TNT has released a full cinematic trailer for its first original science fiction series, Falling Skies. It gives us our best look yet at the new alien invasion drama.
The trailer opens up onto an orbital view of Earth, which is in the process of a worldwide electrical grid shut down. Voice-overs of children, retelling the invasion, point out what separates Falling Skies from other invasion movies and shows: this isn't a story about humans fighting back, it's about humans surviving.
Headliner Noah Wyle (ER, the Librarian TV movies) informs us that the series begins six months after the initial devastating attack. Humanity is scattered and disorganized, and resistance may in fact be futile. Those who survive the bombardment struggle to rebuild civilization while on the run from the invaders.
While it's not apparent from the latest trailer, we know that the first few episodes will revolve around Tom Mason (Wyle), a former history professor trying to track down his children in the aftermath. Other headliners include Terminator: Salvation's Moon Bloodgood (Journeyman) as a pediatrician and Will Patton (Armageddon) as the leader of the human resistance.
You can check out the new trailer below:
There's good and bad on display here. The 150 seconds of the trailer gives the best look yet at the special effects for the aliens and ships, and to be blunt, they don't look good. Last year's universally-panned Skyline looked better with a similar aesthetic. It's not quite as bad as ABC's V, for instance, but it's nowhere near as good as Battlestar Galactica - a seven-year-old cable show. I was expecting more from Spielberg and company.
On the other hand, the crumbling shambles left after the attack look great. Clearly the production design team is using post-apocalyptic chic to the fullest, a la The Walking Dead. The found clothing and improvised living quarters are entirely believable.
But sci-fi fans have historically been pretty forgiving of poor visuals - it's the ideas and the drama we're after. Unfortunately, TNT's playing those pretty close to the chest. While there's a bit of information about the initial plot, details on how the humans plan to outlast their otherworldly oppressors are slim. What acting is shown looks serviceable, not fantastic.
Still, a project like this one is nothing if not ambitious - and it takes a few episodes for a new series to find its feet, especially large productions like Falling Skies. It's refreshing to see a story that doesn't automatically assume that humanity will triumph almost immediately (I'm looking at you, Battle: Los Angeles).
Falling Skies premieres June 19th at 9PM on TNT.
In the meantime, check out Screen Rant's interview with Wyle, Bloodgood and writer Mark Verheiden from last year's Comic-Con.