Falling Skies Premier Episode Review

Falling Skies

Falling Skies is the latest sci-fi television series from TNT or any network I’m aware of to make its way onto the small screen since Stargate Universe. The show is set during the aftermath of an alien attack that took out (according to the show) all but 10% of the population six months after the initial invasion. The premier portrays a group of 600 survivors banding together to resist the aliens, nicknamed “skitters”, hellbent on obliterating the remaining human occupants. This new series fills the gap left by Stargate Universe on the Syfy network which ultimately failed to resonate with its audience.

Unlike Stargate Universe, Falling Skies has the opportunity to create something new for viewers instead of being saddled by the previous entries in a franchise. TNT has limited experience in sci-fi programming with the pickup of Babylon 5 in 1998 and the failed attempt at a spin-off called Crusade. However, after watching their newest venture into the science fiction realm I have reserved optimism about the success of Falling Skies. The reservations mostly derive from two sources, Twitter negativity and the lackluster special effects.

Twitter & more specifically the hash tag #fallingskies is buzzing with first impressions of the show.  From observing the last hour or so of tweets it would seem 40% of viewers had a poor reaction, 30% gave it a mixed review and the rest were in my camp with a solid to enthused view of the production. Most of the negatives from the show seem to stem from the special effects used to create the alien invaders. The multi-legged “skitters” trying to snuff out the human race look very unrealistic. The rational brain wants to let TNT slide on this issue, since it’s on a station not known for production quality, but after watching Battlestar Galactica it’s difficult to use a candle when you’ve experienced the handiness of a good flash light.

Beyond the thoughts of the Twitter army and dull visuals the plot of the show does a solid job of holding the attention of viewers (this viewer at least). I’m unfamiliar with the previous shows/movies of a Mr. Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) but I’m pleased by his performance in Falling Skies. His role in the story put me in mind of Rick Grimes from the AMC show “The Walking Dead”.  You have a guy thrust from his previous career into a world where he must fight for his life and his family against impossible odds, all the while exuding an air of calm and confidence. SPOILER: The greatest part of The Walking Dead series is that the zombies aren’t the sole protagonist of the story with other humans causing their fair share of mayhem. In Falling Skies you’re treated to similarly bleak surroundings and a human vs human side story that takes place later on against post apocalyptic outlaws.  This addition aided in deploying a new dynamic to the show beyond what you would expect from the “skitters”.

Falling Skies is scheduled to air every Sunday night at 10pm, so with satisfying first impressions aside, it may be months until we see what the rest of the viewership has to say.  Whether the show is renewed or canceled it’s off to a fantastic start. Let us know what you think of TNT’s newest foray into the sci-fi genre in the comments.

 

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Falling Skies Premieres on June 19th

Falling Skies

Falling Skies is an upcoming sci-fi series on the TNT television network.  The show is set during the aftermath of an attack by an alien force that leaves the Earth decimated.  Six months after the initial attack, a rag-tag band of survivor’s come together to fight back.  The newly formed, group made up of soldiers of necessity, fight to win back their planet from the alien occupation.

The show stars Noah Wyle from ER fame with executive producer Steven Spielberg bringing his magic to the small screen.  We all know Spielberg’s work but if you aren’t into medical shows, the acting of Noah Wyle may be a mystery to you.  However, if you loved the sci-fi movie Donnie Darko you might remember his small role as Professor Kenneth Monnitof (the teacher that feared losing his job for talking to Donnie about his thoughts on time).  Like most shows of this era or any other they need to bring the heat with a sexy lady.  In the case of Falling Skies you’ll get Moon Bloodgood at the head of the sexy-helm.  According to her bio “Most recently, she starred in the Warner Bros. blockbuster Terminator Salvation, opposite Christian Bale and Sam Worthington. She also appeared in a three-episode arc of the series Burn Notice.” Terminator Salvation was woefully disappointing but at least she has some experience in a sci-fi role.  What really sets the show up for success is the addition of Mark Verheiden who served as the writer on Battlestar Galactica & Heroes.  Needless to say, I’m excited for a new sci-fi series to kick off; it certainly has been a dry well as of late in the genre.   The new series is set to release on Sunday June 19th at 8/9c, stay tuned.

In the meantime, take a look at the fantastic on-air spot for Falling Skies:

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