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Falling Skies: Season 1

7,263 customer reviews

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(Jun 05, 2012)
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Product Description

Falling Skies opens in the aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. The few remaining survivors have banded together. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people while engaging in a campaign against the occupying alien force, whose purpose remains a mystery. Starring Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, and Will Patton.

There was no shortage of movies and TV shows about aliens invading Earth before Falling Skies came along; in fact, Steven Spielberg, executive producer of TNT's sci-fi/drama show (which debuts on DVD with the 10 first-season episodes, plus some short bonus featurettes, on three discs), was involved in a good many of them. But this one takes a different tack: when the pilot episode begins, the invasion has already happened… and we lost, big time. Sure, not depicting the nasty aliens' arrival and decimation of the world as we knew it saved someone a pile of special effects money--but it also makes for an interesting show dynamic. When we catch up to Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a history professor and one of the unexpected leaders of the human insurgency, and the chief soldier, hard-ass Captain Weaver (Will Patton), they're already deep into trying to figure out how to protect the few remaining humans and how to fight back against a vastly superior alien force of spider-like, Alien-faced "skitters" and giant, stomping robot "mechs." Then there's this: the alien leaders are especially interested in teenagers, whom they seize and enslave by fusing living, spine-like "harnesses" to the kids' backs. Tom knows that one of the captured teens is his son, and he devotes much of his energy to rescuing the boy. But what neither he nor anyone else can figure out is exactly what the aliens' agenda might be, and it isn't until the 10th and final episode (a cliffhanger, of course), when the "2nd Mass" (i.e., Tom and Weaver's Boston-based militia) are ready to launch an all-out attack on the invaders, that we finally get some clarity.

Falling Skies has plenty going for it: good acting, some intriguing story ideas, nice (if limited) effects. What it doesn't have is much action (a fight scene between Tom and a skitter is an exception), or the kind of ramped-up tension one expects from a project with Spielberg's name attached. Episodes tend to be talky and somewhat dull; earnest conversation about the future of humanity and the importance of sticking together in the face of impending disaster is all well and good, but a few extra dollops of excitement (something Spielberg provided in his 2005 version of War of the Worlds) would have helped. Here's hoping for bigger and better in season two. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: TNT
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: June 5, 2014 (Click here for more information)
  • Run Time: 528 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7,263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,600 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Falling Skies: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 103 people found the following review helpful By MISTER SJEM on March 31, 2012
Format: DVD
Produced by Stephen Spielberg and teleplay contributions by a number of writers, including Robert Rodat (best known for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) and Mark Verheiden (who wrote 9 episodes for the new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and will be an executive producer for the upcoming DARK TOWER series). First off, this is not INDEPENDENCE DAY, people. It's a grim survival tale of humans almost wiped out by an alien invasion some six months ago. The remnants we focus upon are roughly 300 men, women and children and most of them have no military experience.

There's an interesting opening in which the children explain an alien invasion of Earth through drawings to their teachers. Electricity and satellites are knocked out and something like over 90% of humanity is gone. About the only reason the humans are able to even mildly resist is simply that the alien force has left the planet with garrisons but you don't know what's happening over the rest of the world which leads to some intriguing presumptions and rumors. Said garrisons have giant bots helping them and the sinister means to mind control the human children through "harnesses" (alien membranes that attack from the neck all the way down to your lower back). Even when the children are freed from the harnesses there are surprises like the aliens finding ways to control those children at opportune times.

Noah Wyle, a military professor turned sub commander, is the main character in this tale who tries to give hope to the survivors even though his wife is dead and his middle child has been taken and harnessed by the invaders. Wyle is good enough in his role but
acting is all over the board.
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Format: DVD
When the TNT network announced a Spielberg produced science fiction epic for its summer slate of programming, I was eager to sample the wares. With its massive advertising campaign, the network clearly had high expectations--and initial ratings were strong and instantaneous causing the show to receive an immediate second season order. Season One consists of ten episodes that weave a solid story of survivors in the aftermath of an alien invasion. Channeling a low key energy, as opposed to a pulse pounding tone, the show does a nice job establishing every day folks caught up in extraordinary circumstances. The piece's central theme is that we're all heroes in our own way and we're all stronger for standing together. It is a remarkably earnest presentation that remains mildly downbeat without ever seeming hopeless. This matter-of-fact feel is both one of the strongest elements of the show, but also one of the things that kept me from truly investing in the drama.

In truth, there is nothing particularly revelatory in the plotting of "Falling Skies." While I enjoyed the creature conception of the skitters (one of the alien life forms), admired the ambitious special effects, and was intrigued by some of the concepts (particularly the harnessed children)--I couldn't escape the general feeling that I'd seen it all before in countless similar variations. With a familiar feeling narrative, then, it is left to the screenwriters and the characterizations to make the show really pop. And I'm not sure that a memorable cast of characters has yet to evolve. Noah Wyle does most of the heavy lifting and makes an admirable every man hero. But many of the peripherals don't really stand out as interesting or fully developed individuals. When Steven Weber shows up for a few episodes, he creates real passion.
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185 of 226 people found the following review helpful By Music maven on October 22, 2012
Format: DVD
With a premise like this, Falling Skies should have been a real winner. There should have been lots of tension, action, and philosophy. Instead, we have lots and lots and lots of quiet conversation, down time, and what is presumably meant as character development, but which just comes across as filler, meaningless chat, and stock characters. If the planet were really devastated by aliens and people were hunted by advanced machines, the remaining people would be desperate, frightened, and frazzled. But the characters here are relaxed, chatty, and might as well be on vacation. Other than the very infrequent moments when they are actively encountering the aliens, there is no sense at all that any aliens exist. And how is it that these advanced, interstellar travelers can't see a group of 300 people traveling together on foot? The production values are cheap and easy, and while the digital work on the aliens is at least acceptable, there is far too little of it. TV budgets are not movie budgets, of course, but look at what Spielberg can do with sounds and the implied presence of hostile aliens in a movie like War of the Worlds. Lack of money doesn't have to mean lack of effectiveness. This show should be much, much better than it is.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Menendez on July 29, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I bought this on someone's recommendation; I watched the first 3 episodes and stopped; it was so bad. My son and wife had a good laugh at my expense. They were surprised I stuck with it that long. The show depicts what's left of humanity fighting back against invading aliens. There might have been potential, but it is totally wasted. The writing is terrible. The plots are predictable. The science fiction is unimaginative. The sets and behavior of people is unrealistic. The Aliens are totally inept.

Here's an example of the science fiction on this show: Imagine a bipedal alien robot with multiple laser sites that takes up to 5 seconds to shoot regular bullets once it acquires a target. Current human technology can do the same in one millisecond. The targeted humans on the show always seem to escape the stupid lumbering Aliens. Currently, in real-life, DARPA already has robots that can run 45 MPH, but the Alien Robots can only hit 3-4 MPH. In real-life, the U.S. military has tested solid state lasers that can burn aircraft out of the sky but these aliens are using still using bullets.

There is really nothing interesting about the Aliens. No mystery technologies, nothing that we do not have already. The aliens are not as advanced as you would expect of a spacefaring intelligence.

It's impossible to watch stuff like this once you've seen or read something like "The Road" which depicts real desperation. The book "Star Ship Troopers" is far more realistic fighting Aliens than this series and it was written in 1959. Even the Martians in the original 1897 H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds" seem more interesting and in ways more advanced than the aliens in "Falling Skies". This series is totally unimaginative.
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Cliffhanger ?
Yes, there's a cliffhanger. Yes, there's a second season. Go ahead and watch!
Jun 27, 2012 by Randy |  See all 3 posts
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