Starring: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Sarah Carter, Colin Cunningham
Over the past few years, sci-Fi on American TV has steadily been getting more and more ambitious. We've seen big names from the world of film come in as well to lend a hand, but few shows over the past few years can boast as big a name as Spielberg and as grant ambitions as Falling Skies.
Falling Skies gives us a world after a massive alien invasion. The governments have gone and the aliens have near total control. Only a few small small bands of resistance remain, and we follow ex-proffesor Tom Mason as he joins the fight against the 'skitters' and reclaim Earth for humanity.
Tom's not only looking out for himself though, as he needs to protect his two sons, while searching for his kidnapped third.
Falling Skies opens so strongly, with the first two episodes in particular being absolutely terrific. Pacey, moody and nicely different, even mason's whiney youngest boy can't spoil the party.
Unfortunately it's a high point the show quite often struggle to hit again. Too long is spent dilly-dallying about the kidnapped kids, and it saps most of the energy out of the show.
When the show gets going and motors through the gears, it really becomes something great and unique. Again, when it decides to drop everything and simply be silent for a moment or two, the effect is startling. It's the middle ground that brings Falling Skies crashing down.
The show seems to have a lot more trouble with the little things, struggling occasionally with heart to hearts when it can take on spacecraft with ease.
The special effects also vary heavily in quality, ranging from the fantastic practical effects (where the movie industry's extra few million they can spend doesn't show) to the occasionally ropey computerised counterparts.
Much of the same can be said about the characters too. While Tom is a great, unorthodox lead (played with great aplomb by the oh so beardy Noah Wyle) and Sarah Carter pulls off the 'bad girl' role very well, too many of the other players feel like stereotypes.
You have the military man, the biker rebel and the humanitarian doctor, but nothing really makes them stand out from the rubble.
While Falling Skies well and truly scratches that sci-fi itch, it too often relies on the excellent Wyle to hold the ship together. There's a lot to like about Falling Skies, and some great potential, but series one slips up too many times to really knock it out of the park.
Falling Skies Season 1 is out on DVD and Blu Ray July 2nd.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith