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‘Under the Dome’ is quintessential King and a must see for supernatural/sci-fi fans

It’s a really bad sign when a giant dome encases your town and that’s not even the worst part of some residents’ day. The sci-fi series ‘Under the Dome’ is based on a novel by Stephen King, who also serves as one of the show's executive producers. Many of King’s stories take place in seemingly picturesque little New England hamlets whose residents are often forced to deal with dark forces, supernatural phenomenon and sinister secrets. Chester’s Mill, a place where a stranger disposes of a corpse before breakfast, is no different.

In any crisis, the really compelling stuff happens after the dust settles, and the victims are forced to figure out how to survive. We’ve seen plenty of examples in literature, movies and TV that when it comes to life and death, humans are capable of being completely self-serving. You can amplify those emotions and reactions when the survivors face supernatural or inexplicable adversaries.

In the pre-dome hours, a man named Dale “Barbie” Barbara (Mike Vogel) buries a body in the woods and starts to make a hasty retreat out of Chester’s Mill. A summer romance between Junior Rennie (Alexander Koch), an apparent beloved son of his hometown now attending college elsewhere, and Angie McAlister (Britt Robertson), a local girl who dreams of being anywhere other than Chester’s Mill, comes to an abrupt and violent end. And, a local woman named Andrea Grinnell (Dale Raoul) regales the local newspaper editor, Julia Shumway (Rachelle Lefevre), with conspiracy theories regarding a number of frequent and large propane deliveries that have been rolling into town over the past few weeks.

It’s not an ordinary day in Chester Mills in more traditional ways as well. There is a giant parade in the nearby town of Westlake that includes the involvement of some of Chester Mill’s police officers, firemen, and town council members. In fact, only one member chooses to stay behind in order to oversee the running of his car dealership, James “Big Jim” Rennie (Dean Norris). Police Chief Howard “Duke” Perkins (Jeff Fahey) is informed by one of his deputies, Linda Esquivel (Natalie Martinez) that the town drunk called to report hearing a loud bang. They decide to go and check it out because Duke says, “You never know with this damn place.”

As Barbie flees town, he makes a phone call that gives viewers some indication as to why he has committed a homicide. He passes Duke and Linda who call in his plate number but don’t turn around to pursue him. Barbie is so distracted, he fails to see several cows standing in the middle of the road and swerves to miss them which results in a minor accident. Barbie escapes unscathed but with a flat tire and no spare. Suddenly, there is a loud rumbling noise, the wind picks up and the ground begins to shake. The disturbance lasts less than a minute and stops. Barbie is the first to discover the invisible barricade but the extent of its size and the implications of its presence remain unknown.

The brevity of the phenomena quickly becomes apparent as cars crash at full speed into the barrier at various points around town, a plane crashes and residents realize they have no cable, cell phone service, working landlines or power, with the exception of those with emergency generators. The barrier is also completely soundproof, so nobody can hear someone standing directly on the opposite side. Radio station employee Dodee (Jolene Purdy) is able to piece together a transmission that identifies the structure as a dome.

People find themselves not only cut off from loved ones but the rest of the world. This event is most definitely bad news for the townspeople but an even worse development for those just passing through, like lesbian couple Carolyn Hill (Aisha Hinds) and Alice Calvert (Samantha Mathis) and their delinquent teenage daughter Norrie (Mackenzie Lintz).

In the midst of this chaos, there are residents who are already formulating personal agendas and uncovering family secrets. Junior’s goes completely bonkers and uses the mayhem as a cover for some sinister activities. Big Jim sees an opportunity to parlay his leadership position into one of real power, but finds he’ll have to go up against Duke if he wants to become the town’s alpha male. And, Julia realizes her physician husband has been lying to her for weeks and has now gone MIA.

The dome is an interesting mystery in and of itself especially since it appears to be causing seizure-like episodes in both Norrie and Angie’s brother Joe (Colin Ford). The idea of being without the benefits of modern technology in a society where we rely on it not just for convenience but for survival is truly frightening. There are endless logistical issues such as limited resources including air that have to be examined. But, it will be the displays of baser human instincts and emotions that will make ‘Under the Dome’ engrossing television. Toss in some nasty townies with closets ready to burst open with skeletons, and you’ve got the makings for a creepy summer addiction.

- Samantha Mathis
- Natalie Martinez
- Jeff Fahey
- Dean Norris
- Aisha Hinds
- Rachelle LeFevre
- Dale Raoul
- Mike Vogel
- Alex Koch
- Jolene Purdy
- Under the Dome

Written by: zappalicious
Jun 25th, 2013, 2:41 pm

Images courtesy of CBS

like "Last Resort&qu

Message Posted On Jul 7th, 2013, 7:09 pm
Reminds me of "Last Resort", which was cancelled after just one season. This has all the same setup, though the characters at least seem a bit more interesting. I'm hoping this doesn't get canned.

Message Posted On Jul 1st, 2013, 5:21 am
Hey Barbie do you still have that shovel can we borrow it please?

Level 1 (22%)
Since: 21/Mar/08
Message Posted On Jun 27th, 2013, 9:09 pm

I'm hooked as well, however... the whole prophecy thing kinda irks me.


Level 1 (22%)
Since: 21/Mar/08
Message Posted On Jun 27th, 2013, 9:08 pm

@Burnok: look up Stephen King The Cannibals


Message Posted On Jun 27th, 2013, 5:21 pm
There's no way to know (unless one is speaking from the experience of having read the source material, which I am not) -- perhaps parts of it randomly oscillate fairly fast...maybe not particle accelerator fast, but enough to filter air at above an everyone-is-dead-due-to-asphyxiation rate (but not other, more macro things)... As for water, if the lower dome is, in fact, low enough, that could be sufficient for the few hundred people's needs, if not full wants (they could construct reservoirs, one for drinking, separate one for sewage, and a filtration system that helps bridge/dam both). In other words, many possibilities, depending on a host of variables...

Message Posted On Jun 27th, 2013, 4:43 pm
It'll be a Ball no doubt so no getting under it. Water will be there first issue, no rain or pipes in, food and even Oxygen will be a factor pretty soon. And anyone who gets an idea of what's going on, comes to a very sudden death it seems. Aliens or Angels ( BSG style ? )
PaulMcG UK

Message Posted On Jun 27th, 2013, 11:03 am
It is a bit stereotype 'cut off' mystery like 'Harpers Island'. Each character has a secret, the mayor and the stock piled gases, the serial killer college student, the hitman who shacks up with the victim's wife. I will watch it but don't think it is going to be as cerebral ort intelligent as recent things like 'Hannibal' or 'Bates Motel'.

Level 1 (48%)
Since: 02/Apr/13
Message Posted On Jun 26th, 2013, 5:29 am

Thought this wasnt on till the autumn time? still i'll give it  alook when i can


Message Posted On Jun 26th, 2013, 2:07 am
Tunnel Under? The dome stretches miles into the sky and cuts buildings in two. Correct thinking is that the domes goes deep into the ground too. If not then sound would seep through it as well as radio waves. I just hope this turns out to be good.

Message Posted On Jun 25th, 2013, 9:07 pm
Looks like it is going to be an interesting show. I like the fish bowl idea since if people want to go lord of the flies on each other to do so while the outside world looks in on them. My mild ocd hopes the show clears up that it isn't possible to tunnel out under the dome because so for that is my biggest nit pick with the show.
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