90 of 101 people found the following review helpful
MY GRADE: B to B plus.,
This review is from: Falling Skies: Season 1 (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. Some are very good (like Colin Cunningham as the gang leader turned cook/problem solver), some are subdued but done well enough (like Will Patton as the grizzled Desert Storm veteran who all see as their leader or Dale Dye as Colonel Porter who is best remembered as Colonel Sink in BAND OF BROTHERS) and others are in the "C-ish" grade range (like some of the teenagers and medical people). I think the second season will have more episodes and give us a better feel for the acting range of this cast.
Special effects feel like they're on budget at times but you have to remember that this is TNT. I'd say they're good enough and the reveals as to the special powers/technology of the aliens are fairly well done. The biological hierarchy of aliens was a good idea especially as revealed at the finale. As I said above the tone is grim but not hopeless.
The first season was met with positive reviews and the two-hour premiere was watched by 5.9 million viewers, making it cable television's biggest series launch of the year, with more than 2.6 million adults 18-49 and 3.2 million adults 25-54. The first season finale received 5.6 million viewers, the highest rated episode since the series premiere; with 2.5 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. (Wiki source).
This show was approved for a second season and hopefully it will be more than ten episodes.
STORY/PLOTTING: B to B plus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B; SPECIAL EFFECTS: B; SETTING/FOCUSES: B plus; OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus; WHEN WATCHED: 2011.