July 01, 2013 2:03pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Stephen King to 'Under the Dome' Critics: Just Relax
Stephen King has a message for all of the readers out there who watched last week's premiere of CBS' adaptation of his novel Under The Dome: Just sit back and relax.
Responding to complaints from those who weren't happy at some of the changes creator Brian K. Vaughan and his team made in translating the story into a television series, King invoked novelist James M. Cain, writing on his website that "if you loved the book when you first read it, it’s still there for your perusal."
"Many of the changes wrought by Brian K. Vaughan and his team of writers have been of necessity, and I approved of them wholeheartedly," he continued. "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."
Yes, that's right; in trying to allay complaints about differences between versions of the story, King has only revealed that there's far more upset for purists on the way. "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," he explained, adding "(Besides, plenty of readers didn’t like my solution, anyway)."
Take that, people who immediately went to Wikipedia to try and find out what the deal was with the dome in the first place after watching that first episode last week (Not that I indulged in what would have turned out to be such a pointless waste of time, of course).
Prior to the premiere of the show, producers had been open about the changes they had made to the story in bringing it to television. "[The series] goes beyond several weeks of the book, and we provide and create new stories," showrunner Neal Baer told reporters, with Vaughan likening the show's approach to its source material to AMC's The Walking Dead. "It's the same Chester's Mill and same characters, but we take them to new and unexpected places," he said, pointing out that the show was still "very faithful to the themes that King put forward" in the original book.
Of course, King fans should be used to these kinds of changes when it comes to television series based on his work already. After all, we're three seasons into Syfy's Haven by this point, and that show's connection to its source material, King's novella The Colorado Kid, gets ever more tenuous with every single episode. It's almost as if books exist for some other purpose than allowing people to get a jump on what's going to happen next on their favorite TV shows or something.