Telly Text #18: Under The Dome + Chickens

on Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Words: Jordan Andrew

'Under The Dome'

A few months ago I was reading an article about a new TV show that had everyone in the US talking. When I saw the trailer and found out that Channel 5 had bought the rights, I knew 'Under The Dome' had found a good home. 'Under The Dome' is an American science fiction show based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Chester’s Mill in Maine is a peaceful and quiet tow - that all changes when a transparent dome crashes over the town. With no communication to the outside this town has to rely on limited radio communication and each other.

This invisible dome forces people to get to know each other and for those who are not residents of Chester’s Mill they immediately start to stick out. Dale Barbara (Mike Vogel) is the bad boy that is the talk of the town straight away. Dale is trapped in the this dome after an errand goes wrong and is forced to start building relationships with the community while keeping his true agenda a secret. One of his relationships is with the town’s journalist Julia Shumway (Rachelle Lefevre) who seems to always be snooping and digging into everyone’s business but at the same time wants to find out where her husband is.

You might be fooled into thinking Dale Barbara is the villain of this show but that crown is taken by Junior Rennie (Alexander Koch) who after breaking up with his girlfriend Angie McAlister (Britt Robertson) and seeing her flirt with Dale Barbara, Junior starts to become this wild man with evil pouring out of him. Unaware of Junior’s path of destruction is his dad and local councilman James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie (Dean Norris), who is too busy presenting himself as a leader for the community with some dirty tricks. With limited police the town’s safety is dependant on Linda Esquivel (Natalie Martinez) after a series of event she is made sheriff of Chester’s Mill. With a town full of angry people wanting out of this dome it will be a hard road of Sheriff Linda.

'Under The Dome' has to be the biggest science fiction show of the year. With the backing of Stephen King as executive producer as well as the creator of the novel, we are seeing his vision in television form. My only fear with this show is that after the fourth series would we get bored of seeing them in a dome and just hope this dome either kills them or they just escape. As long as Stephen King is a part of 'Under The Dome' I can see this show evolving each series.

Catch 'Under The Dome' every Monday at 10pm on Channel 5.


Now I have had Sky for many years and honestly I hardly ever watch Sky 1. When shows like 'Glee' and 'Lost' are bought by Sky, I generally just stop watching them. The hassle of fighting over the television is just not worth it. 'Chickens' originally started off as a pilot from Channel 4 in 2011 starring Simon Bird, Joe Thomas and Jonny Sweet. At the time I was intrigued by this show, so when I found out Sky had picked up 'Chickens' for a six-part series I knew I would be using the Sky Planner we recently brought to record some episodes.

'Chickens' is set in 1914 during the WWI where millions are men are out fighting in the war, apart from three young men in a small village called Rittle-On-Sea have stayed behind. Cecil (Bird) wanted to go to war and be seen as a hero but failed his physical examination due to having flat feet. This is a totally different story for George (Thomas) who is against the war and wants no part in the conflict. Finally there is Bert (Sweet), who does not have a clue what is going on but can worm his way out of anything, as he has no legitimate reason not to be in the war.

With most of men out fighting in the war, the women of Rittle-On-Sea are in control of this town and each episode they find new ways of humiliating the chaps. The leader of these women is Cecil’s sister Agnes (Emerald Fennell) who is the ultimate sister from hell. Agnes has all the women behind her in the campaign to torment the boys, which is a never-ending nightmare especially for Cecil as Agnes enjoys any issue to have a dig at him. Agnes only issue is the continuous flirting from Bert who is a rabbit ready to hump anything.

As I watch 'Chickens' I am still adjusting for the fact this is on Sky 1 and not one BBC 2 or Channel 4. Clearly Sky 1 is starting to research before investing in shows, as 'Chickens' is an absolute steal of a show. The witty writing from Simon Bird and Joe Thomas as well as the originality of the show makes me hope that there is a series two. We might be waiting for while though due to the recent news of a second 'Inbetweeners' movie but I can be a patient person.

Catch 'Chickens' every Thursday at 9.30pm on Sky 1.

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