town suddenly imprisoned by a giant dome, the series premiere bowed on Monday, June 24th to an impressive 13.1 million viewers.
The general consensus is positive, with our own Kevin Yeoman’s positive review naming it a show to definitely watch, but how much of the book will it cover? Executive Producer Brian K. Vaughan (Lost) discussed the potential future of the series.
In a long and detailed interview with THR, Vaughan covers a lot of ground, much of it having to do with the plot, characters and world set up by the series premiere (so if you haven’t seen it yet, definitely seek that out first). However, when it comes to the show’s time frame versus that of the book, Vaughan had this to say:
It’s been pretty close to be going on a day for each episode. So, at 13, it’s going to be at two weeks, which pretty closely mirrors the novel. The show is going to be what life is like in those first two hectic weeks under the dome. Hopefully this is just the start of an incredible journey. The fun will come in the second season, so fingers crossed that people will want to stick around with Chester’s Mill.
While the 13-episode season is a short run for network television, Vaughan’s confidence in reaching a second season points toward the significant changes from the timeline in Stephen King’s novel. King himself initially toyed with having the town trapped for months or even years, but once he got to two weeks and realized he already had a thousand pages, he started to wrap things up.
Vaughan, however, seems to think King’s original notion might be the way to go:
You know, [showrunner] Neal Baer has already worked on two shows that have gone at least 15 seasons. So a conservative 15 seasons sounds about right (laughs).
Is he kidding? Probably (not). While the show takes its liberties with the source material (primarily when it comes to the physical properties of the dome), the producers and writers seem to be doing their best to hew close to the book’s themes of the darkness lying in wait beneath the veneer of a normal town (one of King’s favorites), and how quickly things go to hell once the unknown is introduced.
The book approaches the domed town as a microcosm of American life in the early 21st century, and there is plenty of material there to continue the story for as long as viewers will want to tune in.
Well, ScreenRanters? Do you think the mysterious entrapment of Chester’s Mill could go on beyond the book’s timeline? If you’ve read the book, please avoid any spoilers for those who haven’t in the comments.
You can catch Under The Dome Mondays @ 10PM on CBS.