Deep space, shallow storyline
Be sure to tune in if you’re after serious action and entertainment, writes
SCI-FI series Falling Skies picks up three months after last season’s finale, which saw heroic historian-turnedfreedom fighter Tom Mason (Noah Wyle, ER) wander into the belly of a spaceship belonging to aliens who attacked Earth.
The two-hour season two premiere begins with a friendly-fire incident involving Tom’s son, Ben (Connor Jessup), who was rescued from the aliens last season. Flashbacks explain how Tom manages to rejoin the human resistance and include his conversations with an alien leader who uses an enslaved human, Karen (Jessy Schram), as his mouthpiece.
The alien orders Tom to lead the humans into a ‘‘neutral zone’’ that is not unlike an internment camp, causing Tom and the alien to argue about human history.
‘‘I would be careful to draw too many lessons from the past, because our history has yet to be written,’’ Tom says.
Attempts to draw parallels to life on Earth are few and far between. Falling Skies concentrates on the freedom fighters’ efforts to blow up alien technology.
The two-hour season premiere addresses the nagging question of what impact the aliens had on Ben in the long term. Could he still be under their control? For that matter, could Tom be compromised by the time he spent aboard the alien ship? Tom’s oldest son, Hal (Drew Roy), doesn’t think so, but troublemaker John Pope (Colin Cunningham) isn’t so sure.
The second hour of the season premiere deals with Tom’s memory loss from his time on the alien ship. ‘‘I don’t trust myself and you shouldn’t, either,’’ Tom says, worrying that the aliens messed with his mind. Turns out they meddled elsewhere.
Falling Skies remains a dark show – visually and thematically – with pinpricks of brightness often found in heart-to-heart conversations Tom has with his children, who are growing up in a war zone.
Falling Skies is at its best when it deals
Drew Roy, Noah Wyle, Maxim Knight and Connor Jessup. with the most human of subjects. They may be less exciting, but these scenes are more meaningful. They’re not written with subtlety, but at least the show makes an effort, on occasion, to be about more than blowing up multi-limbed alien bugs.
At its heart, Falling Skies is an action show similar to a long line of us-againstthem series. It’s not deep, meaningful TV, but it’s OK entertainment for fans of breezy, things-blow-up-easy programming.