Okay! New page! I’ve been particularly unwell this past week, but also particularly productive. As we speak, the page after this is also mostly complete, save a few small details. Huzzah! Anyhow, since I have twenty minutes before this page goes live, I actually have time to write that Falling Skies review I keep not having time for.



The first season of Falling Skies is ten episodes long, with each episode clocking in at around 42 minutes (the first two episodes were aired back to back and are included as one full episode).

The series picks up six months into a world devastated by an alien invasion. We follow Tom Mason, a former Boston University history professor who has become the second-in-command of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia Regiment, and his three sons. The story centers around his hunt for his son, Ben, who, like many children was taken by the ‘skitters’ and given a harness that has essentially turned him into a mindless worker drone. His wife has died, and the two sons NOT captured by aliens are both facing various angst/rage/abandonment/rebelliousness issues.

Without spoiling too much, I will say that I had a very hard time getting into this show. I really wanted to like it from the very beginning because it’s totally right up my alley as far as subject matter goes, but for the first 4 episodes I had a really hard time convincing myself to keep watching. It just felt like pieces were missing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it until those two pieces fell into place during episodes 5 and 6.

In episode 5, we see the skitters interacting with the harnessed kids in an almost motherly fashion. Creepy as the scene was, it was the first time I’d felt like the aliens who invaded Earth had motivations that put them above the average giant-monster-stomping-around-Tokyo status in my mind. The second I actually cared about why they were on Earth and murdering or enslaving everyone, I started to enjoy the series a lot more.

In episode six, the final piece fell in to place. This is something that Walking Dead got right, right from the get go. Before this point in time, everyone was banding together in a cohesive unit. They had plans, were all working toward the same thing, etc. The problem was that everyone had the exact same motivation, which was causing my brain to feel like they were all the same character. This episode reminded us all that, regardless of common enemies, people will still turn on each other. The second everyone stopped being all ‘we’ll join hands and fight this alien menace’, my interest kicked in to gear–people need flaws. We write about monsters and aliens and other extraneous forces that come down and challenge us, species vs species, but what we tend to forget is that rarely are we so united. People backstab. We’re self-serving, and despite all of our good intentions and similar goals, we show time and time again that we’re willing to step on each other to reach that goal first and play keep-away with it.

These two things are essential in webcomics, too, especially of the zombie or alien variety–hell, survival in general (Lord of the Flies, anyone?), but I’m generally more forgiving about the pacing there because these things take time to set up. not so much with big budget TV shows, and I’m actually kind of sad to say that if I hadn’t promised I’d review it, I might not have made it through this series.

From that point on, every episode of this series was full of ‘oh not you didn’t!’ moments and awesome cliff-hangers and development of characters that I had, until that moment, thought of as boring background shufflers. By the end, I was googling tentative season 2 premiere dates so that I could add it to my calendar alerts. Yikes.

Anyhow, how about you? Have you seen it? Do you want to see or avoid it now? How do you feel about those two key elements in survival movies? Webcomics? Can you recommend any other movies or TV shows (except Walking Dead–waaay ahead of you there), movies, or even webcomics that implement these themes in a way that really caught your attention? Let me know!