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CBS series proves there’s no place like ‘Dome’

CBS promises that much will be resolved in Season 3 of the sci-fi drama “Under the Dome,” including what the dome is, what its purpose is, and what it wants.

But ask cast members of the series that returns Thursday with a two-hour season premiere, what any of that might mean and they struggle in formulating their replies.

“Sorry, I’m still adjusting to being on a show that has spoilers,” said Eddie Cahill, who begins his second season as troubled EMT Sam Verdreaux, “so every time I want to say something I feel like I come up against a roadblock.”

“So much is revealed in the two-hour premiere,” added Mike Vogel, who plays Dale “Barbie” Barbara, the visitor-turned-prisoner of the dome and Chester’s Mill, Maine, “but it’s so different from anything we’ve done that if I were to talk about it, it completely blows the cover on it. And I wish we were talking after the premiere because there’s so much more I could say.”

What is known is that much of the main cast is back, including Vogel, Cahill, Rachelle Lefevre as investigative reporter Julia Shumway, Dean Norris as Big Jim Rennie and Colin Ford as Joe McAlister, a teenager separated from his parents by the dome.

New to the cast is Marg Helgenberger (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) as Christine Price, an anthropologist studying the dome; Eriq La Salle (“ER”) as Hektor Martin, a ruthless CEO of an energy company run by Barbie’s father; and Kylie Bunbury as Eva, a woman who comes to Chester’s Mill looking for the all-powerful egg.

“Barbie and Julia’s relationship gets tested big time by the addition of Kylie Bunbury to the cast,” Vogel said, “and the way that we get into it is very organic. It’s not a forced love triangle. It’s really, really interesting.

“Everything that’s happening this year, it sort of splits up and pits two forces against one another. And the force, which Marg Helgenberger’s character is bringing … we find out she may or may not be who she says and that all of us are here for a reason and that this ordeal we go through is bringing out the worst things in people … . And some people are affected by that and some are resistant to that, and it sets up these two interesting, opposing forces.”

Some people are still living outside the dome as the season opens – or so they think – and both men say the storylines will be more character-driven and that the overarching theme will be the enemy within.

“I guess the essential drama is it’s the difference between the good of the individual versus the good of the group, and just people’s take on that,” Cahill said.

“What if the worst thing that could happen is stuck inside this dome with you that you can’t get out of, and we spend so much time trying to get out of it?” Vogel said. “So yeah, there’s a lot of fun stuff to play with.”