Did CBS' Under the Dome Pull You In? Plus: Executive Producers Reveal What's Next!

under-the-dome-300Under the Dome made its debut on Monday at 10/9c (CBS) — did it capture your attention?

Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, the summer drama takes place in Chester’s Mill, a sleepy rural town that is suddenly encompassed by a gigantic, transparent dome. There’s no explanation for the new enclosure, but it’s causing disaster left and right — including a plane crash that leaves no survivors.

Despite Chester’s Mill’s seemingly harmless atmosphere — after all, the town’s biggest concern is a newly constructed Denny’s stealing business from the local diner — we quickly learn that its inhabitants are hiding secrets of their own.

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Among the colorful characters are Dale “Barbie” Barbara (Bates Motel’s Mike Vogel), a mysterious former Army Captain who we learn is responsible for a murder, despite his trustworthy nature; Sheriff Perkins (Lost’s Jeff Fahey), the town’s not-so-faithful leader whose pacemaker is as deceitful as he is; James “Big Jim” Rennie (Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris), a charismatic used car salesman who suspects the truth about what’s really going on in Chester’s Mill; and his misguided son, Junior (newcomer Alexander Koch), whose love for grade-school-crush-turned-girlfriend Angie (Life Unexpected‘s Britt Robertson) quickly turns dangerously possessive.

But the story goes beyond our core players. It unfolds in the town’s paranormal moments, when teenagers are suddenly plagued by seizures and premonitions (“The stars are falling in lines”). It’s told in the secrets that come through the chinks in Chester’s Mill’s armor — namely, why has the town been stockpiling propane? The final shot of the episode — a bird’s eye view of the dome’s size and scope — makes one thing clear: Things are going to get much worse before they get better.

All told, Under the Dome seems to require patience and concentration from viewers — but it’s well worth the price of admission.

Now, here’s what you can expect from life under the dome moving forward, courtesy of executive producers Neal Baer and Brian K. Vaughan.

NOTHING ‘MINI’ ABOUT IT | “This is not a miniseries,” Baer clarified, referencing early reports. “It’s a 13-episode series.” Continued Vaughan, “Stephen King’s book takes place over a relatively short period of time. But when we first started talking about [to him], he said, ‘When I came up with this idea, I envisioned a town being trapped for years at a time. That’s something that you guys could get to do that I didn’t, and that might necessitate a different ending.” That means fans of the novel can look forward to a completely different conclusion to the saga. “We pitched Stephen a far-out, big-swing [ending] for if we’re lucky enough for this to go several years, and he was so excited about it,” revealed Vaughan.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING | Things are not quite what they seem under the dome. “The characters are complicated,” Baer noted. “The people you think are bad may not be so bad, and the ones you think are good may not be so good. Don’t believe everything you see in the beginning.”

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ONE MOMENT IN TIME | Baer shared that each episode — of Season 1, at least — will amount to one day. “That seems to have worked for us in this first [batch of] episodes.”

OUTSIDE THE DOME | Life on the outside will be explored “very, very rarely,” Vaughan teased. “I really like the feeling that we are trapped in here with these characters. Our POV, for the most part, will remain inside Chester’s Mill.” The EP added, “We didn’t want to do lots of flashbacks to the characters’ past, and we won’t be cutting to [other times] just to shake things up a bit. We wanted to challenge ourselves by setting up in this one location.”

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER | Might some of the Chester’s Mill townsfolk actually be in on the mystery that is the dome? “That’s a strange thought,” Vaughan laughed. “So, that’s our answer.”

BURNING QUESTIONS ANSWERED | Why is the dome causing such a physical reaction in teenagers? Why did the doctor die? Each of these questions and more will be addressed sooner rather than later. “This first season, you’ll get lots of answers from things in the pilot,” promised Vaughan. “We’ve made a conscious decision that if we present a mystery, we will solve it for you before we start introducing new ones.”

WHY NOT GO, WELL, UNDER THE DOME? | Any chance these people can just dig their way out of the dome? “We promise you that is answered in Episode 2,” Baer assured.

That’s what we think, but what’s your take? Grade Under the Dome via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

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88 Comments
  1. Amanda says:

    Good start. The cow scene and the hand print made me miss Fringe. I would have loved to have seen Walter walking around asking about a milkshake.

  2. iMember says:

    Britt Robertson. Loooove her!

  3. Jay says:

    One thing that confused me. Someone else back me up on this. I thought the girl Angie was a waitress at the diner, then all of a sudden she’s a candy striper at the hospital?

    She got there kinda fast for a second job especially since not a lot of time passed. She was at the diner when the Councilman made his radio message and then at the hospital when newspaper lady and Bates Motel guy showed up. Weird.

    • Amanda says:

      I am confused about the Angie girl too. At first I thought the waitress who was also sister to that boy named Joe but now I think that is a different character

      • Josh says:

        No it’s the same character. I think we’re supposed to just assume she has two jobs…It wasn’t handle very well because I was confused at first too and it immediately took me out of the scene(which I was never able to get back in…which added to the ridiculousness of Junior). But yeah both were Britt/Angie.

    • wordsmith says:

      I just assumed that, given the crisis, she got called into the hospital to work an emergency shift.

    • Len says:

      Small town, take all of two minutes to get there.

    • madhatter360 says:

      I’m pretty sure candy striper is a volunteer position.

    • Donna says:

      A lot of the characters have different rolls in the show vs what was in the book. For instance, “Barbie” was a cook at the cafe and was heading out of town due to a beating in the parking lot from Jr and his buddies. Angie and Joe are NOT related in the book and Norrie was a school crush by Joe not a troubled teen going to a camp. Rusty was married with 2 kids in the book and Linda was a cop but mostly worked as a crossing guard. Rusty was also an ME at the hospital, not a firefighter.

      • Lynn says:

        I agree Donna. But most times the TV series is different from the book. Since I (we) read the book first, the book makes sense over the TV version. The only thing that bothered me was the change in Barbie from the book to TV. And I hope it concludes in 13 episodes. The book TOOK SO LONG to finish. If they follow suit with the series, I won’t live to see the conclusion.

      • JLC says:

        They definitely aren’t sticking to the book. The book is 1000+ pages (on my nook) and Angie is dead in the first 100. So clearly they are taking many liberties and changing things around to adapt it to TV.

    • Vic says:

      I completely agree with you, and specifically searched to see if I was the only one perturbed by this. The hospital/dumpster scene was my only problem with the entire premier which I enjoyed. One second she’s at the diner, then she’s home talking to Joe, her brother, then the next second she’s at the hospital. They could have included one small line from the kitchen scene with Joe for her to say “I’m tired, just left the diner and now have to head to the hospital” to set it up better. Also didn’t like the dumpster scene with Barbie because it appeared her attitude and character completely changed in the dialogue around him.

  4. katrina says:

    This is better than most of the fall shows. Why is it airing during the summer?

    • Sheila says:

      Summer’s a good time for a short-run series. Networks can try things out…when they aren’t pekting us with reality garbage.

      • Midori says:

        But the creator thinks they will get multi seasons, which is just funnybecause that almost never happens.

        • Meghan says:

          Right, Summer show never get more than one season. Just look at White Collar, Suits or Necessary Roughness. How could anyone expect more than one season from a summer show. I don’t even know.

    • Keith says:

      It’s only 13 episodes so that may be part of it

  5. Joey says:

    I like the first episode. I’ll watch the next episode. The show does have a great cast.

  6. sccates says:

    That cow scene!! I am hooked!

  7. Maryanna says:

    I wasn’t expecting to like it but I’m hooked!

  8. Leah says:

    Liked the pilot, but it was all just set up. I’ll give it a few more eps before I decide about the long haul.

  9. cj says:

    There is a very good reason junior is acting the way he is… Assuming they follow the book with that aspect, which it seems like they will.

  10. The cow getting cut in half…lengthwise no less was Fringey. I can see Walter getting po’d about that. The teens getting all possessive was freaky and JR is psy….cho! Haha

  11. Mj says:

    I was just underwhelmed. The book was okay, not as good as some of King’s other books, but it was way better than this first espisode. I knew they would need to change some things, consolidate some things, but they seem to have changed EVERYTHING. It could’ve used some tweaking for sure, but a complete rewrite? I just don’t understand…

    • Len says:

      The book was actually very good for a survival type book.

      Well, except for the ending when the reason for the dome is explained, which is absolutely atrocious. it makes the sopranos ending seem amazing in comparison.

      • Scangela T. Foxx says:

        Most of King’s endings in his later writings tend to be big let-downs. I’ve come to just know that the journey is what is kick-ass and the destination is just-meh.

      • Rachel says:

        I couldn’t agree more about the ending of the book. I really loved the book until that reason was given. As for the first episode, I will keep watching, but I was not happy about the opening scene with Barbie…that is not the Barbie I remember from the book… That was too much of a change in my opinion

    • Uptownrich says:

      It’s simple. King + paper = decent. King + film = sucks! Only decent teleplay was, in my opinion, “The Stand.” Hey, at least it wasn’t set in freaking Castle Rock again!

  12. Ali says:

    Can someone please tell me what point the “cow scene” plays or, how long from the start does it show up as I can’t see animals harmed or I cry like a nutcase. I want to skip that part so I’m going to DVR it but need to know when it’s going to pop up so my husband can fast forward. I HATE shows that harm animals even though I know it’s fake it still freaks me out.

    )I gave up on The Following during the pilot when they showed the tortured German Shepherd. I can not enjoy that show nor James Purefoy because of that one scene. If they did it once, they’ll probably do it again.)

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me with this.

    • Ever says:

      I would understand if this was on National Geographic or Animal Planet and you wanted to fast forward, but it’s not. The cow was fake, as in…..not real. It was done on a computer in a television studio. Relax, chill, and grow a pair.

    • Lauren says:

      It happens about 8-9 minutes in. There’s a montage of folks reacting to the rumbling, and the scene occurs *immediately* after the sheriff has a pain in his chest.

    • Dee says:

      Not sure if you’re gonna be able to watch the first part of this ep. The “cow scene” happens 9 minutes in, but since it happens right next to one of the main roads into town, the cow is shown several more times during the first 15 or 20 minutes of the show. I agree with the other comments, that its kind of comically done and wasn’t as traumatic at other things I’ve seen on other shows, and def not as bad as what happens to some of the poor humans, but hey, everybody’s got SOMETHING, and this is your thing. Might want to skip to min 20 and have the hubby tell you what happened before.

  13. Cory says:

    I’ll never why understand someone would think it’s devastating when an animal dies but fellow humans being maimed is just fine.

    • Ali says:

      I know it’s kind of weird and I’m not sure why animal abuse freaks me out more than human abuse. I guess I’m desensitized to human violence. But, it’s how I feel. I get emotionally upset each/every time there is an animal scene. I cry during the news when they show stories on abused animals and I have to change the station when the Sarah McLaughlin song plays and the SPCA add shows the dogs in cages.

      So, do you know when the “cow scene” is?

      • scg10 says:

        Wow, I thought I was the only one! Hahah, I do that all the time too!!!! I thought I was weird, okay, so maybe I am, but kill people, surrrrre, okay, but touch an animal…. oh no you didn’t!! lol

    • Jake says:

      It was a fake animal so…not really.

    • Elyse says:

      Oh I don’t know maybe because animals can’t defend themselves? Kind of like child abuse. Children and animals (pets that is) depend on us to take care of them and there are sick people out there who chose to abuse/torture/kill animals and children and its too much for some people to handle. I don’t watch the following because of how gory it is. I will check out Under the Dome because I’m hoping its not as gory.

    • Debb says:

      Maybe with a dog and a cell phone they can escape any form of human contact. I have always found the worship of dogs a little weird. They walk around with their stuff exposed, eat their own poop, and lick their own balls. Yeah I really want that around me or my house. Please dog owners keep letting them lick your face, you know love the smell and taste of animal privates.

  14. DavidSask says:

    I enjoyed it but if this possibly gets renewed or cancelled it best have a conclusion at end of first season.

  15. Shieldwolf says:

    And I were desperately searchin all the people in the background fer our great friend that always shows up in his shows “somewhere” in em! LOL Hope he really does a cameo fer us S K fans!

  16. Charlie says:

    nup,sorry didn’t like it at all

    lost interest 5 minutes in,but before next week I’ll watch the pilot again and check out episode 2 if it still hasn’t hit me,I won’t be tuning in.

  17. Alarice says:

    I enjoyed the pilot. Feels like they spent decent money on this series looking at the quality cast, screenplay n effects. I’ve heard great things about the book but glad they r moving away from it to try span the tv show over seasons. I’m especially looking forward to reading SK’s follow up to the Shining.

    • Sash112 says:

      They could have employed that money better than in that mince meat-filled fake cow (not that I would’ve liked a real one, but a better-made one, perhaps?)

  18. TV Gord says:

    Why is it that Stephen King’s works always show characters being absolute idiots? The kid staring upwards motionless as a piece of the falling plane is heading straight for him. He just stands there. Right. Things like that seem to always happen in Stephen King projects.

    • Mike says:

      That’s because Stephen King doesn’t write “characters.” He writes stereotypes. Each of his characters represents a type of person, not a real three-dimensional human being. I see that in all his writing.

  19. Jane says:

    Really disappointed to read this isn’t going to be a complete 13 episode mini-series. There is no reason to drag this out. The story is good enough for a mini-series but not multi-year. I liked the first episode but wasn’t happy with some of the changes, like the way they changed Barbie to a killer instead of a fry cook or the fact they didn’t explain a little more about Junior’s migraines. I am happy to hear that they changed the bad SK ending but only if it comes at the end of 13 episodes.

  20. lauren says:

    I missed the last ten minutes to watch chicago hoist the cup. anything bad happen to cassie while she was locked up?

    • Meredith says:

      I <3 that you called her Cassie!! That's how she will forever be known to me too. Girlfriend's still alive but who knows for how long, w/ all that water on the floor I see an electrocution in her future.

  21. March says:

    I read the book and really enjoyed it, but it’s a huge novel and what kept me going was the need to find out what happened in the end. I was highly antecipating the series, but the idea that it might go on for years is a major downer. I was really hoping for a open/close miniseries. A lot of American television suffers from this malady – the need to drag on anything that’s mildly successful so they can milk the cow until they kill it.

  22. betty says:

    As for the doctor being killed by handsome blonde man, I believe he made a phone call and began saying that “the guy came without the money so I had to kill him” – something like that. So even though the wife thinks her husband was having an affair, I think he had big time gambling problems and that’s where he was when he said he was working. Does anyone remember that? I believe the dome came down WHILE blonde guy was on the phone – cut him off. Anyone? Anyone?

  23. c.t. says:

    Forget the cow!!! It was fake! What about the fact that people were really naked on CBS! I saw breast. This didn’t concern anyone? I mean thank god my 10 yr old wasn’t watching this.

    • Oliviabensen12 says:

      Wow, so despite everything else that happen to be in this show, you whine about a “breast”?

      Nice society, sex bad, violence good.

      • Sash112 says:

        You are so totally right! Quite a violent show to watch with a kid! Well, I guess, with cows and people cut in half, planes exploding in the air, psychopaths with murderous looks, it all must have made me overlook the pornographic elements of the episode. like “the” breast. Yay, silly me.

    • TV Gord says:

      What’s the worst thing that could happen if your 10-year-old saw a breast? You’re not concerned about a child seeing a cow cut in half, but a breast is just too much. This is my head-shaker of the day!

    • Daisy says:

      I actually don’t recall seeing a breast but um…it was 10:00. On a Monday. Shouldn’t your 10 year old be in bed? Besides, when kids see something on tv you don’t want them to see, you talk to them, you don’t blame the tv. Just a suggestion.

    • Warren says:

      Wait….I missed a boob scene? Say it ain’t so! ;p

    • Tittie committee says:

      No, it was probably a knee. You think they didn’t watch and review that part a 100 times before releasing the final cut. That sounds like rookie/amateur TV watching observation

    • C.M says:

      C.T. I 100% agree !! I was disappointed , that scene was way over the top for CBS. and Daisy its summer break 10 year olds are still up at 10pm smh. The point is it’s NOT a cable channel where anything goes…its CBS.

      • TV Gord says:

        Even if kids aren’t in school where you are (they are until the end of this week where I am), any parents who let a ten-year-old stay up until 11 to watch a Stephen King miniseries only has themselves to blame. And again, I ask: what is seeing a breast going to do to a child? I’ve never heard of a child being warped by seeing a little nudity. The fact that we’re discussing this over and above the bisection of an animal is more than a little absurd to me.

      • The Beach says:

        Then heaven forbid a parent take their kid to an art museum. The poor darling might see a breast, or more, from Michelangelo, DaVinci, Boticelli, Reubens……….

    • Eric says:

      Not that long ago, he was probably feeding off one. Please save the pearl-clutching for something that matters. Also, what was he doing up past 10pm?

    • Ace says:

      A BREAST!?! OMG, NO! Those things are terrifying! I just looked down, and TWO of them were hiding right under my shirt! As you can imagine, I was terrified! I tried to back away slowly, but they FOLLOWED me. I’m probably going to die.

  24. Aussie says:

    I skipped to comments didn’t read your review. I’ll get back to ya with an answer airs in Australia umm yeah tonight now we’ve past midnight

  25. Carrie says:

    Hated it. I guess it was my mistake for reading the book first, but it was beyond frustrating that they changed EVERY character. Norrie is 16, and the daughter of lesbians? Joe and Angie are related? Julia is married? And worst of all, Rusty is on the outside? Forget it. I can’t believe King allowed them to do this.

  26. Dennis Crank says:

    I am so worried that this is going to be multi-Seasonal, I tuned in thinking this is 13 and done. Seems like going forward there will be a lot of issues. No power, Generators ore going to run out of fuel, Bateries are going to die. What about Sewage, and food? How many are in town. What about weather, does rain make it through? Heat? Cold? Could the dome be like being in car with the windows rolled up on a hot day?

  27. Alichat says:

    Oh….FYI….the line from the seizure victims is “The pink stars are falling in lines.”

  28. Brian says:

    My biggest problem is the rock radio station. A nice station that cares about the ratings. I am not sure how much of the book can be brought into the series with this. The radio station is a big part of the book.

  29. Ali says:

    So, I’m the one who was concerned about the “cow scene.” I watched it (including the cow scene) and was underwhelmed. Somebody commented earlier that the cow scene was almost cartoonish and I agree. It didn’t freak me out (thank heavens) because it was so unbelieveable and silly.

    I can’t stand Jeff Fahey so once he popped up, I kind of groaned but kept watching. After the end, I’m just meh……..it’ll bomb. I didn’t care about any of the characters (except the cow) and the “stars” they got must have volunteered their services or done it for some internship purpose as the cast is boring. I’m done with it.

    It will get cancelled in four more episodes. At least that’s my prediction.

  30. Liam says:

    After reading the book a few years ago, I think they got the casting right. The whole premise of the book was that aliens were in charge. Not sure you can explain the dome any other way. Wait and see I guess.

  31. Soapstef says:

    I’ve got some issues with the casting! Rachelle is fantastic & I knew she would be, but Junior is awful. His sex face, shocked dome face and psycho face…..are all the same face! Angie is a problem for me too. Don’t like her so I can’t care that Junior is going to do heaven knows what to her.

  32. Melissa Watkins says:

    I read the book years ago so the changes to the characters have not bothered me a great deal. However, I agree they need to wrap it up in one season. Food, sewage, power, etc? Come on. Let it take it’s course, be a good summer series with closure.

  33. dave says:

    I don’t understand why they had to take King’s perfectly good text and characters and completely rewrite them??? Only watching the show because of the book! Probably won’t bother to stick with it.

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