Domed Hometown

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A town enclosed under a dome.

Features seem to include letting everyone on the outside go to hell, being a paranoid City in a Bottle, and ending up as a doomed domed hometown.

Fairly traditional for underwater cities or space colonies in SF.

Sub-Trope of Wall Around the World

...Not to be confused with Doomed Hometown

Examples of Domed Hometown include:

Anime and Manga

  • Paradigm City (of The Big O) isn't completely domed, but the domes are where the rich people live.
    • However, it is strongly implied that the rest of the city is under a dome too, just a dome so large that they don't know it's there.
  • Domed and apparently doomed: most (if not all) of the cities of Ergo Proxy.
  • Tokyo Jupiter in RahXephon

Comic Books

  • Supergirl: Two versions of Argo City, one on either side of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The second one turned out to be overrun by Aliens when Superman found it, and wasn't really from Krypton after all.
  • Superman: Kandor.
    • In Pre Crisis Superman comics, Lori Lemaris's Atlantis survived its sinking with a giant dome. They later removed the dome after biologically changing themselves into merpeople to survive underwater.
  • The city Anvard in Carla Speed McNeil's Finder.
  • Recently Sonic the Hedgehog is given this in New Mobotropolis. A friendly AI controlled city with a retractable dome that is quite good at keeping people out. (Expect when it isn't)


  • The city in the movie version of Logan's Run.
    • The book version had people (and cities, etc) all over the Earth, with no domes.
  • The Mars colony in Total Recall.
  • The town where most of the action takes place in The Truman Show, though the main character doesn't realize it.
  • The enclave in Zardoz.
  • The City in Final Fantasy the Spirits Within.
  • The film version of Battlefield Earth has a flattened and angular "dome" over the Psychlos' Denver base, which is used to maintain a breathable atmosphere for the Psychlos.


  • In Night's Dawn, all the cities on Earth are under giant domes, to protect them from the armada storms that rage across the planet. Before the domes were built, a farmer's pickup truck was found in New York City - in floor seventy of the Sears Tower.
  • Isaac Asimov had two planets with the populations living in sealed cities: Trantor in The Psychohistorians and Earth in The Caves of Steel. In both cases, the inhabitants developed a neurosis about the open air.
    • The underground cities of Earth were built to be armored against nuclear bombs. Trantor's evolvement into a planet-wide city took a thousand years as the center of a galactic empire.
  • David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series provides an example of this, with seven enormous domed cities housing 36 billion people.
  • Bujold's Vorkosigan books features two fairly important planets whose entire population is contained by these due to in-progress terraforming; Beta Colony (the homeworld of Miles Vorkosigan's mother), and Komarr (annexed by Barrayar a generation ago lest it gets bribed or strongarmed into permitting another invasion). The technological and social implications are rather well discussed.
    • The Cetagandans in the novels also use "force domes", but they can be switched on and off, and are used for temporary containment (prison camp) or just as security perimeters (the Celestial Garden). It's also possible to control the weather within the dome, which ensures the Emperor in the Celestial Garden doesn't get rained on.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars.
  • Featured in the teen dystopian novel Devil On My Back by Monica Hughes.
  • Some cities in Red Mars are in tents (some of which are dome-shaped), supported by the higher air pressure inside.
  • A dome covers the public eating area in the Kim Newman short story "Tomorrow Town". Like everything else in the Zeerust "community of the future", it is somewhat impractical.
  • Much of the action in William Gibson's "Sprawl" novels and short-stories takes place in the wholly or partially domed Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis mega-city.
  • In John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar the island of Manhattan has been enclosed in a "Fuller Dome" (See Real Life section below). It went into some detail about the negative effects of doming a city.
  • Stephen King's novel Under the Dome deals with a small town in Maine that is quite suddenly, and unexpectedly, placed... well, guess.
  • In the "Revelation Space" novels by Alastair Reynolds, Chasm City and Cuvier are initially built under domes.
  • In Gone (novel), a dome appears over Perdido Beach (actually, in a 10-mile radius around the nearby nuclear power plant) at the same time everyone older than 14 disappears.
  • The idea is Older Than Radio, appearing in the 1881 socialist and white supremacist fantasy Three Hundred Years Hence by British author William Delisle Hay. Hay's book describes a future civilization where most of humanity lives in glass-domed cities beneath the sea, allowing the surface to be used primarily for agriculture.
  • Steven Millhauser has an odd little short story called "The Dome" where he describes a world where first domes were built over individual houses, to protect them from weather, burglars, etc, then neighborhoods became domed, then entire cities, and finally the entire world was encased in a giant dome.
  • Grayson, in the Honor Harrington series, developed these as a means of controlling the planet's high concentration of heavy metals. Given their limited tech base, these domes weren't all that large until allying with Manticore introduced them to crystoplast.
  • In Stephen Baxter's The Time Ships, London (and most surviving cities) are domed with concrete as protection against the bombs of an artificially-prolonged World War I. The dome gets broken while we watch.
  • In the Adept novels by Piers Anthony, the inhabitants of Proton live in domed communities because the mining of protonite has ravaged the planet's ecology, rendering its atmosphere toxic.
  • The alien Masters in The Tripods use domes to recreate their home planet's atmosphere.
  • A domed city within a city appears in Perdido Street Station, as the cactacea of New Crobuzon built themselves a gigantic greenhouse to live in.
  • James Blish created not only domed cities out of familiar earth cities like Pittsburgh and New York but they travelled through space looking for work in his "Cities in Flight". The domes and the motive force for taversing the stars were created by enormously powerful machines he called "spindizzies"
  • The island of the Skeezers in Glinda of Oz is covered by a glass dome, and can be magically lowered beneath the surface of the lake so that it becomes an Underwater City.

Live Action TV

  • New Chicago in the Buck Rogers TV series.
  • The Citadel of the Time Lords in Doctor Who, on Gallifrey. Notable in that it seems the dome is just there to look pretty.
  • Corinth in Power Rangers RPM, as befitting of a "last bastion of humanity in a world ruled by robots" setting.
    • Honorable mention goes to Terra Venture of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, which was of course covered by a dome because it was a colony ship designed to take a city of people to another planet.
  • Stargate SG-1, "Beneath the Surface" and "Revisions". Each with a dark secret. Not to mention Atlantis from Stargate Atlantis, at least under the Ancients when they had the power to maintain the shield.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series. In the first pilot ("The Cage"), when the Talosians give Captain Pike the illusion of being back on Earth, a matte-painted domed city (Mojave, California) is seen in the background.
  • Blakes Seven sets most of its first episode in one.
  • Babylon 5: a love affair with Domed Hometown if there ever was one. Earthdome, capital of the Earth Alliance, is Geneva under a dome or series of domes. Marsdome and other Mars cities are under domes. The science base studying the Shadow vessel on Ganymede featured a large dome under which the ship was kept and which shattered when it took off. The "capital city" of the Shadows on Z'Ha'Dum was underground and featured a large dome.
  • Troy in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica was this according to a deleted scene. The mining accident on Troy was a massive explosion that caused the dome to collapse.
  • The Silver Millennium is reimagined as one of these in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, while the rest of the Moon at that time had the barren surface we know.

Tabletop Games

  • Alpha Complex in Paranoia. Unless it's actually an Elaborate Underground Base; only Friend Computer knows for sure!
  • Aquas, an undersea version, is one of the quirkier outposts of the Alphatian Empire in the Mystara D&D setting. After the Alphatian mainland sinks in the Wrath of the Immortals Adventure Path, Aquas becomes the new capital of what's left of the Empire. At least, what's left on the outer world.
  • In BattleTech background material there's mention of worlds where at least some of the population lives in underwater dome cities.
  • In the Planescape setting, there's the City of Glass on the Elemental Plane of Water. The name is kind of a misnomer. Most of it is actually made of a rare substance called Eternal Ice (which is ice that does not melt) with a glass dome over it. It is populated by a variety of races, both native to the Plane and immigrants from elsewhere.
  • Stars Without Number has "Bubble Cities" as one of World Tags.

Whether due to a lack of atmosphere or an uninhabitable climate, the world’s cities exist within domes or pressurized buildings. In such sealed environments, techniques of surveillance and control can grow baroque and extreme.

Video Games

  • The apocalyptic future in Chrono Trigger. Though technically, they had the domes pre-apocalypse.
  • Parts of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII; Sector 7 is the "Domed and Doomed" variant, as the baddies try to drop that part on the heroes. While they miss the PCs, in the process they kill everyone there, including three members of La Résistance.
  • The guild of glass makers in the adventure game Loom live in one of these. Made of glass, natch.
  • All bases (cities) in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Justified because Planet's atmosphere is toxic to humans. A particularly dome-happy faction are the pirates, but they build floating bases on oceans. Another point is that sea bases come with a specific structure for free, the Pressure Dome, which is meant to protect against possible submersion (and also works as a Recycling Tanks facility).
  • In Spore if you place a colony on a planet with poor atmosphere then it'll generate a domed shield to protect its inhabitants.
  • In Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2, humans who don't want to get turned to stone by the corrupted data coming from the Sun have two choices: live in these, or become man-eating demons.
  • Major plot twist in Custom Robo (for the Nintendo Gamecube, not the original Japanese game). The main cast is revealed to have been living in a blissful artificial town surrounded by and protected from the devastation and decay of the real world. Even nature as we know it no longer exists, and grass and trees are manmade.
  • Atlantis in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is an Underwater Base that happens to be an Advanced Ancient Acropolis which sank into the ocean, protected by machines powered by stone-age Orichalcum. It's thoroughly Ragnarok-proofed despite sitting on a volcano.
  • Ciel Shelter, the first town in Wild ARMs 4, fits this to a tee. The generator keeping the town floating in the sky is damaged, however, and the entire dome falls into the sea.
  • In G-Police the various sections of Earth's colony on the Jovian moon Calliso are contained within domes to contain a breathable atmosphere. The domes appear to be made of a mesh of laser beams but they make a metalic clanging sound if they are rammed. In one mission some terrorists hijack a train-load of bombs and attempt to detonate them in one of the tunnels that connect these domes in an attempt to fracture them.

Web Comics

  • Broken Space begins in the domed city of Hentune.
  • In Heartcore, humans live in cities encased in domes to protect them from an environment too hostile for them to survive in.
  • Girl Genius has the entire England sunk, so that only tall hills and towers stick above water, thus inhabited places are all made of domes and tubes.

Western Animation

  • The city of Amity Park in the Twenty Minutes Into the Future Danny Phantom Movie "The Ultimate Enemy", where it has been domed to protect it from ghosts attacks. (Specifically from Dark Danny).
    • There's also the implication that the rest of the world has been razed by Dark Danny.
  • The dome over Springfield in the quote from The Simpsons Movie is a slight reversal; it's there to let Springfield go to hell and spare the outside world.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle once visited Submerbia, an underwater domed city that was menaced by Maybe Dick, the Wailing Whale.

Real Life

  • In 1979-80 the town planners of Winooski, Vermont seriously proposed building a dome over 850 acres of the downtown (the whole town is 1 square mile in area). Years later, the long-forgotten proposal showed up, described as having been built, in a Chinese Middle School textbook.
  • Buckminster Fuller famously advocated that large areas, including cities, should be enclosed in the geodesic "Fuller" domes with which his name is always associated, although he did not in fact invent them. He pointed out that the hot air rising from a typical city would be sufficient to support the dome like an inflated balloon.
  • Frédéric Bastiat, a 19th century Deadpan Snarker economist, in his satirical "Candlemakers Petition", suggested that the government should build domes around cities, to protect candlemakers (and industries that are involved in candlemaking) from "harmful" competition from the Sun. This was a Take That against protectionists who argued that importation of foreign goods ought to be restricted.
  • The Habitat and Biosphere 2 projects, in which researchers were attempting to live in a self-contained environment (to see what sort of problems they might run into if they built similar structures in, say, outer space). Results were rather poor. This was unfortunate for prospects of space travel, naturally.
  • Walt Disney's original 1966 plan for Epcot, which could be best described as "Midgar under a giant polymer dome."
  • An idea to build a domed city in Alaska, to be called "Seward's Success", was (unsurprisingly) never built.