Steven Spielberg-produced alien invasion show “Falling Skies” had its final Comic-Con panel today, as the show nears its series finale later this summer.
The show graduated from a smaller room at the San Diego Convention Center where its cast was the past few years, to Ballroom 20, which holds about 5,000 people. It was a panel that got plenty of laughs and cheers from that crowd and that showed off the charm, intelligence and humor that this cast has.
Read on for highlights from the “Falling Skies” panel.
Hal has a particularly “nasty,” “bloody” scene coming up soon – maybe with Pope? Drew Roy teased a scene for his character that”s in episode 5 this season. Here”s how he described it. Our best guess as to who this other actor is? Colin Cunningham, who plays the persistently troublemaking Pope, who hasn”t had a lot of scenes with Hal. Maybe the oldest Mason boy is the culprit behind Pope”s nasty gash on his face in this promo.
Pope and Tom will get a satisfying final face-off. Even when Pope and Tom were getting along relatively well, “there was always this underlying tension that existed between them because they were such different men,” Noah Wyle pointed out. “They were going to have a last go-round. It was gonna come at some point. They've had a couple collisions, but it's always been truncated just short of that moment, that final decisive moment. This season, obviously being the last, we don't truncate that!” (Pope”s at intense, serious odds with a lot of 2nd Mass members this season – Moon Bloodgood also teased a fight that Anne has with Pope.)
Bloodgood wasn”t too thrilled to meet Wyle the first time they got together. Wyle told this story as Bloodgood, sitting next to him, appeared mortified, covering her face with her hands: Before Bloodgood was cast, she and Wyle met up at coffeeshop in Santa Monica, Calif. “At the time I had casting approval over who was going to play my love interest,” Wyle said. “Moon showed up not liking the fact that she had to get past me. She had the biggest chip on her shoulder that I've ever seen in my life, and I thought, ‘She's pretty tough. She just might work.””
Olatunde Osunsanmi is a long-time fan of the show. Osunsanmi, who directed a few episodes last season and joins showrunner David Eick as fellow executive producer this season, told the Comic-Con crowd, “I watched every [episode] of Falling Skies at broadcast. I was a fan before I ever stepped on set.”
Cunningham messed with the panel”s sign language interpreter. During the panel discussion, Cunningham turned to the woman interpreting the discussion for the hearing-impaired and said, “I'm also kind of tripping out “cause over to my left is the hearing impaired girl, which is so awesome. Let's see how she translates that. I am so awesome right now “cause I can do this with my hands.” He then said some medical mumbo jumbo that even this reporter didn”t catch, the shortest word (by far) of which was “trachea.” At that point, the interpreter playfully threw up her arms in mock frustration.
Wyle had to keep up with Roy”s energetic push-ups and jogging in one of their first scenes together. The “ER” alum recalled an action scene he shot with Roy on a night shoot for the pilot. “[Roy] is considerably younger than I am, has a lot more energy. To prepare for the scene, he's jumping to the floor, doing push-ups and jogging to look like he's a little winded [in the scene]. And I'm looking at him and thinking, 'I'm not gonna let him get the best of me.' So I start doing push-ups too. I start jogging down the street. I've never been that sore. I gave everything I had to keep up with him that night.” The bummer end to this story: The footage from that night was lost, and Wyle had to do it all over again in a push-ups- and jogging-filled reshoot the following night.
Doug Jones wants Connor Jessup”s fangirls. Jones, the master performing-through-prosthetic-makeup actor who plays the alien Cochise, said that if he played another character on “Falling Skies,” he”d want to play Ben Mason “because every time I mention him on Twitter, a whole bunch of young screaming fangirls come with that.”
Wyle confessed that the show hasn”t had a solid master plan for the series. Eick”s comments in HitFix”s recent interview with him reflected this too. Wyle said on the panel, “We'd write a big season cliffhanger where something fell from the sky, and you'd see all of our faces looking at it and we had no idea what that was going to be. We hadn't written the flip side of the scene, so we'd spend all hiatus thinking, 'Are they tiny? Are they big? Are they scary? Are they friendly?' We'd write ourselves into a corner every year and have to kind of write ourselves out of it every year. So there wasn't a lot of forethought to it. A lot of ideas were always on the board but no clear through-line.”
The Comic-Con crowd got to watch an intense upcoming scene with Maggie and Ben. In the scene from this Sunday”s episode that was screened for the Ballroom 20 crowd, Maggie and Ben both make a spikes-assisted connection to the Overlord”s mind – yes, both at the same time, which the Overlord is not happy about. It”s ends up being an intense experience for Maggie and Ben, who are holding each other tightly a lot to deal with the pain and maintain the connection, which Hal is definitely not happy about when he runs in. The two spiked 2nd Mass members infiltrated the Overlord”s brain to get intel on where all the skitters are coming from. They succeeded – so it”s fair to say we should expect another bloody showdown with a hoard of skitters soon.
Which Mason boy will Maggie choose? On the panel, Sarah Carter said that this season, her character, Maggie, does “take the reins and decides it”s about her taking control over her own life. It's less about which Mason boy she chooses.” But, yes, “she does [choose one] eventually,” the actress Canadian actress admitted. Panel moderator Darren Franich asked Carter whether she”s Team Hal or Team Ben, but Carter played coy and just said, “I can”t say right now.”
The next episode of “Falling Skies,” titled “Hatchlings,” airs on TNT this Sunday, July 12 at 10 p.m.