Top 5 Similarities
And Differences

Stephen King's book Under the Dome is coming to television with its own take on the story of a small town trapped by an invisible force field.

Under the Dome

It isn't hard to argue that Stephen King is one of the best — if not the best — writers of our time. So it's no surprise that the entertainment industry is grasping to get its hands on adaptations of his novels. Luckily for us, CBS was able to do just that with its new series Under the Dome, premiering June 24.

The show centers around the town of Chester's Mill that is trapped when an invisible force field lands over their small community. The story is character-driven as it follows how the people in the town respond when they are suddenly cut off from the society they've always been a part of.

Here are the top similarities and differences to anticipate between the book and the show:


1. Same Characters

The important characters (like Big Jim, Barbie and Junior) will be featured in all their glory with all their secrets. Their characters will be tweaked a little for the sake of story, of course. For example, Barbie will be introduced in the show as a drifter working for a bookie collecting debts instead of working for Rose at the restaurant.

2. Outsiders vs. In

In the small town of Chester's Mill you either conform or you want out. When the dome drops, there's a divide. The folks who have been big fish in a small pond all their lives struggle to maintain control, which leads to trouble, as you can imagine. Then, there are characters who just want out. While desperation will make anyone a little crazy, these characters are more focused on finding out why the dome appeared and getting rid of it. Though, the big fish may know more than they're letting on.

Interview with Under the Dome's Neal Baer >>

3. A Parable for the Times

King wrote the book as a parable for current times, and the show is sticking to the theme. Obviously, a giant dome trapping a small town is an exaggerated reality, but not as far from the truth as it seems. Our country is, after all, facing dwindling resources and changing times.

4. Character-Driven

Just like the book, the show will focus on the characters, and the secrets they have. Each episode will showcase different characters and their responses to being trapped under the dome.

5. Stephen King Is on Board

The author has been there through every step of the creative process. It has even been hinted that King might write an episode if the show comes back for a second season. We can only hope.

Curl up with these Stephen King classics >>

Angie in Under the Dome


1. New Faces

The show will be adding a new character named Maxine (played by The Following's Natalie Zea). She will have a surprising connection to at least one other character trapped under the dome.

2. Not as Violent

If you've read the book, you know that about the first 50 pages simply deal with the unfortunate souls who happen to be at the town line when the dome falls. It doesn't end well for any of them, and Stephen King gives each of these deaths a perfect description. Expect the series to be violent, but not violent for the sake of violence. It is broadcast network, after all.

CBS orders 13 episodes of Stephen King's Under the Dome >>

3. Angie

In the book, Angie is only in the first few pages. The show has expanded her character, however, and she will be featured as a character in the series played by Britt Robertson.

4. Plot Twists

Executive producer Neal Baer told SheKnows that even if you are a die-hard fan, you won't know everything that's going to happen.

5. Weeks Beyond the Book

The show, with King's blessing, is expanding on the time line in the book, which means the show will be coming up with its own secrets for characters, too.

Images courtesy of CBS


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Comments on "Under the Dome : Book vs. show"

April Truelove September 25, 2013 | 11:20 AM

My hubby and I = Diehard fans of SK. Loved the book, not sure WHY they changed it so much..e on SK, your loyal fans like YOUR work, not the warm and fuzzy remake of Junior for gosh sakes. Lucky we are catchin up on Amazon instant or we would definitely watch something else. :( sad

Matt August 29, 2013 | 9:44 AM

It's not so much that it's different from the book, but it's really, really different and for no reason. Not only that, it's just plain not that good. Are we watching Smallville? Seriously, a fight club? The show is just so generic, and borrows too much from other far superior survival shows like Lost and Battlestar.

vrae August 13, 2013 | 8:57 PM

I too was upset at first because the book was amazing, but after saying at least a million times "that isn't how it was in the book," I decided to watch it with out comparing them. I see that Manny characters had to be stretched and molded to fit a"series" the only way to remain true to book would have been too make it a mini series.

Amanda August 13, 2013 | 11:39 AM

Loved Loved Loved the book and was super excited for the show. I even said when I finished reading the book "Wow, that would make a great movie". The more I watch it though it becomes more confusing. You have in your mind the characters and the order of events and now they are changed. Stephen King usually stays so true to his story line when books cross over to movies or series. I find myself saying more and more "that is not how that happened". It is low key compared to the book. I will watch to see how it all turns out, but the book was so much better! Stay true to your characters and story line Mr.King. Its that thrill we all love :).

Craig August 11, 2013 | 12:02 PM

Absolutely love the Series on TV. Read the book after watching the first 4 episodes. Yes there are differences, but I find the TV show to be absolutely great even though it doesn't follow the page by page details of the book. Once I started the 1355 pages of the book I couldn't put it down. Watching the TV show is now going to be like watching a movie with alternative ending. I am going to get the best of both worlds. I would like to hear from the TV execs why they chose to drift from some of the themes of the book in a short clip at the end of the TV show. If it goes two seasons I bet the things that Stephen King cut from the book to make the final draft get into the TV show. Now that would be interesting also. His mind is freakishly good at this sort of thing. I wish the TV show would be two hours a week instead of 1 and on an hour earlier. Way to go Mr King. A Fan of your book and the TV show!

Carole August 06, 2013 | 7:59 PM

I think this tv series is wonderful. I have read several books and watched the tv shows and they are all different. I will be watching every episode.

S.D. August 03, 2013 | 10:25 AM

I had not read the book but after watching for two weeks I sensed all was not right with the TV version. I checked the book out of the library and started reading. A few pages in Angie is killed, Barbie is not passing though but lives and works there and people on each side of the dome can hear and talk to each other! I have seen many books made into movies that strayed a bit from the story line but this is a butcher job at best. Stephen King, why would go along with this?

Phyllis July 29, 2013 | 3:04 PM

Loved the book, and am watching the show. I have decided that since it is so drastically different from the book, it is like watching a "new" show that I know nothing about yet. there were enough good characters in the book. Why have new ones? My hubby has not read the book and he likes the tv show so far. I do wish someone (and that includes you Stephen King) would do an adaptation of one of his books that is as good as the book. (I almost dread to see what they would do to "11/2/63".)

mars July 14, 2013 | 5:36 AM

Of all of your works, singularly, "Desperation" was my favorite. Don't go out like this, and don't believe that you won't. The under the dome series is a throat cutter, it is beneath you. I have loved what you've done so far. This is a faltering, gut wrenching swan song; shut it down. Sadly I'll keep watching, and continue to shake my head. What the hell is the point of this?

james June 25, 2013 | 7:40 AM

Come on people, it wasnt THAT bad. dont get me wrong, the book definitely started out way stronger, but lets not judge based on 1 episode. Besides, the ending of the book was Hopefully the writers will give the story more justice towards the end.

waldoe June 25, 2013 | 7:01 AM

I loved the book, hate the show. Will not be watching again, as stated above, there are no excuses

S.F. June 25, 2013 | 5:51 AM

What a huge disappointment. Could anything have been changed more from the book? Very upsetting from the first few minutes of the show. Shame on you Stephen King. I will not be watching the rest of the episodes.

kirk conrad June 24, 2013 | 10:12 PM

I doubt I'll be watching any future episodes. This is so far off the book, this great book that its not worth watching. The really sad thing is theres no excuses. Stephen King is the executive producer.

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