When last we left the soldiers of the 2nd Mass, things were looking up. Our survivors had gotten to Charleston, the new home of the government and military, dealt a decisive blow to the alien invaders when they managed to kill one their warlords, formed an alliance with rebel skitters, and, in the final scenes of the season, met a new ally not of this world. With Falling Skies (as well as its Wil Wheaton-hosted after show 2nd Watch) returning on Sunday, we caught up with showrunner Remi Aubuchon to find out what 2nd Mass is in for.
Nerdist: Falling Skies has always been a dark show, but the second season saw it get pretty desperate. How is the show shifting in tone for season 3?
Remi Aubuchon: I think what we wanted to do in season 2 is really emphasize that it wasn’t going to be easy. We really wanted to bring Tom and the 2nd Mass right to the edge of, “Can we actually go on?” All of a sudden this rush of energy comes in at the last minute, really, of the second season. Oh my God, we have a new alien, what’s that going to mean for us? I believe that one of the things that makes the second season positive, even though it is clearly darker and it seems as if there is never going to be an end to the tunnel, Tom’s resolve to want to fight, to believe that we can win, is strong. he doesn’t know how he’s going to do it, but possibly these new aliens are going to present the answer to that.
Nerdist: The show combines practical effects and CG effects pretty seamlessly. What is the balance like on set, and how do you prefer to have things shot?
Remi: The basic rule of thumb is whenever there is interaction between the actors and the alien character, we would love to try and have that actor interacting with the alien. It’s not always possible. The ashveni, the overlords, are motion capture, and, in essence, Noah has to act with a tennis ball, but we really wanted to bring the new alien in a lot this season, and it seemed the only way to do that would be to have someone in a wonderfully designed costume that would be enhanced by CG. There is, in my mind, no better performer than Doug Jones for that type of character. He’s not only facile in being able to make a costume come alive, but he’s a wonderful actor. He’s the sweetest guy in the world. I think the fun of season 3 is going to be that there are so many twists and turns that just when you think you’ve figured out what it’s going to be, we shift it.
Falling Skies Season 3 premieres Sunday night at 9pm on TNT. 2nd Watch is available after the episode airs.