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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Under the Dome 1.6: Sentient Biosphere

Biosphere 2 operated as a closed nearly self-sufficient bio-system in Arizona from 1991 to 1993.  (I knew one of its advisers, Carl Hodges).  It was designed as an experiment, to see if humans could survive a long trip through deep space, not in suspended animation but fully alive, awake, and kicking. In Arizona, fluctuations in CO2 and insect pests forced the project to end, and switch to an open research center, which is how it still operates today.

In Under the Dome 1.6, we find that the dome has biospheric properties.   But not only is it a closed system, it is closed system that protects its inhabitants.   Last week, the dome shielded the people of Chester Mills from a deadly bomb attack unleashed by our own military.  Tonight, the dome brought rain - the condensed, naturally purified vapor and clouds arising from the town's methane-polluted lake - which helps the town survive again.  The dome protects its own.

It's facets like this that make Under the Dome not only exciting but intelligent, well-conceived science fiction.

Meanwhile, the characters and their relationships continue to develop.  Angie, who seems to have a penchant for running from the frying pan into the fire, may have finally found an unlikely protector in Big Jim, her kidnapper's father.   Julia and Barbie finally kiss.   And Joe and MacKenzie are beginning to comprehend the extent of their electromagnetically kinetic powers.

Lots of questions still to be answered.   Lots of slightly essential characters left to fall victim.  Lots of good summer television viewing ahead in Under the Dome.


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