The premise of TNT’s new series “Falling Skies” is simple: In the devastating wake of an all-out invasion of the planet by an alien military force, ordinary people must do extraordinary things to survive. Yeah, it’s familiar, but as the Wall Street Journal declared, “Hey, it works.” It more than works. Between the dire circumstances surrounding the easy-on-the-eyes cast, led by Noah Wyle, and the fierce aliens, called Skitters, you’ll be hooked early in the special two-hour first episode, premiering Sunday, June 19 on TNT at 9 pm EST/PST. We met up with cast members Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy, as well as co-executive producer/director Greg Beeman and co-executive producer/writer Mark Verheiden, and asked them some pertinent questions about the new series. (Set your DVR here from xfinityTV.com.) Also, be sure to watch the special extended preview below.
WHY NOAH WYLE TOOK THE JOB:
Noah Wyle: I had these offers from TNT, like four different pilot scripts, and I asked my 8-year-old son, Owen, what did he want to see his dad play: a policeman, a lawyer, an insurance adjuster or an alien fighter? The choice was simple.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH:
Moon Bloodgood: There’s some cool stuff. The fact that the aliens target the youth is a really cool science fiction twist there.
Noah Wyle: There’s something there for everybody. It is being billed as a Sci Fi alien invasion show, and it is. But I think at heart is a family drama, and a character drama, in the context of being a science fiction alien show,
Greg Beeman: If you like action it’s got action. If you like drama, it’s got drama. You can watch it with your kids and get a lot out of it. It is truly a show that the entire family can sit down together. I think it will bring people closer together because I think it really makes people look inside themselves and ask, you know, if something like this happened, would I have the strength to pull together, hold my family together, hold my community together, fight against a horrible force and not lose my humanity?
IF ALIENS INVADED THE EARTH – FOR REAL – WOULD YOU FIGHT OR FLEE?
Moon Bloodgood: I used to think I was the kind that would fight, but I have a feeling I’d be the one that flees.
Noah Wyle: I’d love to say that I’d step up front and center, shoulder a rifle and stay in my post, but I don’t know. I don’t think anybody really knows. I once asked my mom, like what our military history in the family was, especially the Civil War, because a lot of my family comes from the South. I guess back then it was common place for people with means to hire people to fight for you. We did a lot of that. I’m not sure if that would be an option if aliens came. I really don’t know. My character [on “Falling Skies”] is a very kind of slow resistant to accepting a mantle of power and leadership. He doesn’t want it. He wants to take care of his own first and foremost. It’s only under duress that he accepts this larger responsibility, and I think I would feel similarly. I think I would want to stay close to home and stay away from crowds and try to just hold up with me and mine.
Mark Verheiden: Oh you know what I would do is I would, you know, find the nearest liquor store, gather up all the Jack Daniels I could find, climb into a very deep hole and just sit there and hope they fly away.
HOW THE SERIES CAME ABOUT:
Greg Beeman: The idea came from Steven Spielberg and Robert Rodat; they did “Saving Private Ryan” together. They pitched the project to TNT, and the network decided they wanted to do an alien invasion show. That was like 3 years ago. Rodat wrote the pilot and that was shot two years ago and then it went to series last year. So the idea came from them, and then we were brought on to do the series as well.
FAVORITE PART OF THE SHOW:
Moon Bloodgood: it’s simplicity in a way, that it’s about people and it’s not just about killing aliens.
STEVEN SPIELBERG: HOW INVOLVED WAS HE?
Greg Beeman: Robert Rodat, who created the show, is an old friend of mine. We went to film school together and when I came aboard I asked him, “How involved is Steven?” He said, “He is surprisingly involved.” And he was. Despite all the movies he was off directing or producing he was very involved in the designs of the aliens. He had a lot of strong opinions. He watched all the dailies. We got notes on every script. A lot of the storylines in this show were ideas that came from him, and then he gave us notes on every – on every edit. So he was very involved.
WHAT ABOUT THE ALIENS?
Moon Bloodgood: If you focus too much on them, then you kind of lose the story, and yet if you focus too much on the story, you lose science fiction. It’s a delicate balance. I think we got it right.
Drew Roy: Yes, the aliens are cool. We have good aliens – and that’s important.