Monday, May 12, 2014

From Page To Screen (69) Under The Dome


This week on From Page to Screen I'll be tackling Under the Dome by Stephen King.

First let's discuss the book. 
Here is a bit of back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. Under the Dome is a novel written by Author Stephen King. The book was originally published November 10, 2009 by Scribner. Under the Dome was inspired by an unfinished and unpublished King work called The Cannibals wherein an apartment complex is locked down and the residents end up resorting to cannibalism. Under the Dome released to mostly positive reviews with USA Today calling the novel "propulsively intriguing"and "staggeringly addictive".



Let's take a look at some of the characters.

Dale "Barbie" Barbara – A former Army lieutenant, Barbara became a drifter after separating from the Army. Trapped within feet of the edge of the Dome, witnessing a woodchuck cut in half by the event, Dale was attempting to flee the town after a confrontation with Junior Rennie and his friends. Dale soon becomes the U.S. government's choice to run Chester's Mill. This causes more tension among Dale, Big Jim, and Junior, causing the two to frame Dale for the murders they commit.

Julia Shumway – A cynical woman who owns and edits The Democrat, the town's local newspaper. Julia often feels the need to prove a point and expose those she sees around her. Julia becomes the conduit between Colonel Cox and Dale Barbara via her cell phone. Julia comes from a family of news executives. She was groomed early for success and was viewed by her peers as a "goody-two-shoes". A confrontation with her classmates in fourth grade caused her to rethink her status and changed the course of her academic career; however, this same confrontation is key in helping her formulate a plan to end the siege.

James "Big Jim" Rennie – A power-obsessed second selectman of Chester's Mill and owner of a used car dealership and the biggest crystal meth lab on the east coast. When Chief Perkins is killed on Dome Day, Big Jim becomes the de facto leader of the Mill. He is owed favors by virtually every person of authority in town, and controls the actions of Andy Sanders the grieving and incompetent first selectman, and Pete Randolph, the new, incompetent town police chief. His actions make him responsible for the deaths of many while Under the Dome.


Now let's discuss the show.
In case some of you aren't familiar with the TV show, here is a bit of back story. Under the Dome was developed by Brian K. Vaughn. Along with Stephen King, Steven Spielberg is among the shows Executive Producers. Under the Dome was originally meant to become a Showtime miniseries but was passed to CBS where the series was immediately ordered a 13 episode run bypassing the traditional Pilot and waiting period for new shows. Under the Dome established records for the the highest drama summer premiere on any network since 1992 and the second highest rated premiere of the 2012–13 United States network television schedule after The Following.With DVR figures added, the series premiere was viewed by a whopping total of 17.76 million viewers. The show has been renewed for a Second Season which will premier on June 30th.

Major Differences Between The Book Film
BookFilm
Barbie was a resident of Chester's Mill before Domesday. Barbie is new to town and is shown for the first time burying an unknown someday in the woods.
Big Jim is a Second Selectman. Big Jim is a Councilman.
Julia Shumway is in her 40's and has been divorced 10 years. Julia is much younger and is married. However, her husband is out of town on business. 
Junior has a brain tumor that leads him to become a sociopath. Junior is just an angry jerk.  
When the dome appears it is invisible and nobody notices it until they start crashing into it. Right before the dome appears there is an Earthquake and very strong winds. 
Linda and Rusty are married and both trapped inside the dome. Rusty is a firefighter trapped outside the dome. Linda his girlfriend is trapped inside. 
Sound can travel through the dome and people on either side can talk to each other. The dome is completely soundproof. 
The residents of Chester's Mill watch CNN at the Diner. TV signals don't work inside the dome. 
Does not exist. A local named Maxine runs a gambling event similar to Fight Club where residents gamble for necessities and other luxury items.
Julia Shumway is the Editor of The Democart. Her family has owned the paper for decades.                                  Julia Shumway is the new Editor and the Residents don't know her yet. 
Reverend Coggins has secret deals with Big Jim.Duke Perkins has deals with Big Jim. 
The Aliens who encapsulated the Town of Chester's Mill under the dome were thought to be similar to children owning an ant farm except obviously this was a human one. As of now it would seem that the Aliens who have encapsulated the town of Chester's Mill are doing it to save humanity rather than for their own amusement. .

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. I am sure I missed a few differences but considering the show is ongoing that was bound to happen anyway. So which do I prefer? While I am a big fan of Stephen King and his work, I found Under the Dome to be a bit clunky and overly long. Whereas the TV show I get to see the story in short bursts that have been tweaked to highlight the best moments by a team of writers. However, I think that this week it is a draw. While I did have issues with the book, I have issues with the show as well. Neither is perfect yet neither is bad. They both have pros and cons. Definitely read the book at least once if you haven't already. It's long but you learn quite a bit about the individual town residents that probably won't be explored in the show. On the flip side I believe you can Netflix the show so if you haven't started it yet it's worth giving it a shot at least.

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!
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Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!

Have you read the book or watched the film? 
Which did you like better? Why? 
What is your favorite quote or scene from Under The Dome?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses. Like what you see? Please share!

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