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Will Falling Skies be the Apocalypse Bostonians have Awaited?

Our fair city has had its legal comedies, police procedurals and supernatural dramas, but this month Boston finally gets its own bleak apocalypse. TNT's Falling Skies is set in Boston, six months after an alien invasion that leaves humanity incurably crippled. Those that remain have banded together to form a resistance group, united under the common goals of survival. If it all sounds formulaic, that is because it probably will be; but with Steven Speilberg and screenwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) at the helm, the show could still prove to be a mindlessly fun summer drama.

In the world of Falling Skies, Earth is occupied by giant, insect-like, child-snatching aliens. The creatures, known as "skitters" and "mechs," obliterate any adults that are seen as a threat. Children are taken and enslaved, strapped into harnesses that alter their mind and control their actions. The invaders were designed by Speilberg himself, who has some previous experience with alien design.

Fighting against them is 2nd Mass, the aforementioned ragtag resistance group based in Boston. The show follows the group's second-in-command, Tom Mason (Noah Wyle, of ER). Mason, a former history professor, uses his extensive knowledge of military history to fight off the alien menace - most likely by convinving them to invade Russia in winter, or  declare a land war in Asia. But more than anything, Mason wants to make a normal life for himself and find his son, who has been kidnapped by the skitters. Moon Bloodgood (of Terminator Salvation) and Will Patton also co-star as resistance fighters.

TNT has been promoting Falling Skies as the jewel in the crown of their summer lineup, and the show has been praised by critics for its big-budget, action-movie feel. And TNT has already found a showrunner for the expected second season: Remi Aubuchon, co-creator of the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica. Perhaps TNT is being too optimistic, since the series is still weeks away from its premier; but with a time-tested formula and Spielberg on board, it looks like an inevitable moneymaker.

Falling Skies premieres June 19 on TNT at 9/8c.

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