In addition to my Doctor Who interview posted last week, I’ve got another piece of my 2013 Comic-Con coverage for you and this time it’s the chat with Falling Skies stars Noah Wyle (Tom Mason) and Will Patton (Dan Weaver). Season 3 comes to a close this Sunday, so what better way to get ready than checking in with its leads as they talk wrapping up the season?
What are your feelings now that Falling Skies is officially renewed for Season 4?
[pullquote_right]I feel like in a lot of ways we’ve figured the show out.[/pullquote_right]Noah: I’m really excited about next season. I feel like in a lot of ways we’ve figured the show out. The first season we had a good idea, the second season we figured out how to make it better, the third season we’ve established the characters we’ve established the world and we got to play a little bit with the narrative. Now we know these characters, we know this world, the threat has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger and I’m really excited to see what we come up with this year.
Will: I think you’ve gotten to know who these people are in the kind of way that, you know, their skin is real. Against this thing that is almost this other skin. These human beings are fragile in this almost alien world and I think it’s a very interesting conflict that switches over. What is it to be an alien? What is it to be a human being?
Noah: Where does Earth fit into this war that suddenly doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with us but we find ourselves in the middle of it?
Is it frustrating when you look back that it took this long to get to that comfort zone with the show?
[pullquote_left]Rumor has it [Season 4] is going to be great. Executive producers Mr. Steven Spielberg and Mr. Michael Wright are very happy.[/pullquote_left]
Noah: I’m amazed we’ve been able to make 30 really strong episodes of television. We’ve only made 30 hours of television and we’re already on our… fifth show-runner? There’s been a lot of turnover with our writing staff, whom all have to start basically from scratch. They have to re-conceptualize the show and make it their own. The fact that we have been able to keep a thread of continuity through that kind of personnel change has been really impressive.
I’m very excited about adding David Eick to the fold, who obviously you all know comes from Battlestar Galactica and a lot of other stuff. We had a great creative meeting with him, and I’ll sit down with him in a couple of weeks to find out what he’s drafted up for this season. Rumor has it it’s going to be great. Executive producers Mr. Steven Spielberg and Mr. Michael Wright are very happy.
In this season’s episode 8 entitled Strange Brew, how much work did you put into showing this alternate reality for Tom Mason?
Noah: There were more notations put onto that script than any ever script I’ve ever done. It really required tonally being right on the money. You know, his suspicions start to grow that something was wrong and you’re in the world, then you’re out of that world, not to mention there was a technological achievement in that episode that nobody is going to be able to appreciate except the people who did it.
The scene with Moon [Bloodgood] and I in the coffee shop? We shot her side of it in October in a soundstage because she was pregnant and had to go back to America to have a baby. I had to be clean shaven for that scene. So we shot her side of it over a photo-double of me. So I’m standing behind a pillar doing my dialogue for her and telling the guy how I want him to move and reach for the coffee cup.
Then three months later we went to a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver and shot my side of it over a body-double for her while the script supervisor did the dialogue. And they cut it up and you can’t tell. Nobody will ever know how we did it. Well, now they will. Get the word out!
Will: I saw the whole thing go down…
Noah: Yeah, Will is in that scene. Yeah, Will had to be in both places.
How do you feel Tom and Weaver’s relationship stands after Season 3?
Noah: It got strained in the beginning. There were secrets I was keeping, and we had to redefine our roles. Putting Tom in the power seat is a real role reversal for the dynamic of these two characters. Will answers this question beautifully. I’ll let him do it.
Will: Well, I would say from the beginning that Tom and Weaver have exchanged certain things about each other. [Tom] has become more of a warrior, become more of a soldier and Weaver’s heart has begun to open a little more and become more responsible and caring. The things that Tom originally was… Weaver and Tom have exchanged.
How important to you both is the family dynamic that is at the core of the show?
[pullquote_right]We’re a genre show to an extent but we’re really a family drama at its heart. It’s a very fine line to walk.[/pullquote_right]
Noah: It’s the most important thing as far as I’m concerned. We define family in two different ways: the nuclear sense among the Masons and we define it with The 2nd Mass, which is our group within the larger Charleston community.
Will had this wonderful idea early on, to which I give you all the credit in the world for because it’s so smart, somebody asked us what role does religion, what role does God play with these characters in this world and Will said “The 2nd Mass is our religion.” That’s where we find our faith, that’s where we find our enduring strength. It’s in the relationships they developed within these core group of characters.
So they may find themselves in a large population but they identify themselves singularly as “The 2nd Mass” first and foremost. That gives the show a heart, it gives it a spine that we can hang on to and keep going back to as we take the storytelling farther out on a string. Having that to go back to keeps it based in reality.
Do you worry that the core won’t be able to be maintained as it currently exists on the show?
Noah: It’s an ever present worry but it’s always an ever present creative challenge. That’s the line you have to walk. We’re a genre show to an extent but we’re really a family drama at its heart. It’s a very fine line to walk.
Falling Skies season 3 finale airs this Sunday, August 4th, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on TNT