Stephen King is used to watching other people tinker with his work.
Dozens of films, TV movies and miniseries have been adapted from the horror master's massive body of work over the years, and while he's had a direct hand in some, he's been left to (mostly) sit back and watch other people work on the rest. Such is the case with Under the Dome, the 13-episode adaptation of King's enormous novel that started airing this week on CBS. Series developer Brian K. Vaughan has made no secret of his intentions to tweak the story, and has even said that King was actually excited by some of his proposed changes. But what does King really think?
In a letter posted to his website, King confirmed that he "wholeheartedly" approved of Vaughan's changes to the story (which include tweaks to the timeline, character changes and more), in part because -- much like Robert Kirkman and The Walking Dead -- he wanted to preserve a sense of surprise for viewers who already thought they knew the series outcome after having read the book.
"That such a re-imagining had to take place was my only serious concern when the series was still in the planning stages, and that concern was purely practical," King wrote. "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 (besides, plenty of readers didn’t like my solution, anyway)."
So, if you're not happy with the changes to the show, King suggests you view it not as a direct translation of the book, but as more of a sibling.
"There’s only one element of my novel that absolutely had to be the same in the novel and the show, and that’s the Dome itself. It’s best to think of that novel and what you’re seeing week-to-week on CBS as a case of fraternal twins. Both started in the same creative womb, but you will be able to tell them apart. Or, if you’re of a sci-fi bent, think of them as alternate versions of the same reality."
You can read the full (spoiler-ridden) letter from King HERE. What do you think? Were you OK with the changes made to the novel so far? Will you keep watching Under the Dome?