Fans of TNT’s Falling Skies now have just a little over a month to wait before they see how the 2nd Mass is getting along with new alien arrivals, how Anne’s pregnancy is going, how that creepy crawly parasite is affecting Hal, and the next chapters to other cliffhangers from last summer’s season 2 finale. Ahead of the show’s June 9 season 3 premiere date, EW screened the first half of the two-hour season opener at our inaugural CapeTown Film Festival on Friday night at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre.
The audience at the event sponsored by TNT was also treated to a Q&A with showrunner Remi Aubuchon and cast members Noah Wyle (Tom), Moon Bloodgood (Anne), Maxim Knight (Matt), and Drew Roy (Hal).
The big screen presentation of the sci-fi TV show was a bonus screening for those who bought tickets to the festival’s screening of Escape from New York, so the crowd was scattered with fans of both the 1981John Carpenter classic and the current acclaimed TV show. There were a few in outfits that nodded to Snake Plisskin’s iconic costume, mixed in among fans with Falling Skies sweatshirts. There were those who rushed outside the theater to catch the Falling Skies cast for autographs after their Q&A, and there were those who hung tight for the rest of the event, which featured a rare conversation with Kurt Russell.
Read on for five teases about the upcoming game-changer season revealed at the Q&A moderated by EW writer Tim Stack. SPOILERS AHEAD!
It takes some time for Tom to get the hang of this president thing. Wyle’s Tom Mason has taken on the role of U.S. President (or president of the 20-block radius of Charleston) in the third season, but it’s not a job he immediately warms to. “I wanted to make sure there was a bit of a learning curve to his ability to lead and to be an orator,” Wyle told the crowd at Friday’s event. “He’s gonna get stronger as the season goes on. He’s gonna get more comfortable in the role. [At the beginning of the season] he’s sort of acting presidential, rather than being presidential, but he gets better.”
Anne’s new role as a mother will be met with some sci-fi complications. Bloodgood recently spoke with EW about her character’s pregnancy, and she had more to reveal at Friday’s event. “Something’s very wrong [with the baby],” Bloodgood revealed of Anne’s child, who is born in the season premiere. “Anne doesn’t know what it is. She starts to investigate. People start to think it’s postpartum depression on my part. Everyone thinks I’m kind of nuts. But the baby is only acting peculiar around me. So what I do in my own mind is think, ‘Is something wrong with me or is something wrong with the child?’” But are aliens to blame for all these unnerving happenings with the baby? “Maybe we can say it’s alien-related,” Bloodgood teased. “It’s science fiction! I can’t just have a normal baby!”
Roy relished the opportunity to play a wheelchair-bound Hal. When season 3 picks up seven months after the season 2 finale, Hal cannot control his legs due to a mysterious paralysis. “It allowed me to change things up,” Roy said. “I felt like we had really gotten to know who Hal was. And then to have him dealing with this paralysis shows a completely different side of him. It strips him of what he uses to be a man.”
Tom and other Charleston residents get to ride horseback in the new season. Wyle explained that the addition of horses to the show (first seen in early footage of the season debuted by EW) was not only the practical next step for characters living in a post apocalyptic world where gasoline has a limited shelf life, but it also supported the tone of the show. “I always thought that there was a World War II kind of war film epic nature to our show, but there’s also a western vibe that’s run through it as well,” Wyle said.
It won’t be so clear whether Tom’s new alien ally is to be trusted. In season 3, Tom is working closely with Cochise, a member of the alien race called the Vohm that arrived in the final minutes of season 2. The character is played by fan-favorite Hellboy actor Doug Jones. But Aubuchon teased that Tom’s confidence in his choice to trust Cochise wavers. “Tom’s big dilemma is ‘We’re winning. We’re getting the support that we need. I feel in my gut that this is the right place to go, but is it?’” the showrunner said. “So much of [the season is about] Tom’s belief that he’s made the right choice, but like all great leaders, you are constantly faced with doubt about that. And Cochise seems to be the right guy, and he seems to be saying all the right things, but is he just doing that to further an agenda that we’re not aware of?”
That and more mysteries abound in Falling Skies‘ third season, which premieres on June 9 at 9 p.m. on TNT.
The Entertainment Weekly CapeTown Film Festival runs through Monday, May 6. For readers in the L.A. area, tickets are still available for movies like like The Goonies, Twelve Monkeys, and Coraline, with special guests including Neil Gaiman, Richard Donner, and Terry Gilliam. Keep checking at EW.com for reports on screenings and Q&As from more of the geektastic lineup, including Return of the Jedi, Escape From New York, and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. Learn more about the festival by clicking here.
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