TNT's Falling Skies is a post-apocalyptic drama centered on a rag-tag group of survivors and their on-going fight against the alien-invaders who destroyed their normal, everyday existence.
Noah Wyle stars as Tom Mason, a former history professor turned resistance fighter -- and father of three sons -- who became a surprising leader among his community of human survivors, known as the 2nd Mass. Wyle, best known for his portrayal as Dr. John Carter on NBC's ER, infuses Tom with the kind of charisma and compassion that makes it easy to understand why his fellow citizens look to him for leadership.
Unfortunately, that does not always go over well with the group's military leader, Captain Weaver (Will Patton). Tom and Weaver had several memorable clashes in the show's first season, but the two men have great respect for one another and usually wind up putting their differences aside in order to work together to protect their people.
Another person Tom spent a lot of time with in season one was Moon Bloodgood's Anne Glass. Anne was a pediatrician before the aliens arrived, but she became more accustomed to treating battle wounds and performing emergency harness-removal surgery while working with the 2nd Mass. The harnesses in question are one of the lovely 'gifts' the aliens brought with them for Earth's population. Since their arrival on Earth, the aliens have kidnapped many children and attached these harness-like creatures to their spines, for reasons still unknown. Yet even once the harnesses have been removed, the children still suffer from lingering side-effects, as Tom's middle son Ben (Connor Jessup) can attest to.
Though many turned in thanks to Steven Spielberg's producing credit, what really shines in Falling Skies are the characters and the found-family atmosphere of the 2nd Mass. Most of the survivors had no combat experience prior to the invasion and many of them are children, yet they are all expected to take up arms and give the aliens a real fight. As the first season came to a close, the 2nd Mass. split up as Weaver took some of the survivors on an important mission and Tom was left in charge of defending those who stayed behind. Yet a twist in the show's final moments took Tom away from his people to parts unknown. Season 2 picks up three months after Tom's disappearance. How has his absence affected his sons and the 2nd Mass? What happened to Tom during his time away and how did he manage to return? Those questions and more will hopefully be answered when the series returns for season 2 in just over a week.
Many viewers shied away from the series because of its science-fiction premise and some lost interest when the show failed to have as many action sequences as they expected. But for fans who stuck around, the first season delivered compelling character drama and intriguing mysteries surrounding the alien species. The show does touch on many science-fiction, post-apocalyptic elements so you should probably skip it if that is not your thing. But if you are open to smart, character-driven sci-fi, this is the show for you.
TNT's Falling Skies returns for season 2 Sunday, June 17th at 9/8c.