The body count is about to rise on CBS’ Under the Dome.
The summer sci-fi drama starring Dean Norris has big answers coming in its sophomore season — but they will come at a cost, showrunner Neal Baer told fans Thursday at Comic-Con.
The series, which Baer said killed off 16 characters in its debut season, will ramp up the character deaths in the back-half of its current sophomore run. “We have kept the body count down a bit at the beginning of the season so we can rev it up at the end,” he told excited fans during the show’s Ballroom 20 session.
Producers have what they call “heaven” on the ceiling of the writers room, where photos of all the characters who have come and gone are depicted, with Baer noting a “few more” will be added this season.”
While characters who make it to the show’s “heaven” may have been killed off, Baer said that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be back — which was the case with Jolene Purdy‘s Dodee, who died in season one but returned to haunt Big Jim (Norris).
“When you’re dead you’re dead, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be an avatar and come back,” he said. “There are no set rules. We said goodbye to Angie [Britt Robertson] and Linda [Natalie Martinez], but there certainly are possibilities that one of them could come back.”
Production on the series, based on Stephen King‘s book and from exec producer Steven Spielberg, recently wrapped, with one character escaping the dome before season two ends.
Fans were treated to a clip from the seventh episode of the season, which featured Mike Vogel‘s Barbie dangling precariously into the abyss before professing his love for Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) and cutting himself free in order to spare her life. (One of them will scream this.)
As for the future of the series, Baer said producers have set the show up to continue on beyond this year, with a plan for three to five seasons and an ending that leaves the door open to another run. (Under the Dome, which has seen a substantial ratings decline in its second season, is still a big hit thanks in part to DVR and CBS’ streaming deal with Amazon, which helps offset the costs of the pricey summer series.) “We have a lot of stories left to tell and we can tell them in cool ways,” Baer said.
The lighthearted panel was high on spoilers — Angie’s killer will be revealed! Big Jim will remain a psychopath! — but the real highlight was the show’s endearing cast. Stars Lefevre and Alexander Koch (Junior) both attended the panel in costume, with the former dressed as Battlestar Galactica‘s Starbuck and the latter channeling The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon, complete with crossbow and poncho.