There are times when Stephen King novels work on both big and small screens. The author admitted that "Shawshank Redemption," "Misery," "Stand By Me," "The Mist," "Cujo" and "Storm of the Century" are his favourite adaptations, but cringed to reporters he met with in Wilmington, N.C., when "Maximum Overdrive" was mentioned (he even covered his face in not-so-pretend shame when the 1986 movie -- based on his '73 short story "Trucks" -- is applauded by some of the lucky residents of the coastal town who attended the red-carpet premiere).
That's because "Maximum Overdrive" (somewhere, King is shuddering) was filmed in Wilmington, as is his latest offering, "Under the Dome." But King "is comfortable" with what's being done to it because it works well as both a miniseries and a long-running drama, even calling the cast the best he's ever worked with. A bold statement coming from the writing legend, but the CBS and Global show, which was developed for TV by Brian K. Vaughan ("Lost"), definitely lives up to its promise. It will freak your freak -- in a good way. "Under the Dome," which counts Vaughan, fellow "Lost" alum Jack Bender, Neal Baer ("Law & Order: SVU") and Steven Spielberg among its executive producers, is not only one of the best suspense series around, but it remains mysterious because even if you've read the 1,074-page tome, it's very different than what will be unveiled on-screen.
If you don't know what "Under the Dome" is about, then, well, have you been living under a dome? Nutshell: the sleepy town of Chester's Mill is enclosed by an invisible, energized dome separating itself from the rest of society. It raises many questions, first and foremost -- why? Is it a social experiment? Something more alien? Whatever it is, the dome dropped on the right village, because what happens becomes a certain kind of hell for those trapped inside. Not only because they're left with meager resources, but those who are cut off from the world are no longer innocent townsfolk. They've got secrets -- and when those secrets start catching up to them, things get creepy (well, creepier) under there.
What will happen to those stuck under the dome? I'll let them answer that question. I got a chance to chat with some of the cast on the set (the Sweetbriar Rose diner, to be specific) and the actors had just wrapped the ninth episode of the 13-episode order. Many of the characters have different fates than the ones in the book, but it's safe to say that no one is safe in Chester's Mill. (Insert maniacal laugh here.)
"Under the Dome" premieres Monday, June 24 at 10 p.m. ET on Global and CBS.
Get To Know The "Under The Dome" Characters: