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'Falling Skies': Executive producers preview the second season

'Falling Skies' executive producers talk about that first season cliffhanger and where the new season will be going.

By Tiffany VogtThe TV Addict / June 18, 2012

'Falling Skies' actor Noah Wyle's character (r.), Tom Mason, was the subject of a cliffhanger that the writers were initially unsure how to resolve, says executive producer Remi Aubuchon.

Ken Woroner/TNT/AP

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FALLING SKIES debuted last summer to record breaking numbers as fans across the globe avidly tuned into see the mesmerizing aliens and to figure out how humans were going to reclaim their planet. During a recent press conference at Zoic Studios, executive producers Remi Aubuchon, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank provided some insight on how they approached the second season of the alien occupation series that has the whole world buzzing.

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The first season finale was clearly a game-changer?  What were you thinking ending it with Tom Mason walking onto the alien ship?
 REMI:  Well, I wasn’t involved then.
 DARRYL:  When we hired him, he was like, “Thanks a lot guys.  Now I’ve got to write my way out this one!”  ‘Cause he wasn’t involved in the first season. He was only involved in the 2nd season.
 REMI:  I only got involved when we started talking about possibly me coming and running the 2nd season.  I was literally thrown in a room on a Saturday and I watched all of the episodes, and as I was watching I was going, “This is cool.  This is cool.”  Then it got to the end and I went, “Oh my god, what am I going to do?!”  So someone else painted me into that corner.  But the truth is that I love a challenge.  It was really fun to figure out: why did he go there?  I called up the writers of the first season and they all said, “I don’t know.”  But the truth is we came up with an awesome way to move forward from that; and actually in many ways, that final sequence ended up informing much of the energy, thrust and engine of the second season.
 DARRYL:  We had ideas.  I mean, we had ideas of where we would go — possible different directions — but we sort of left it up to Remi and the writers. We have some writers from the first season that stayed on and some new writers who sort of come up with what they wanted, and we’re really happy with where it ended up. 

What’s the balance like?  For example, in the first season there was a good balance between the sci-fi elements and the relationships and the more homosapien drama.
 REMI:  I think we follow basically the same balance.  The one thing that I’ll say is that the stakes are upped on both sides of that equation.  I think we have incorporated a lot more of what I’d call science fiction elements into the second season.  But at the same time, I think the emotional stakes for our human drama has also risen a lot.  People are more comfortable with each other.  They were just thrown together literally in the first season.  They were trying to figure out who they are and what their roles were.  Those roles are a little more defined in the second season, and so the consequences in that with familiarity comes actually increased conflict a lot of the time; or certainly more interaction between characters.  The one thing I’ll say is that most of the writers — we all come from genre backgrounds and we’re all basically science fiction geeks and we love that sort of stuff — but we always forced ourselves to have the center of the story be emotionally based from our characters.  We surround them with a lot of fun science fiction elements, which I think makes it cool, but ultimately it’s about our own characters’ needs, wants and conflicts. 
 DARRYL:  I’ll concede that the dual franchise was critical from the get-go.  It was important for Steven [Spielberg] and certainly our partners at TNT — and it is something we never want to lose sight of. There’s certainly more mythology in the second season, and, as Remi said, as we’ve gotten to know these characters, it all of that moves along at a brisk pace — a really satisfying one at that, I think.

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