Under the Dome season 3 looks inward, focusing on characters rather than chaos

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18 June 2015

CBS, Thursday, June 25, 9:00 PM ET

By Jacqueline Cutler

The fiercest enemy happens to be trapped with everyone else under “The Dome” — which we’ll learn when Season 3 of the CBS summer dram begins with a two-hour premiere Thursday.

“This season we concentrate on the enemy within,” says Mike Vogel, who plays the intrepid Barbie. “Circumstances have happened to [the residents of] Chester’s Mill. There has been an enemy within and we spend the season addressing that sort of thing that has become pervasive.”

Vogel is excited that the show is heading in a new direction with new cast members Marg Helgenberger and Kylie Bunbury and a new showrunner. “Tim Schlattmann is coming to us from ‘Dexter’ and helping to run our show,” Vogel says. “And he brings with him a lot more of that cable mind and deep sci-fi history. Last year was interesting. We got locked up in a lot of calamities and disasters. And this year we certainly take the sci-fi much further than we were able to address in the last two years.”

Considering what the poor folks of Chester’s Mill have endured, it would seem nuclear plagues would have to visit them for situations to deteriorate. Just how many threats can they survive?

“How many seasons can we do?” Vogel responds. “Arguably every show goes through a difficult sophomore year, trying to figure out what it is. And inherent in that is that TV has certain formulas and cable has broken a lot of those formulas. For us, it has been very much about that in the second season. We are going to run a lot of calamity this year, but we are also getting back into these characters.

“We introduce some fun, realistic twists to this year,” he continues. “And now we are letting the characters become the obstacle, the characters become the calamity, and not dropping the ball that you are stuck under a dome. There are food shortages and housing shortages.”

Vogel appreciates that the summer serial is unlike CBS’ usuBBal procedurals. “I do think this year will be a litmus test,” he says. “The ideas we have, if we get to carry them out, is kind of what we want in the summer — provide the cliffhangers and consum some popcorn for an hour on a weeknight.”
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