Falling Skies: Review: Season 1 Ep 3

TNT, June 26 2011 (US);FX, July 19 (UK)

Mason (Noah Wylie) captures a live alien, while a mysterious doctor (Steven Weber) joins the resistance.

This is more like it… Noah Wylie is still incredibly miscast, but his battle with and capturing of a live alien is the highlight of a show that might be finding its feet. Why not open with this storyline…?

It’s not perfect: Colin Cunningham’s interesting bad guy has been almost immediately neutered by (bizarrely) turning him into the resistance fighter’s new gourmet cook! There’s still too much hugging and “I love yous” between major cast members. The dialogue continues to be appalling. The CGI armoured alien transports are rubbish, although the actual creatures themselves are fine and Mason’s one-on-one confrontation worked well. Also, Moon Bloodgood is being criminally underused…

The episode revolves around the ‘harnessing’ of the planet’s teens by the strange, insectoid aliens. They seem to want an easily-controlled slave workforce so they can gather scrap metal… As one of the characters says, that can’t be the reason they travelled to Earth in their high-tech spaceships, can it? That makes them the intergalactic equivalent of those can-collecting tramps you see pushing shopping carts in the US.

Steven Weber’s Michael Harris, a cowardly medical doctor, seems too clearly set up as an alien plant or traitor to the human resistance (the Lost in Space Doctor Smith figure: from the first season), so I’m hoping that’s not the direction this show goes in.

Verdict: A dramatic improvement over the opening double instalment, but the question remains, what is this series for?

Episode 3 ‘Prisoner of War’: 5/10

Brian J. Robb

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