TNT’s new Sci-Fi series “Falling Skies” premiered last week with a special two hour episode that didn’t really bring anything new to the Sci-Fi alien genre, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Many viewers and some critics have given “Falling Skies” a hard time for its unoriginality, but honestly there have been so many alien movies and TV shows by now that originality is hard to come by and shouldn’t mean much, whereas the execution should.
By the start of the premiere the alien invasion has already taken place, which is a nice move on the part of the show. Most series would give us the typical “before the invasion” scenery before showing the invasion in full force. We enter the world of “Falling Skies” well after the invasion, when most of the damage has been done and people have been killed and just a few remaining survivors exist to attempt to fight off the aliens, which consist of two types: the Skitters and Mechs. Skitters are spider like aliens with a lot of strength and agility and Mechs are robotic type aliens that can shoot bullets from their arms.
The pilot of “Falling Skies” does a great job of introducing us into this apocalyptic-like world where civilian soldiers and civilian civilians have to set out on foot to find safer ground, scrounge for what remaining food they can find and weapons to continue the good fight to protect their land.
The acting in the pilot is pretty top notch led by former “ER” star Noah Wyle as history professor turned civilian soldier Tom Mason, who fights alongside his oldest son, Hal (played by Drew Roy), and has a younger son Matt (played by Maxim Knight). Tom also has a third son, Ben (played by Connor Jessup) who has been captured by the aliens. Will Patton does a nice acting job as Weaver, the tough, hard-boiled man in charge of the resistance fight. Patton plays grizzled about as well as anybody on TV. The series also features Moon Bloodgood as Dr. Anne Glass, sure to be a future love interest for Tom.
The only thing that really seemed to slow the pilot down a little bit is when Tom and his small group of fighters are captured by a small band of outlaws, mostly rednecks, led by John Pope (played by Colin Cunningham). Though by the end of the pilot all of the redneck outlaws, except for Pope (the only interesting one of the group) are killed and Pope is taken as prisoner, so this shouldn’t be a problem going forward.
It’s probably going to take another episode or two to really get a feel for “Falling Skies,” but the pilot was sure sharp and peaked my interest.
“Falling Skies” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. and can be seen locally on TNT Conway Corp. Channel 29.