Falling Skies' Noah Wyle: Tom Has No Illusions of Peace After Visiting Aliens
Noah Wyle | Photo Credits: TNT
Falling Skies is back on Sunday (9/8c, TNT)... and Tom Mason will be too from his time away with the alien Overlord.
Tom (Noah Wyle) will return a changed man after the aliens make it pretty clear that his visit aboard the ship was far from a peace offering. In fact, the 2nd Mass will be in even more danger this season, which could actually be Tom's fault.
Still, there may be hope on the horizon when the outside world makes contact. Will the promise of a stable life and safety be too good to be true? TVGuide.com turned to Wyle to get the scoop on the second season, including the quick progression of Anne (Moon Bloodgood) and Tom's relationship and the inevitable, impending deaths.
What can you tell us about Tom's time away with the aliens and what we'll learn when he returns?
Noah Wyle: He goes on the ship essentially to find out a little bit more information about his son Ben. That's sort of his Achilles' heel, his family. But once on board, I think that he realizes, in the midst of this conversation he has with the Overlord, that there are no more negotiations to be had, that there's not going to be any kind of rapprochement or peace to be brokered, and so he gets off the ship with no illusions that there's going to be anything other than a fight to the last man or last stand. It really changes the character fundamentally from somebody who retains an aspect of hope that things are going to work out for the best to a guy who's far more of a realist. He comes back, in a weird way, almost enjoying a transference with Captain Weaver (Will Patton), who started off as a militarist but becomes humanist now that he's reconnected with his family, which we've seen in subsequent episodes. Tom takes the harder line about taking the military approach.
Do the humans actually stand a chance of survival if it is a fight to the death?
Wyle: It's an interesting possibility. Last year when we performed the autopsy on the Skitter that we captured, we find that they themselves have been a harnessed race. It begs the question maybe that there's some element of the Skitter population that are resistant to the Overlords, and may be sympathetic to the human cause. And if so, then an alignment could be made. That would really apply some leverage and tactical advantage to the fight.
How will the group react when Tom returns?
Wyle: Rightly so, with some suspicion. I think he harbors some suspicion — because he's let go under very strange circumstances — that he may be a security threat, that he may be a bit of a homing pigeon drawing the enemy back into the ranks of the 2nd Mass. Initially, his kids are really excited to see him, and Weaver's excited to see the second-in-command back, but underneath there is a nagging question about what happened on board the ship. The fact that he doesn't have total recall about all that experience is also cause for concern.
Tom has had a shaky relationship with his sons, especially since Ben (Connor Jessup) returned from being harnessed. What will we see for that dynamic this year?
Wyle: Those characters actually grow closer together because of the experience on the ship. He now has something in common with Ben, which is that they've gotten access to the aliens that nobody else really has and that has put them almost on the outside of their own group as a result. It's a difficult situation for Tom to undergo this season. Last season was about his eldest son Hal (Drew Roy) wanting to establish himself as a man, and a fighter in his own right, and exercising autonomy away from his father. This is Ben's turn, and it's much more difficult for Tom to let go.