Friday, May 13, 2011

FALLING SKIES - Aliens invade Sunday, June 19th

TNT's new show Falling Skies airs Sunday June 19th at 9pm. I watched the two-hour pilot and the second episode, so I can give you the scoop. A dirty job… ☺ The opening explains that "they", meaning the aliens, came and blew up Earth's major cities, our ships and defenses. Now their clean-up crews have landed and are killing humans on sight – except for the teenagers. They are fitted with an organic "harness" that turns them into mindless drones for the aliens.

The aliens look like large (twice the size of a human), multi-legged bugs. Their head look like a cross between that of the predator and the alien from the movies of those names.

A very poignant scene has Tom Mason's son Hal, played by Drew Roy, telling his Dad that just seven or eight months ago he wouldn't let him ride his bike at night because his bike didn't have a light. Now he's sending him orders to fight invading aliens. Tom, played by Noah Wyle, is a history professor forced into the role of soldier because most of the military has been annihilated. His wife died while gathering food and his middle son, Ben was at a friend's house when their neighborhood was under attack. He and his other sons suspect that Ben has been harnessed by the "skitters".

Tom often gives impromptu history lessons as he makes connections with their situation and historic battles against human invaders or conquerors. He befriends a pediatrician, Dr. Anne Glass, who lost her own child. Dr. Glass (Moon Bloodgood) buries her grief and, instead, helps Tom's youngest child, Matt, and others deal with theirs. One of the most heartbreaking lines is when someone asks Matt if his Dad and brother are ok. He replies, "They were OK this morning. I don't know about now- they're fighting."

I had no complaints about the acting, and the script was excellent. At first I thought it highly improbable that the whole group of several hundred civilians and soldiers would watch while Matt plays with the birthday present his brother scavenged, but then I realized that if I were there, that's what I would do: Look, there's a kid enjoying a birthday present, riding around having fun. Enjoying an oasis of quazi-normality. I'm sure many would. The interplay between family members also rang true for me.

There were many night scenes in which they encounter the aliens and naturally don't want to alert them to their presence with light. But, my imagination can take it. Let me see what's going on! I can pretend that it's actually darker than that.

Any alien apocalypse is not complete without human bad guys, too. Hal and his girlfriend encounter a man named Pope with his gang of thugs to complicate their lives a whole lot more. Pope added needed flavor to the plot. My favorite line so far is his, "Being the leader of a post-apocalyptic gang of outlaws has been exhausting."

I'm looking forward to watching more. TNT says it knows drama. What's more dramatic than alien invasion? And I'm not just saying this because of the way-cool, olive-drab shoulder bag that will double as awesome Firefly gear. ;)

falling skies, steven spielberg, tnt, noah wylie, aliens, tvfalling skies, steven spielberg, tnt, noah wylie, aliens, tv


Conor said...

Sounds interesting. I've had this series on my radar for quite some time. I will have to check it out when it finally airs. Thanks for the early review/profile.

Crotchety Old Fan said...


thanks for the link in the blog roll, I just noticed it!

Read your report on Falling Skies. It looks good and it was great to hear from someone "in the biz" give their take.
Here's my problem: I've read so much science fiction in the past (almost) fifty years, and am so conversant with current technological advances, I can no longer buy the concept of a need for advanced aliens to 'invade', put their troops at risk and 'harvest' people for any purpose. Maybe, just maybe, Knight's To Serve Man is the only rationale that works (pulling a fast one on us so they can eat us). Any of the rest? Invasion does not make economic sense, landing does not make strategic sense, trying to take over a planet that's inhabited already makes no sense at all. If they've got the ability to get HERE, they've got the ability to find undeveloped, Earth like worlds.
Aliens that just like to stomp on others? OK - but they'd be doing things a whole lot differently - something along 'Predator' lines. Sell vacation packages to Earth where they get to crush puny humans and take home a solidograph. Invade? Risk their own lives? No. Totally not plausible any more - and isn't that what SF is all about?

Ann Wilkes said...

@ Conor - Glad you enjoyed the review. And you're welcome.
@COF - Yeah. I hear yeah. This is really about people trying to survive an apocalypse I think. It should be interesting to see what the aliens' reason for it all is. But, yes. Must be easier ways. Still, it's an entertaining show if you can forgive the premise.