Under the Dome producer talks Stephen King's involvement, the dome's new powers

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May 28, 2014, 6:27 PM EDT (Updated)

The second season of CBS’s Under the Dome is set to debut on June 30, and the writers promise the little bubble town will be getting a lot crazier in year two.

Producer Neal Baer conducted an extensive interview with Collider in which he touched on the new powers the dome will display and how some new characters will mix things up in the new batch of episodes. Check out an excerpt below, where he also notes Stephen King’s involvement in getting the new year started with a bang:

“Well, I’m glad you brought up the book because Stephen King wrote the first episode, so he’s certifying that he is very much involved in this show. The book is there for those who want to read it, if they haven’t, at this point.  But, we are way past the book. The book is really only about the first week under the Dome, and we are already two weeks in. This season, we will be going for two more weeks. We really go day-by-day under the Dome. If we lasted 15 years, that would really only be a year under the Dome. So, I think it’s certainly possible to keep going because we have so many stories to tell.  

We have new characters, as well, who shake things up. We’ve got Eddie Cahill coming on as San Verdreaux, who is Big Jim’s brother-in-law.  He has been a recluse for the 10 years since his sister died, and was an alcoholic. We have Karla Crome coming on as Rebecca Pine, who is a school teacher. We are really getting into the science versus faith elements this season.  Rebecca represents scientific explanations for what’s going on, versus Rachelle’s character, Julia, who is really much more about faith. And Big Jim is in the middle, trying to figure it out.  We have Grace Victoria Cox, who is the young woman that Julia pulls out of the water.  She is a pivotal character whose connection will be revealed. And we have Sherry Stringfield, my dear friend who I worked with on ER. We have a reunion this season because Eric LaSalle will be directing Sherry in Episode 10. We are excited about that. So, Stephen writing the episode is really sending us off into a place that he feels really proud of and really loves. It’s his ideas of how to go beyond the book. It’s really special for us to have Stephen launch us this season.”

Along with all the new characters —which is admittedly a bit strange, considering the town has been sealed since the start — Baer also noted the dome will be cranking up the craziness itself by displaying some advanced powers:

“It’s certainly magnetic. We just love the butterfly metaphor. This is a season that’s almost about impending ecological disaster. That magnetism has caused many things to happen. So, you will be seeing, in the early episodes, our characters, and particularly Big Jim, confronting the almost Biblical problems of pestilence and bloody rain. Our characters haven’t been the stewards that maybe they should be, protecting the land and protecting each other. They have a lot to learn this year, and I guess the Dome is teaching them. That’s what Julia keeps talking about. We have to understand the message that the Dome is trying to give us, and what it is trying to teach us.”

The first season was a bit rocky at times, but the concept is still a fantastic one. Here’s hoping they can get the thing firing on all cylinders this time around.

(Via Collider)

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