Sunday, June 19, 2011

Falling Skies Premier Season 1 Episodes 1 and 2 Live and Learn/The Armory

i'd already marked it on my calendar, but in the days preceding it's premier, i received an invitation from the social network aggregate KLOUT, to watch TNT's Falling Skies. Very glad i followed through with my plan to check it out.

Unlike the frustration that was ABC's FlashForward, TNT's Steven Spielberg produced Falling Skies does not disappoint. Great scripts, special effects, and characters. One stand-out is Will Patton as Capt.Weaver [sci-fi fans will remember him from Costner's The Postman].

A little backstory: the earth has been invaded by E.T.s but they are not cute & cuddly glowing index finger types. They are Skitters. Tough, agile, arachnid-like and as large as an SUV. The Skitters manufactured Mechs [as in mechanisms] to act as their soldiers. Metal behemoths, Mechs make the Skitters look tiny by comparison. The Skitters are also equipped with hybrid bio-robotic parasites that look like scorpions on steroids and feed on human spinal fluid.

The story kicks off 6 months after the alien invasion and the human resistance fighters are trying to survive and reclaim the planet. To that end there are 3 key questions about the Skitters that must be addressed---Why are they here? What do they want? Can they be stopped?

The primary setting is Massachusetts, but the opening scenes with the children reminded me very much of what was happening in NYC with grade school kids in the days following 9/11. There's a feeling of even if the little ones can't fully comprehend what has happened---they know that life as they knew it has changed and will never be the same.

The resistance fighter's underground lodgings have a Battlestar Galactica feel to them which for me is a good thing.

The premier had a 2hr running time. Justified's show runner Graham Yost's fingerprints were all over Falling Skies 2nd hr [and yes that's a good thing].

There were many noteworthy lines but two of my favs were "If they're wolves we gotta be porcupines" in reference to humans defending themselves from mechs and "Any of you a board certified micro surgeon?" asked by anti-hero [and my fav character] John Pope in need of medical attention for his brother. Pope [played by Colin Cunningham] has kidnapped good guy Tom Mason [played by Noah Wyle] and his rag-tag squad who've stumbled upon Pope's hideout. Not your garden variety thug, Pope is literate, a naturally good hunter of skitters, a good strategist, and he's funny.

My fav scenes are widower Tom [his wife was killed in the initial attack] talking with the eldest of his 3 sons about strategy as he's giving him an ammo clip. The son teases his dad about things he was restricted from doing before the invasion and wryly remarks "things change". As he turns to leave his dad says "some things don't" and the son walks back to give his dad a hug. Enjoyed all the scenes with Tom and his youngest son as he tries to maintain some normalcy in his life in the midst of chaos. Tom's middle child has been enslaved by the mechs.

As i was watching the show i met some new tweeps on Twitter s/o to @2ndmass @ScienceFiction @Redone68 @FallingSkiesTNT @tntweknowdrama.

This show is so entertaining i think even those who would not think of themselves as liking sci-fi will find much to get hooked on here. Premier night ratings back me up---Falling Skies drew more than 5.9 million viewers and now ranks as cable's #1 new series launch of 2011-to-date.

Falling Skies airs Sundays at 10:00pm with repeat airings at Midnight on TNT. Please check your local listings.

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