A skitter question for you: We got the revelation last season that the skitters were once harnessed when Lourdes and Anne dissected one. It’s not quite clear whether the harnesses turned the skitters into the six-legged creatures they look like now or whether their own skin just grew over the harness and they’ve always looked that. Can you clear that up and let us know whether we should be worried about the harnessed kids?
Oh, we should definitely be worried about the harnessed kids. The rule that Steven insisted on right from the beginning and I embraced and followed is that we don’t learn any more about the aliens or the mythology than our characters learn. We learn them as the characters learn them. I’ll break that rule for five seconds because I know there’s been a lot of speculation about this on boards and stuff. Our take is that, no, that’s what the skitters looked like. They were six-legged creatures on their planet, and basically they looked like that. What the harness does – it does a lot of things — but one of the side effects of it is that it creates a sort of exoskeleton around the creature itself, and you can see that happening to our human kids. In fact, our nickname for them in the writers room is “crusty kids.”
Like Jenny a few episodes ago.
Jenny, and her brother who we didn’t see very well, but we will actually probably be seeing the full result of what the harness has done to our children, which is devastating and horrific.
It seems like the 2nd mass would be able to find out all about what the harnesses do, since Ben can communicate with the skitters, but who knows how much they’ve actually told him.
That’s right. And I think that they actually are learning more and more about the harnesses and the harnesses’ effect, and that’s something we’ll continue to keep exploring way into the whole series, but certainly in the third season.
So Anne is pregnant! Tell me about why you guys decided to add a pregnancy storyline into the mix, as if things weren’t complicated enough for the Mason family.
Part of it is simply just that. I think it’s good, especially in a show like this, just to keep conflict and complications happening. I think it presents a challenge. One of the things I like about it is that it presents a challenge not only in Tom and Anne’s relationship but also in the world itself – in this post-apocalyptic world, the question of “How do we raise a child in a world like this?” And we all thought it would be an interesting way to go with it and also to give Anne some challenges herself. Now of course the grand irony of it all is that shortly after we filmed that episode, Moon Bloodgood, the actress herself actually became pregnant.
You didn’t know she was pregnant at the time you wrote this?
Nope. We had no idea. I said to Moon, “Boy, you are a method actress, aren’t you?”
Is the timing of Moon’s pregnancy going to work well with shooting season 3?
Pretty much, yes.
Tom seemed to take the news pretty well. He had some really sweet things to say to Anne about what it means to bring a child into this world. Do you think that’s the whole truth of how he’s feeling about this, or is he hiding anything about what he thinks about having another kid on the way?
I think you can see in that scene if you look at it closely that Tom’s saying the right things, but he certainly has his own doubts about the situation. Noah and I and Moon and Greg Beeman, the director, we all really sat down and talked about that scene for a long time, with the idea of hopefully getting some shading in there. I think Tom’s being supportive, and I think he actually does believe what he says. Tom Mason’s not a guy that just throws out platitudes, but I think that there’s a lot of doubt in his mind as well.