Do you enjoy tech or story? Having both is clearly the objective but all too often tech, and its jargon, get in the way of great science fiction storytelling.
In the case of the show, Falling Skies, that doesn’t seem to be a problem (at least for the humans) because the evil aliens have invaded and decimated the Earth along with most of its population.
The 4th season of the show is already upon us—my how time flies. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our favorite history professor, his three sons and the 2nd Mass—his ragtag group of freedom fighters.
Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) along with former military commander, Col. Dan Weaver (Will Patton) lead the 2nd Mass (short for Massachusetts) in the fight against the alien invasion. They are joined by Tom’s three boys, Hal (Drew Roy), Ben (Connor Jessup) and youngest, Matt (Maxim Knight). Ben, the middle son had recently been abducted by the Skitters—the worker bee department of the aliens, although they look like life-sized spiders. After his rescue, Ben had changed physically and mentally. The unit was suspicious of him but his father and brothers stand by him unconditionally.
Other members of the squad are Dr. Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood), a GP who has had to be more and this up-coming season finds herself mother to a grown-up hybrid child. Her assistant is Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel), a former med student who has strong religious and moral beliefs.
Of course, every group needs its dissidents and Falling Skies has John Pope (Colin Cunningham). A former cook and felon, Pope is one of the most interesting characters as the leader of his own little gang within the gang. His “berserkers” only want to kill aliens while wanting nothing to do with “the chain of command.” He is constantly butting heads with Mason and Weaver. Maggie May (Sarah Carter) rounds out the group as the tough chick, former member of the berserkers who has seen the light for the cause—along with finding herself crushing on Hal Mason.
There are many different types of aliens—some good but most… not so much. The Skitters are a race controlled by the overlords and are their foot soldiers. The Mechs are the huge robotic drones and “the muscle”. The Espheni, the overlords, are large and in charge and are also known as “fishheads.” The Volm, ancient enemies with the Espheni, are allies with the resistance… at least for now.
At the heart, this show is about faith and resilience. People from different walks of life band together for a common (albeit serious) cause—to expel the aliens and take back control of the Earth. Kids growing up too quickly, ordinary people doing extraordinary things is not a new theme but Falling Skies does a great job of flowing story, characters and pace while not getting bogged down in the tech of the sci-fi.
By the way, Falling Skies is produced by Steven Spielberg who may know a thing or two about alien adventures.
Contrary to popular belief there is a lack of great sci-fi on TV. Are you watching the ‘Skies’?