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‘Falling Skies’ Explores Humanity’s Survival

New TNT show’s producers seek ‘fresh and fun’ new ways to tell alien invasion story


TNT’s new alien invasion series “Falling Skies” debuted its first trailer at San Diego Comic-Con Friday with stars Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood and former “Battlestar Galactica” producer Mark Verheiden there to make the introduction to the packed audience.

Set six months after a devastating invasion by an unknown, incomprehensible alien race, the series follows the humans’ efforts to survive and eventually fight back.

Wyle’s character, Tom Mason, is a former professor with three children — one of them abducted by the aliens for reasons unknown. Wyle said he is looking forward to the arc that will take this “cerebral character and making him a military leader.”

Bloodgood’s character, a former pediatrician, will deal with the after effects of the invasion from the children around them. There also is the potential to for her to provide a love interest for Mason.

What makes “Falling Skies” special compared to other alien invasion stories? “Making it scary isn’t the hard part,” Verheiden said. “Making it fresh and fun is. It’s also about these people making sure they don’t lose their humanity while they do what they do.”

Having children fighting in “Falling Skies” offers the show new areas to explore, Verheiden noted.

“What is the proper age” for guns, he asked. “Sixteen? Seventeen? Or is it anyone who can pick up a gun. Is it fair not to teach your children to kill the aliens? Or is it taking away that innocence?”

Wyle, who spent 15 years on NBC’s “ER,” summed up his views of what makes “Falling Skies” unique for science-fiction audiences.

“It explores living without the constraints of civilization,” he said. “These people become the new architects of the Constitution, the writers of the next Gospels.

“Falling Skies” will premiere on TNT in Summer 2011.

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