If you didn’t notice from last season’s third season premiere, CBS’s “Under The Dome“has changed things up in a big way.
New faces in Marg Helgenberger and Eriq La Salle as well as new complications that arose once our Chester’s Mill residents broke out of the pods they had been put in. And like any good drama, as some questions were answered, more questions arose and that’s what Season 3 looks to be all about.
And while the show isn’t going to go down as one of the gayer shows in the history of television, Carolyn (played by Aisha Hinds) is still is still here and I had to ask out executive producer Neal Baer about her future on the show. Will she see some action? Will she get more involved? Will she find a cold drink at the gay bar we didn’t know existed?
Baer, who last year came out of the closet, is not only busy with the show but also is releasing his latest novel with Jonathan Greene, “Kill Again,” a sequel to their earlier novel “Kill Switch” featuring the character of forensic Claire Waters. The novel, just released, is available on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.
Let’s check in to see what all the changes to “Under The Dome” means and see if I could find out what Baer has in store for Carolyn this summer.
In the broad sense, why was this the right time to really answer a lot of the big questions that we’ve had since the show started?
Neal Baer: I think the audience was really wondering. We were able, for the first two years, to explore what life was like under the dome but now I felt it was time to answer some of the questions and seeing how those answers affected our characters. By bringing in Marg Helgenberger and, ultimately, Eriq La Salle’s characters, we’ll be able to do that in a way that I think will be very satisfying for the audience. We get to know our characters ever better so it will be fun.
What were some of the challenges in crafting the new season now that things have changed?
NB: We just really wanted to understand why the dome was there and what was behind it being there. We really wanted to create an approach for getting to know our characters even better and putting them into some interesting situations so we really looked at human emotions as the driving force. Each one of the characters has an Achilles heel. With Joe, it’s his grief over Angie, with Sam, it’s his shame for killing Angie, for Barbie, it’s love for Julia and these are their Achilles heels and we really explore what it means to be human and does our human nature preclude really working together as a group.
As far as Marg and Eriq, did the characters come first or the actors?
NB: For Marg’s character, we always had Marg in mind. I had worked with her on “China Beach” and “ER” and we wanted a very strong, wonderful actor to play the pivotal role of Christine Price, who holds the answer to why the dome came down. We called the character Marg knowing we probably wouldn’t be able to get her. We laughed when we got her and we changed the name to Christine as homage to Stephen King [and his 1983 novel]. She was our first choice.
As for Hektor, we were just thinking of who we wanted to cast and Eriq was coming on to direct. He had done 'A Gifted Man' with me as well so I said 'What about being an actor on the show? Do you want to act again?' and he said, 'Yeah!' I said, 'Well, we have a really interesting part because who you think he is is not who he is. He'll have very many levels.' And I told him we meet him in episode 2 and don't see him again until episode 10.
Talking about Marg and her character, I'm so used to seeing her as essentially a good guy and in this she's definitely more villainous. Did she surprise you with what she did?
NB: No, because I know what a great actor she is!
How much is everyone's life going to change? Will the show feel different since things have changed?
NB: The enemy was the dome or not the dome and there are also new alliances…of all the people that Julia could become allies with, she becomes allies with Big Jim as you saw in the first two hours. They’re the only two that are left…they get thrown together and have to figure it out.
And then Barbie, after being madly in love with Julia and thinking she's dead when he's cocooned, he falls in love with Eva, which is a part of the plan of the dome…now Barbie is in love with two women. What's he going to do?!
Is Carolyn getting a new love interest or at least see some action?
NB: She is definitely going to get some action but I won’t say in what way but we will definitely see Carolyn this year. You will see some surprising things in store for Carolyn.
“Under The Dome” airs Thursdays at 10pm on CBS.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.