As one of the most heavily adapted authors on the planet, it isn’t surprising that the quality of the many movies and TV shows based on the works of Stephen King have been wildly inconsistent over the decades. For every Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me or The Shining there’s a Dreamcatcher, The Dark Tower or Bag of Bones.
For the most part, King’s novels and short stories have fared much better on the small screen, at least when there hasn’t already been a great movie made out of the source material. For instance, a lot of people might not even be aware that The Shining and Carrie were the subjects of TV shows, which is probably for the best. However, the likes of 11.22.63, Mr. Mercedes and The Outsider have all been solid at the very least.
One of the more forgotten efforts, though, was Under the Dome, the big budget adaptation of King’s 2009 novel created by comic book writer Brian K. Vaughn and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The show ran for three seasons and received decent enough reviews, but shed over seven million viewers between the first and last episodes.
In a recent interview, King admitted that Under the Dome started to go off the rails once the storyline began deviating drastically from the book, to the point where it became unrealistic, saying:
“Under the Dome was one I felt like went entirely off the rails because the people are doing things that don’t seem realistic. One thing that killed me was you never hear the sound of a generator anywhere. The electric power is fine. Everything looks clean. Everything is great, except that they’re cut off from the world. And that isn’t what would happen.”
Of course, it didn’t help that Under the Dome arrived after The Simpsons Movie had put Springfield in a similar predicament, and the serious sci-fi show couldn’t help but invite comparisons to the adventures of Homer and his family, which clearly wasn’t what CBS had in mind when they first gave the green light to the ambitious and expensive series.