‘Falling Skies’ Season 1 introduces us to the rag-tag band of freedom fighters called the 2nd Mass. This is a hodge podge mix of civilians that have come together in the outskirts of Boston six months after the earth is completely incapacitated by an invading alien army. Each day is a test of survival not only from the alien Skitters and Mechs but also hunger, disease and threat from other human outlaws.
Emerging from the center of this group is Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a US history teacher from the University of Boston. Tom’s extensive knowledge of military history is invaluable especially to Captain Daniel Weaver (Will Patton), one of the only remaining military personnel. Together these two men must somehow keep the last remnants of humanity safe. While Tom and Captain Weaver fight for survival, Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) patches up the wounded. And finally to make sure things never get boring we have John Pope (Colin Cunningham), an ex-con rebel that’s one mean chef in the kitchen.
‘Falling Skies’ isn’t all about aliens (though they do show a fantastic amount every episode). It’s about people. Every episode is spent building on the characters and their relationships. Tom is trying to keep the remainder of his family together. Hal, Tom’s oldest son is trying to become a man (much to his dad’s dismay). Matt, Tom’s youngest son just wants a normal life again with a birthday party. Anne is trying to keep Tom together. Weaver is trying to keep everyone away from him while keeping them alive. Pope is just trying to kill as many Skitters as he can. Mixed among them is a fantastic tapestry of characters that help us relate to the plight of a conquered world. The show focuses on the resilience of the human spirit. No longer can they depend on the military. Everyday people are called upon to become heroes.
The people are important but it’s the aliens that make them stand out. These are creatures to rival any we’ve seen in science fiction today. They’re highly intelligent militaristic killing monsters. There are three types affectionately called Skitter, Mechs and Overlords. Skitters are vicious, sneaky, multi-legged, spider-like killers but don’t pose much of a threat hand-to-hand and are easily killed. However, they mentally control the robotic Mechs, heavily armored ground troops with advanced destructive weapons. The Overlords are a bit of a mystery. We don’t get to see them until the second half of season two. All we can tell for sure – the Skitters bow in their presence.
These aliens aren’t out to completely annihilate the human race. They’re secondary mission is to capture and harness children. This too is as mysterious as the Overlords. Bio-mechanical harnesses are fused to a child’s spine creating a mental link so the Skitters can have complete control. So far in Season 1, the children are primarily used for gathering scrap metal and protecting the Skitters. More sinister possibilities are hinted at once Dr. Glass is able to dissect one of the nasty beasts. Could the children be turning into aliens?
Important plot points to know for Season 2:
- Everything happens in the Boston area but intel keeps them posted on other resistance groups in the Massachusetts area.
- Removal of the harnesses was impossible and deadly to the childen until Dr. Michael Harris (an old friend of Tom’s) figured out a method. He was able to successfully remove them from Ben, Tom’s middle son, as well as a boy named Rick.
- Rick doesn’t adapt well to the harness removal. He preferred to be connected to the aliens and waits for his opportunity to be reunited. Ben, however, is adapting well mentally and wants to get back to being a normal human.
- Strange biological changes have occurred regarding Ben’s harness area. During the removal process, some of the metal spikes must be left in the child’s spine. Ben’s skin has become hard and scaly in these areas. He has also developed super human strength.
” ‘Falling Skies’ is executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, along with DreamWorks Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, Remi Aubuchon 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’) serves as a consulting producer and Greg Beeman (‘Heroes’, ‘Smallville’) serves as co-executive producer. The pilot was directed by Carl Franklin (‘One False Move’, ‘Out of Time’).”
The Season 2 2-hour world premier is this Sunday, June 17 at 9 P.M. ET.