US network TNT has dipped some toes into the science fiction waters with Falling Skies, a post-apocalyptic narrative set in the United States after an alien invasion. The aliens have settled in for an extended stay, killing all the humans they can get their hands on except for a small labour force of enslaved children, and our heroes represent the gallant resistance, fighting back against colonialism and striking blows for freedom. Just in case anyone missed the heavy-handed metaphorical references to the American Revolution, the central character of the piece is a former history professor who makes sure to bring up Revolutionary battles at every opportunity.
The show is, in two words, absolutely terrible; painfully overproduced and overacted, filled with swelling dramatic music that spurts periodically across the screen for no apparent reason, immensely clunky and wooden plotting. We can perhaps attribute this overwrought feel to the involvement of Steven Spielberg as executive producer, because it is a show that seems to be trying for a grand cinematic scale, but failing miserably because of budget limitations. You can practically hear the backdrops rustling in the wind as our characters look towards the battered skyline of Boston and pledge to return to wipe out their colonizers.