Under the Dome: Stephen King Defends the TV Show's Changes

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Best-selling author Stephen King, whose novel Under the Dome has been turned into a multi-part TV epic for CBS which began last week, has written an open letter that reaches out to his fans, urging them not to get upset about changes made to the source material in order to make the TV show work. The author urged that events playing out differently in an adaptation doesn't mean they've betrayed the source material, but that they could have needed to make changes to suit the format or even just to keep audiences who have access to Wikipedia (or a copy of the novel) guessing. "Many of the changes wrought by Brian K. Vaughan and his team of writers have been of necessity, and I approved of them wholeheartedly. Some have been occasioned by their plan to keep the Dome in place over Chester's Mill for months instead of little more than a week, as is the case in the book. Other story modifications are slotting into place because the writers have completely re-imagined the source of the Dome," King wrote. "That such a re-imagining had to take place was my only serious concern when the series was still in the planning stages, and that concern was purely practical. If the solution to the mystery were the same on TV as in the book, everyone would know it in short order, which would spoil a lot of the fun (besides, plenty of readers didn't like my solution, anyway). By the same token, it would spoil things if you guys knew the arcs of the characters in advance. Some who die in the book—Angie, for instance—live in the TV version of Chester's Mill…at least for a while. And some who live in the book may not be as lucky during the run of the show. Just sayin'." This is, of course, a common conversation in this era of sequels, reboots and remakes. When The New 52 hit and most of DC's continuity was officially disavowed, Justice League International writer J.M. DeMatteis said something very similar to fans on Twitter, reminding them that if they want the old stories, all they had to do was buy and read them. Added King, "There's only one element of my novel that absolutely had to be the same in the novel and the show, and that's the Dome itself. It's best to think of that novel and what you're seeing week-to-week on CBS as a case of fraternal twins. Both started in the same creative womb, but you will be able to tell them apart. Or, if you're of a sci-fi bent, think of them as alternate versions of the same reality."