TNT, 17 June-1 July 2012
Tom Mason (Noah Wylie) returns after three months aboard the alien spaceship, but can he be trusted? As the 2nd Mass. head for Charleston, following rumours of a gathering of human resistance fighters there, the alien skitters continue to exploit human children…
Falling Skies seems to be no-one’s favourite SF TV show of the moment, yet it’s been commissioned for a third season, so must be doing something right. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, per se, it is just one of the least exciting alien invasion TV shows I’ve ever seen. All the stuff about survival is rather dull, and none of the characters—with the exception of Colin Cunningham’s Pope (and he’s now gone, hopefully temporarily)—is in any way exceptional.
The attempt to create some mystery around Mason following his visit with the aliens is, so far, rather half-hearted. It may amount to something significant later, but four episodes in and this season is little but well made, if rather dull, television. It is also laughably predictable and cliché-packed, with the episode ‘Young Bloods’ being a particular offender. It’s not good when every character development and even lines of dialogue can be correctly anticipated well before they actually happen.
A better focus on the skitters, and more alien action in general would probably help, but that costs money and might be beyond even the budget of a Spielberg-produced weekly TV show. There are some interesting undercurrents among the aliens as to their motivations and purpose, but some of the CGI creatures can be more engaging than the human cast…
Verdict: Not bad, but not particularly good either… Falling Skies really needs to up the ante somewhat if it is ever to become must-see TV.
Episode 1 ‘Worlds Apart’: 6
Episode 2 ‘Shall We Gather at the River’: 5
Episode 3 ‘Compass’: 6
Episode 4 ‘Young Bloods’: 5
Brian J. Robb