Friday, September 30, 2011

Falling Skies - Surviving Alien Invasion

It’s been 6 months since the aliens have invaded earth. Ninety percent of the population has been decimated and the remaining survivors have all gone into hiding. A ragtag community of about 300 civilians have banded together to fight back and survive. Others have hopes of claiming their kidnapped children, brothers and sisters – 8 to 16 year old children who have been turned into drones through an obedience device attached to their spines.

Among these children is Ben, one of the three sons of Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a former Boston University history professor, now the 2nd in command of this post-apocalyptic group of fighters called 2nd Massachusetts. Tom is conflicted in planning an attack that would release Ben, but his direct superior Captain Dan Weaver (Will Patton) isn’t supportive. Hal Mason (Drew Roy), Tom’s 16 year old son, is frustrated. He is planning a heist to rescue his younger brother. Unfortunately, Boston has ceased to become a safe place. Navigating the city is a treacherous endeavor. The buildings have all been deserted, looted or destroyed, and several different alien creatures are constantly patrolling the metropolis. People live to survive and compete for the limited supply of resources made available in deserted groceries and warehouses.

Falling Skies” echoes the predicament of Andrew Lincoln’s Walking Dead” without the zombies, but the concerns are identical: survival in a fast dying, albeit competitive dog-eat-dog world. The first episode is a 2-part scorcher that had us sitting at the edge of our seat while our survivors battle against the Skitters (lizard-like creatures), the heavy-footed Mechs (Attack Drones), and those grayish humanoid forms! As if that weren’t enough, they had to face bandits headed by John Pope (Colin Cunningham)! On board this little throng includes a pediatrician Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) and an interesting line-up of characters that keep the narrative exigent and tense. It brims with fast paced action, moved by dynamic story lines.

Moon Bloodgood is Dr. Anne Glass

Noah Wyle, sporting a beard and a goatee, initially looks like an unkempt Dr. John Carter (“E.R.”) but as the story unfolds, Wyle comes into his own as a struggling father who tries his best to keep up with the action. After all, what can a history professor do where muscles and might are concerned, right? Drew Roy registers impressively as headstrong Hal (one of Tom's three boys) who’s desperate to rescue his younger brother Ben (he's been spotted held captive by the aliens). Moon Bloodgood plays another passionate character who constantly talks down her field of specialty (she’s a Pediatrician). “I’m the only doctor you’ve got!” she would defensively point the obvious.

Will Tom and Mason get to rescue Ben? I am tempted to cheat, but I have a hunch I’d end up pleased. The series comes straight from the creative minds of Robert Rodat and that other vaguely familiar guy named Steven Spielberg. Do you then doubt its entertainment quotient?

Noah Wyle as Tom Mason, a former history professor.

Drew Roy is broody Hal. He's itchin' to rescue his younger brother from the clutches of the aliens.

Drew Roy

Moon Bloodgood

Moon Bloodgood

Moon Bloodgood: Not just another sexy magazine bod.

Jessy Schram is Karen, Hal's girl friend.

Sarah Carter is feisty, gun-toting Margaret (above and below). She survives John Pope, rape and those pesky lizard-like creatures.

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