Review: "Falling Skies"

Reason to watch: Aliens! OK, fine, sure -- Noah Wyle, too.

When/Where: Two-hour premiere Sunday at 9 p.m. on TNT; then airing Sundays at 10 p.m.

'Falling Skies' needs more scary aliens

Noah Wyle and Drew Roy star in TNT's

Noah Wyle and Drew Roy star in TNT's "Falling Skies " (Credit: TNT/ Ken Woroner/)

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The aliens have landed, and it's now post-apocalypse Boston. These are not nice aliens, but rather not-nice aliens, who skitter around like crabs and are assisted in their human-quashing chores by giant biped robots known as "Mechs." These brothers from another planet have planted their spaceship smack dab in the middle of Boston, ending any chance of the Red Sox ever winning the ALCS again.

Meanwhile, the surviving humans are fighting back. They're led by crusty, stubbled Weaver (Will Patton), who has organized a military commando unit called the 2nd Mass. to lead the charge (echoes of a distant Revolutionary War). One of his commanders is a mild-mannered professor of American history at Boston University, Tom Mason (Wyle), whose son has been snatched by the aliens. (They affix some sort of disgusting harness to the youngsters to keep them in line.) Tom and pals, including pediatrician Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood), have their work cut out.

MY SAY Sniveling, snorting, snaggletoothed aliens that look like crenulated cockroaches in Mighty Morphin Power Ranger costumes? What's not to like? Not enough sniveling, snorting aliens -- that's what. Even though there's a vast pop culture trove of invasion alien epics dating back to "War of the Worlds" -- "Independence Day," "Alien Nation," "V," "District 9" and so on -- fans of this genre (and we know who we are) demand but one thing: Give us our aliens and give us a lot of them. Do not stiff us on aliens, as "Falling Skies" does.

In a slightly different context (and genre), "The Walking Dead" has been a huge success because director Frank Darabont understands the real stars are the grotesque undead as much as the living. Hopefully, "Falling Skies" -- certainly competently directed, acted and written to a point -- will embrace this hard truth in future episodes.

BOTTOM LINE "Skies" needs more horror. Less talk. More dramatic tension. Less (ummm) talk. More crazy, wild shootouts with the despicable aliens, who don't seem particularly bright, by the way. Less (all together now) talk.

GRADE B-

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