Falling Skies: Review: Season 1 Ep 1-2

TNT, June 19 2011 (US); FX, July 5 & 12 (UK)

Insectoid aliens, dubbed ‘skitters’, have successfully invaded Earth and mankind struggles to survive…

Well, that was dull. Like all the worst parts of the Terminator movies strung together, creator Robert Rodat’s script is a mix of equal parts Iraq war movie and Halo videogame. It’s not surprising that the hero of this series should be a history professor with an interest in the American Revolution, given Rodat’s previous scripts for the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot and Saving Private Ryan. However, this concoction is nowhere near as interesting or as successful as those two movies.

Things start to go wrong with the miscasting of E.R.’s Noah Wylie as the professor forced to become fighter to save his planet from six-legged creeps from outer space. He’s simply not up to the task and is out-acted by the always reliable Will Patton and even Stargate’s Colin Cunningham (done up as a Violator-era Dave Gahan).

The low-budget nature of this series is evident from the opening, and even an early glimpse of the aliens doesn’t make up for the swathes of achingly dull chat that goes on between the rather feeble action scenes. It’s like the worst parts of the UK’s Survivors (original or remake, take your pick) have mated with the US’s Jericho. At least the rubbish V remake was camp fun. This one-note show needs to improve rapidly, or the five million who tuned in for the first double-length episode will rapidly go elsewhere for their alien thrills: probably back to playing Halo.

Verdict: Dull. Dull. Dull.

Episodes 1-2: 3/10

Brian J. Robb

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