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TNT's "Falling Skies" is getting fan and critical applause for its upgrade of the alien beings seen on the Steven Spielberg-produced show -- among the improvements made thanks to the budgetary increases in the wake of Season 1's success. I asked star Noah Wyle his feelings about those earth-invading beings. "You have to pay homage to the man you're working for. You don't show the shark 'til the third act," he said with a laugh, referencing Spielberg's "Jaws."
Seriously, "I had misgivings all the way through," he admitted. "Although this is ostensibly a human drama, they do provide conflict, and you don't want anything that looks like 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' with guys in rubber suits walking around. You don't want to see puppeteer moves that look more human than alien. But for the most part, they've worked well. We have a top-notch team."
Many of us grownup viewers had misgivings, too. The more time spent featuring the creatures who've taken over Earth -- and blasting them to smithereens every which way -- the less time we're seeing that human drama Wyle talks about.
For me, the best part of the show is his character -- former Boston University History Professor Tom Mason -- and his relationship with his three sons. Here is a father who would do anything for his boys, including willingly going on board one of the alien ships. Still, he has taken on the full weight of responsibility for leading the 2nd Massachusetts resistance group and, well, saving humanity. Which comes first? Tonight's (6/17) two-hour second season premiere picks up three months after Tom's boarding of the alien craft, and throws him into the deepest of deep stress as a parent, a leader, and a man who doesn't know what's been done to him.
Wyle contends that Season 2 of "Falling Skies" is stronger than Season 1 -- which, as TNT trumpets at every opportunity, was basic cable's Number 1 new series of last year. Get out the popcorn.