I’ve been a big fan of TNT’s Falling Skies since the
To be fair, I wasn’t sure if I would like the alien drama.
The only thing I knew about Noah Wylie’s acting ability was that he drove me
nuts on ER
and he was in those Librarian
movies – which didn’t really interest
me (knowing that Christian Kane is going to be in the new series, though, will
force me to watch – but that’s a whole other issue).
Steven Spielberg gave the show some heft, though – and I do
love an alien invasion storyline.
So, I tuned in – and I was blown away.
To me, Falling Skies is what the V reboot should have been.
It was gritty, well-acted and it touched on the bigger questions about
collaborators and human nature when the world comes to an end. The V reboot –
despite Elizabeth Mitchell – was all flash and no substance.
At its heart, Falling Skies is about family. Tom Mason
(Wylie) lost his wife in the early days of the invasion. His middle son, Ben
(Connor Jessup), is taken by the aliens and “harnessed” and forced to do slave
labor. His eldest son, Hal (Drew Roy) is stuck between being a boy and being a
man and his youngest son, Matt (Maxim Knight) is trying to learn what being a
kid really means in a new world.
Supporting characters include Will Patton’s gruff and loyal
Captain Weaver, Moon Bloodgood’s quiet and
dedicated Anne, Colin Cunningham’s rapscallion John
Pope, Seychelle Gabrielle’s innocent Lourdes and Sarah Sanguin Carter’s feisty Maggie.
Through the three previous seasons, other characters have
come and gone – but most of Falling Skies’
drama is generated through these
The first season of the show as all about survival and
dealing with the harnessed kids. Once Ben is freed, we soon find out the
harness has mixed alien DNA with his own and given him enhanced abilities.
Through the years, Jessup has grown the most as an actor and his Ben is the
character that most often serves as the moral compass to those around him.
On the flip side, Hal often reverts to teenage whining as he
straddles a line between adulthood and the inconsiderate teenager he was before
the world came to an end. As his love interest, Maggie is probably the most
interesting female character – and her loyalty is only tested by her pragmatic
The first two seasons of Falling Skies
were strong – but I
had issues with the third season.
I didn’t have a problem with Hal being implanted with a worm
so the aliens could control him. That’s good science fiction.
And, as a viewer, I understood that Bloodgood’s real life
pregnancy forced Anne to be off screen for most of the season. Those things
happen in television. It is what it is.
On the flip side, though, I’ve found the show dwelling on unimportant
political issues at times – and that seems to drag down the narrative.
And, finally, Tom and Anne’s newborn daughter is (quite
frankly) a jump the shark moment.
Anne gave birth to Alexis early in season three, found out
she was somehow an alien hybrid and then disappeared with her for the bulk of
the season – only showing back up in the season finale. When the duo did show
back up, Alexis had aged years and could now walk and talk.
I think Kenneth Johnson should sue.
Johnson, the creator and writer of V
, also wrote about a
half alien, half human, hybrid named Elizabeth. Elizabeth also grew rapidly –
so rapidly she saved the day at the end of V: The Final Battle
. While Alexis
hasn’t technically saved the day yet, she did eradicate all the worms that were
infecting Lourdes and she appears to have some sort of power.
Johnson also wrote in his original work that the humans
joined forces with other aliens to eradicate the invading aliens (did you
follow that). And, when the first alien threat was over, it looked ominously
like the “helper” aliens were now going to take over.
That is also exactly what is happening in Falling Skies
Volm have showed up, pledging that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and said
they will help defeat the invading alien army. Then, at the very end of season
three, they tried to relocate all the humans to camps for their own safety
while they continued the war.
Of course, our heroes balked, and we’ll have to wait until
Sunday to find out what will happen next for them, but I’m a little worried.
I still think Falling Skies
is well-written and acted, but
the writing is starting to suffer. Let’s hope that season four rights the ship
instead of sending it down the same road that V: The Series
did before it was
What won’t work is Alexis being the new focal point and
sudden “savior” to us all. That failed on V
and it will fail here.
Alien invasion stories only work when you look at the human
element associated with it. Falling Skies
is – sadly – starting to lose the
What do you think? Is Falling Skies
losing its mojo?