The fourth season of TNT’s Falling Skies is still nearly a year away, but it’s never too early to start stirring up interest in the fan base. And when it comes to stirring up fans, a good convention appearance will often be just what the doctor ordered. (As opposed to just what the Doctor ordered, which is fish sticks and custard.) Falling Skies did just that this past weekend at New York Comic-Con, teasing the crowd with footage from the next season, which won’t premiere until next summer. Thankfully they also posted it to Facebook, so you can check it out above.
So, things were looking pretty good for a while there, what with the shoulder-mounted badass gun taking down one of the Espheni structures in a very satisfying manner. But then there’s the fire and the screaming and the kids in the Hitler youth outfits and suddenly I’ve got a bad feeling about this and that’s not even the right fictional universe.
Falling Skies has been consistently inconsistent throughout its three seasons so far. It’ll have moments where it’s really good, mixed in between a whole lot of mediocrity. Those little moments keep me watching — well, that and because it’s part of the job — but I’d love to finally be able to praise the show without having to attach phrases beginning with “except…” The new footage suggests the fourth season will be following the show’s tradition of shaking up the status quo, so that’s nice. Sometimes a change of venue is all you need to really spark the creative juices.
The Comic-Con footage isn’t the only thing providing a window into the future of Falling Skies. IGN nabbed an interview with new executive producer/showrunner David Eick (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica) while at the Con, and he provided a few tasty morsels.
Eick references both The Empire Strikes Back and The Blues Brothers in describing how the fourth season will see the core group of characters divided and scattered, with one of the season’s main throughlines being “getting the band back together.” He also promises we’ll see lots of new “critters and threats and beasties,” which I am in support of. You can’t have enough beasties, is a thing I have never once said before.
We’ll also getting to know the series’ Big Bad a bit better in the form of new Espheni characters offering “defined points of view.” So far the show’s interactions with the Espheni have mostly been via a third party such as their Skitters thralls or Karen. This season it sounds like they’ll become more than just a generalized opposing force. Maybe they’ll sit down with humanity, drink a little wine, and finally work out their differences. Maybe they could all start a book club. (Do you want to try Cold Mountain, or is that too long?)
At any rate, providing the Espheni with motivations more complicated than “CRUSH PUNY EARTH RESISTANCE” could only be a good thing.
As for humanity’s new-ish allies the Volm, they haven’t proved to be quite the straw that broke the Espheni’s back, but they are still on the same side as the humans…theoretically. Eick says, “They’re not exactly as altruistic as they appear.” But they seemed so nice! Look, they’ve even got a book about us, it’s called To Serve Man…
Eick says change will be important in the next season, since by the third or fourth season of a series, you want to “start knocking the cobwebs off.” In fact, he says he warned all the actors that he would be “yanking the rug out from under [them],” which I presume is a metaphor, but if not and somebody could include the rug-yanking footage on the DVD, that’d be awesome.
Falling Skies will return to TNT in summer 2014.