Review of "Falling Skies" on TNT From The TV MegaSite
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"Falling Skies" review by Suzanne
Premieres Monday, June 19, at 9/8c on TNT

I really wanted to love this show because I like scifi so much, and they clearly put a lot of money into it, and into the publicity. TNT sent me a DVD of the first 8 episodes, with a really cool carrying case.

It's very uneven, though. Parts of it I really liked, and other parts were disappointing. In one sense it's like a lot of movies or shows we've seen about aliens invading (V, War of the Worlds) or about life post-apocalypse (Jericho, The Stand). There are many surprises, though, and those are the parts I like. The characters are very well done, and interesting. I especially like the bad guy Pope, and Steven Weber's doctor character.

Noah Wylie stars as the hero of the show. He's a former history professor with three sons, helping to lead the human resistance against the aliens. He is really good here, as is the rest of the cast. The special effects are also good.

However, a lot of the show is just too familiar and predictable. Also, a lot of times the characters do really stupid things that make no sense.

It's not that the show is bad, it's just not as good as I'd hoped. Scifi shows tend to get canceled even when they're very good, so I hope this one doesn't get killed too quickly. It would be nice to see what happens to everyone, and why the aliens are there.

If you do watch it, and it is well worth watching, make sure to hang on at least until the July 10th episode. I think that one and the July 17th episode are the best of all of them.

UPDATE: If you are still watching the show, then you must like it. It is very popular and coming back next season. Good thing because the finale has a helluva cliff-hanger. It is very Spielbergian and somewhat shocking.

I like the show ok, but it is still sometimes very dumb and predictable. I hope it gets better next season.

The first hour of the finale has a lot of great conflict between Tom and Weaver. More is confirmed about Ben and Rick turning into skitters. The second hour has a lot more action, shooting, blowing things up, etc. and also a little romance and laughs. It is a pretty good finale. I know you will enjoy it!

PRESS INFO:

Falling Skies – Two-hour series premiere Sunday, June 19, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT); regular timeslot Sundays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) – Season 1: 10 episodes

Noah Wyle (ER) stars in this gripping drama series from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg about the aftermath of an alien invasion and the resistance movement formed by the survivors.

Heroes Emerge after Alien Invasion in FALLING SKIES, TNT’s Powerful New Series Starring Noah Wyle, From DreamWorks Television and Executive Producer Steven Spielberg

Eagerly Anticipated Series Set to Launch with Two-Hour Premiere Sunday, June 19, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT); Before Moving into Regular Timeslot Sundays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)

In the devastating wake of an all-out invasion of the planet by an alien military force, ordinary people must do extraordinary things to survive in TNT’s powerful new series FALLING SKIES. The show stars Noah Wyle (ER) and comes to TNT from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg. FALLING SKIES is slated to air over eight weeks, beginning with the two-hour premiere on Sunday, June 19, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). The show will then move into its regular Sunday 10 p.m. (ET/PT) timeslot.

FALLING SKIES opens in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few remaining survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force, whose nature and purpose remains a mystery.

At the center of FALLING SKIES is Tom Mason (Wyle), a Boston history professor whose family has been torn apart. His wife was killed shortly after the initial attack, and one of his three sons has been taken captive by the aliens for some unknown purpose. Tom must now put his extensive knowledge of military history to the test as second in command of the 2nd Massachusetts, a regiment of resistance fighters protecting a large group of civilian survivors. They are constantly trying to gain intelligence about the aliens in order to one day outsmart and overtake them and hopefully rebuild their lives.

Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) also stars as Anne Glass, a pediatrician who works with the surviving children to help them cope with the traumatic upheaval in their lives. Will Patton (Armageddon, TNT’s Into the West) plays Weaver, a fierce military leader of the resistance and Tom’s commanding officer.

FALLING SKIES also stars Drew Roy (Secretariat) as Hal, Tom’s oldest son and a growing fighter in the resistance movement; Maxim Knight (Brothers & Sisters) as Matt, Tom’s youngest son; Connor Jessup (The Saddle Club) as Ben, Tom’s son who was captured by aliens; and Seychelle Gabriel (Weeds) as Lourdes, an orphaned teenager who helps Anne in the group’s makeshift medical clinic. Mpho Koaho (Rookie Blue) and Peter Shinkoda (The L Word) play Anthony and Dai, two resistance fighters in the 2nd Mass.; Colin Cunningham (Living in Your Car) is John Pope, the head of a gang of marauders; and Sarah Sanguin Carter (Shark) is Margaret, a wary survivor from Pope’s gang.

FALLING SKIES is a tale of endurance, commitment and courage in which everyday people are called upon to become heroes. The series focuses on the resilience of the survivors and their determination to maintain their humanity when all else has been destroyed. It also explores the ties that bind people together in the most difficult of circumstances, as well as the potential for humans to turn on each other when the struggle to survive threatens to give way to desperation. Through it all, there are moments of joy and happiness, including birthdays, births, humor, romance and friendship. The survivors may be outmatched, outnumbered and outgunned, but nothing can beat the human spirit.

“One of the most intriguing aspects of FALLING SKIES is that the invasion itself has already occurred as we catch up with the human resistance,” said co-executive producer and writer Mark Verheiden. “Six months in, shock has turned to resolve as the survivors gather to form a plan of attack. The mystery of the alien plan gradually becomes clearer over the course of the season, but not in a way the human resistance could have predicted.”

The aliens in FALLING SKIES are as mysterious as they are merciless. They are highly intelligent and use military-like tactics, which makes them an overwhelming force against the 2nd Mass. They are fast, strong, extremely intelligent and very difficult to kill. The survivors have encountered two types of aliens in the invading force: “skitters,” so named for the way they move about on spider-like legs, and “mechs,” heavily armed robot-like bi-peds.

Each week the survivors discover new pieces of information about the alien force, but those discoveries often lead to more questions about the aliens’ existence and purpose. No matter what is learned about the invaders, the biggest mystery of all remains: Why are they here, and what do they want?

FALLING SKIES is executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, along with DreamWorks Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, Graham Yost (Justified, The Pacific) and screenwriter Robert Rodat. Rodat, who earned an Oscar® nomination for his screenplay for Saving Private Ryan, wrote the pilot from an idea he co-conceived with Spielberg. Mark Verheiden (Heroes, Battlestar Galactica) and Greg Beeman (Heroes, Smallville) are co-executive producers. The pilot was directed by Carl Franklin (One False Move, Out of Time).

About TNT
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100.5 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; 2011 Peabody Award winner Men of a Certain Age, with Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; Hawthorne, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; and Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells (ER); as well as the upcoming Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle, and Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting in 2011, The Mentalist; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TNT is available in high-definition.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Characters

Tom Mason
Noah Wyle

A bookish history professor from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Tom Mason probably never imagined he would one day be putting his extensive knowledge of military tactics to use in an actual war, much less one being waged against an occupying force from another world. His wife now dead and his son Ben captured by the alien invaders, Tom does everything he can to protect his oldest son, Hal, and his youngest son, Matt. Despite having only an academic understanding of military history, Tom is named second in command of the 2nd Massachusetts, a makeshift regiment assigned to protect several hundred survivors, with their military commander, Weaver. Tom quickly proves himself a strong leader. Most of all, though, Tom is determined to find and rescue his son Ben from captivity, no matter what it takes.


Anne Glass
Moon Bloodgood

Anne is a pediatrician who lost her only child in the initial attack, a tragedy she has yet to face fully. She pours herself into her work as a doctor for the 2nd Mass, doing what she can to help the survivors cope both physically and emotionally with their situation. Anne’s only remaining family members are her aunt and uncle, who have also found refuge with the 2nd Mass. Anne develops a close friendship with Tom as a result of their shared tragedy. She also takes Lourdes, a young first-year med student, under her wing to help out in the makeshift clinic. But beneath her sturdy exterior, Anne continues to be haunted by the death of her son in ways few can understand.


Weaver
Will Patton

Weaver is a tough rattlesnake of a soldier with a no-nonsense attitude. He has little patience for babysitting civilians. As commander of the 2nd Mass, Weaver puts his military skills and experience to good use. But in this war, he is facing things for which no training could ever prepare him. Like many of the survivors, Weaver has faced a personal loss, but he keeps that story buried underneath a dogged determination to kill the enemy every chance he gets.


Hal
Drew Roy

Tom’s oldest son, Hal, has made his father proud by growing quickly into manhood during the six months since the invasion. Before their world was torn apart, Hal was an athletic and popular kid destined for success. Now he fights alongside his father as a member of the 2nd Mass. Although Hal can be impulsive under fire, he proves himself both brave and confident in the field. With younger brother Ben captured by the aliens and brother Matt struggling to cope with the situation, Hal now appreciates how much his family truly means and steps up to help any way he can. Hal also manages to find time for a new girlfriend, Karen. But in a world occupied by hostile aliens, young love has to come second to basic survival.


Matt
Maxim Knight

Tom’s youngest son, 8-year-old Matt, has been forced by circumstances to face the kind of loss and upheaval no child should ever have to face. Matt desperately wishes for everything to go back to normal. He struggles to understand why he can’t have all the things his brothers had when they were his age, like a birthday party or a new skateboard. Despite being too young to join the fight alongside his father and brother, Matt wants to help, even if it means going against his father’s wishes.



Ben
Connor Jessup

Tom’s middle son, Ben, has been missing for months until he is spotted among a group of captive teenagers. Older brother Hal has always considered him a bit of a brat, but he misses Ben just as much as Tom does. Before the invasion, Ben took after his father and spent most of his time with his nose in his books.


Lourdes
Seychelle Gabriel

Lourdes is a young college student whose pre-med education was cut short by the alien invasion. She now helps out Anne as a medic for the 2nd Mass. Lourdes is a devout Christian who finds her faith strengthened by the tragic circumstances surrounding her.



Dai
Peter Shinkoda

Dai is Tom’s right-hand man in the field. He is a strong, quick and highly skilled soldier who doesn’t choke in the line of fire. He’s also a demon on a motorcycle. Dai doesn’t have a wife or children, so in an odd way, he considers himself a little lucky not to have lost a loved one during the attack.


Anthony
Mpho Koahu

Anthony is one of the best fighters in the 2nd Mass. He previously served as a Boston police officer. Anthony is a crack shot with a rifle and always eager to volunteer for even the most dangerous missions. But he’s also a good enough soldier to know when it’s time to sit cool and wait for the enemy to make a mistake.


John Pope
Collin Cunningham

John Pope, the leader of a band of marauders, introduces himself to the 2nd Mass by taking a group of hostages and offering to exchange their freedom for weapons. For reasons known only to him, this smart, resourceful and charismatic ex-con takes great pleasure in killing skitters, even hunting them like wild game. A shameless opportunist, Pope considers the invasion the best thing that ever happened to him. He also happens to be an excellent chef.


Margaret
Sarah Sanguin Carter

Margaret comes to the 2nd Mass after spending a difficult time with Pope’s misfit gang. But it’s just the latest emotional scar for a woman who has endured and overcome all the worst life could throw at her. Margaret is strong, tough and fearless. She remains cool under pressure and has impeccable aim with a gun. But she’s also a good friend who offers a helping hand whenever needed.



Recurring Characters:

Porter (Dale Dye) is the commander of the Massachusetts regiments, including the 2nd Mass. He is Weaver’s commanding officer. He chose Tom to be Weaver’s second-in-command so that the civilians would have a voice in military decisions.

Scott & Kate Gordon (Bruce Gray and Lynne Deragon) are Anne’s uncle and aunt. Although in their 70s, they keep themselves busy helping out in any way they can. Uncle Scott is a whiz with machines, fixing cars, radios and other equipment for the 2nd Mass. Both Uncle Scott and Aunt Kate worry that Anne is not dealing with the loss of her son.

Mike (Martin Roach) is a fighter in the 2nd Mass and the father of a teenage son, Rick, who has been taken captive by the aliens. Mike has a good heart, but he sometimes loses control of his emotions and acts on impulse, putting himself and others in danger.

Rick (Daniyah Ysrayl) is Mike’s teenage son who has been taken captive by the aliens. Before the invasion, Rick spent more time with doctors than with friends as a result of his being born with cystic fibrosis.

Jimmy Boland (Dylan Authors) is a teenager who sets out to prove he’s ready to become a resistance fighter for the 2nd Mass. Little does he realize that against skitters and mechs, even seasoned soldiers question their readiness.

Sarah (Melissa Kramer) is a civilian who became pregnant through artificial insemination just six weeks before the invasion. She finds a good friend in Margaret, who promises to be there to help when the baby is born.

Karen (Jessy Schram) joins Tom and his squad on reconnaissance missions and supply runs. But her real interest lies in Tom’s son, Hal, who becomes her boyfriend.

Episode Synopses

Two-Hour Series Premiere – Part 1: “Live and Learn”
The world is left in tatters after a sudden, unprovoked and unexplained invasion by aliens, leaving the planet’s remaining human population to fight for survival against the occupiers. History professor Tom Mason (Noah Wyle- ER) has been named second in command for the 2nd Mass, but his real focus is on his three sons, one of whom has been captured by the aliens for an unknown purpose.

Directed by Carl Franklin
Written by Robert Rodat
Created by Robert Rodat

Two-Hour Series Premiere – Part 2: “The Armory”
While scouting for supplies, Tom, Hal and their squad encounter a gang of marauders determined to get their hands on the 2nd Massachusetts’ weapons. Leading the gang is an ex-con named John Pope, who decides to use his hostages as bargaining material.

Directed by Greg Beeman
Written by Graham Yost
Created by Robert Rodat

“Prisoner of War”
Dr. Michael Harris (guest star Steven Weber – Happy Town) joins the 2nd Mass with a theory about what might save the teenagers abducted by the aliens. But the plan could be derailed when Tom starts digging for answers to questions that have haunted him since the early days of the invasion. The 2nd Mass comes face-to-face with skitters and mechs when they attempt to rescue Ben.

Directed by Greg Beeman
Written by Fred Golan
Created by Robert Rodat

Interview with Colin Cunninham (Pope)

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Updated 8/6/11 

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