The day has come Falling Skies fans! Season three premieres tonight at 9 pm ET on TNT after a nice long wait.
While at Wonder Con back in March, I had the opportunity to be part of roundtable interviews with actors Seychelle Gabriel (Lourdes), Drew Roy (Hal), Sarah Carter (Maggie), and executive producer Remi Aubuchon about the upcoming season three and how the landscape will change very much for this show in the new locale of Charleston. Needless to say, there’s some big changes coming. They weren’t giving huge spoilers, but there were plenty of great teasers shared.
Up first, was actress Seychelle Gabriel, who’s character Lourdes is going through some big changes this season. She was also wearing the best pair of steam trunk goggles, which I believe she said she got in London.
(All photos by Alice Jester)
What can you tease about your character in the season?
She has a much bigger role than she has than any other season, which is cool. She proves to be vital in the medical arena with Anne Glass. This season she plays a way more vital role, because Anne has her baby in the first episode, and that’s kind of distracting and Tom’s president so I’m the head of the infirmary head there. I’ve fallen into my place I was supposed to fallen into before everything happened as a medical student/working in a hospital. I’ve been upgraded to a doctor, they call me Dr. Del Gallo. There’s a new species of aliens. You know how Anne and I have done alien type experiments and surgeries and now there’s a new type there’s even more discovery for making in the extra terrestrial realm.
Do we straight pick off where you left off with new alien discoveries?
No, actually we pick up seven months after. There’s actually some communication between the two. Cochise, that’s his name who comes down, he’s very apt with languages and so he’s able to communicate with the humans in a way that many are not because they have to go through humans which is kind of freaky. They can actually speak with us so there’s already been a bridge that’s been formed. Whether that’s good or bad I’m not allowed to share but it’s definitely new for all of us.
They’re staying in Charleston instead of wandering off and trying to fight the aliens?
Yes and no. Because Charleston is this awesome safe haven that we’ve been looking for the past two seasons but the 2nd mass has this vigilante spirit about that we really can’t hold ourselves down. Much to Charleston’s dismay, we’re still working with the rebel skitters and on our own to go and make individual stabs at the enemy, which is leaving the community, this awesome place, to go put ourselves in danger and put the community in danger, which is why people are upset with us finding a home in their safe home. So it’s like yes and no.
Are you a fan of sci-fi? Is this something you would normally watch if you weren’t on it?
Prior to doing this, I don’t think so. Once you start working with people that are interested sci-fi and comics their enthusiasm is so broad to me that now I’m into it. I don’t know, I’ve been to a couple conventions now, it’s a lot more exciting to me.
We going to see any plot lines where you’re dealing with pent up rage and what happened to your family?
A little bit. I think in the past, since we come in seven months later, the darkest moments are kind of behind us. And almost it’s like that period of grieving, I don’t know you’re almost putting yourself separated.
Circumstances force her to move on.
I think Lourdes embraces that because that’s the last thing she wants to be in her head over and over. I think that’s kind of the emphasis for her becoming a larger role in the Dominion. Really putting all of herself into that.
What is it like on the set? What is the atmosphere like? Is it freaky to have things where aliens are supposed to be?
I don’t have as many scenes like that with those kind of models and stuff. It is weird because they all come through the infirmary at some point. And that alien I was talking about, Cochise, that comes down, he was on set sometimes when I was there, he was in a full body suit, played by Doug Jones, and it kind of moves like the skitters do but it’s trippy because he’s super tall and it’s full body. It sparks that this weird animal instinct in you like you’re at a haunted house or something. It’s a trip.
Is Lourdes going to be lucky in love?
I think her love is for the new baby, for her patients. At the end of the season there’s a little thing that’s hinted with someone in the 2nd mass, but I’m not going to say more. Just hinted.
Up next was an interview that started with Drew Roy, and ended with Sarah Carter. Their characters Hal and Maggie are taking a big step forward together in season three.
Drew Roy and Sarah Carter
So, give us some scoop on next season? What can we expect?
Drew: Well, I think the same way that first season to the second season really ramped up in action and we just knew the characters better, we do the same thing in the third season. Something that I really enjoyed about the second season was we were on the move, on the run, from these aliens who were pushing us in Boston and by the end of the season we come to Charleston. There is the risk that we’re going to hole up in Charleston and get real boring. Not the case, that’s not the case at all. That’s our hub and Tom Mason has risen to be the president of the new United States. He’s having to spread his interests and his time pretty thin amongst things. But at the same time that’s opening up all sorts doors for other things to slightly be off. As far as being a father he can’t keep an eye on everyone like he used to so little Matt is running into some trouble. At the same time everything’s going outside the perimeter as far as aliens and what not and we have to go our there interact with them.
Does that mean Hal takes more of a leadership now that Tom’s away?
Drew: Yes, he’s sort of established himself as a leader at this point which is where he gets into trouble because with the eye bug now going into his brain it’s gonna to cause some serious problems with him. But because he has established himself as a leader Tom’s not necessarily keeping an eye on him the way he should. Not should, but he doesn’t need to cause Hal is a full grown adult in his eyes. So, he’s able to slip off the deep end without anybody but Maggie knowing and she’s so in love with Hal and they’re such a close couple that she doesn’t necessarily want to see the truth, so she excuses things from time to time. In the sixth episode we have the culmination of everything that Hal’s going through and it’s a fantastic episode.
The culmination with everything to do with the eye bug?
Drew: With everything to do with the eye bug and just all sorts of different things come to a head in the sixth episode. But they’re brewing in the meantime.
Is that the one you look forward most to the audience getting to see?
Drew: Yeah, for me, that’s my favorite one this year. I definitely got to do fun some things in that particular episode. But straight out of the gate this season we have several very interesting story lines going on. Even though Charleston seems like a happy little home, somehow information is getting leaked out of the very top tier of the government. We’re not sure if that’s somebody on the inside that’s leaking it, if the alien’s have the ability to sneak in and get this information but it causes a lot of problems when were on missions because it’s like playing chess and they know what we’re doing two moves ahead. That’s one of the problems. Another is that Anne is pregnant and she will be having the baby in the first episode. Just having that on the plate now for the Masons, on top of like I said Tom is spread thin, just having a new baby is a handful.
What about Ben? Is he coming back into the fold or is he staying out?
Drew: No, he’s back in. We had that great scene under the bridge where I’m trying to get him to come back and he says no, this is where he feels at home and then by the end of the episodes he decides he’s more useful. Yes, he’s back, he’s in full force, he’s the leader of the guy that wrangles all the skitters, and they do their little missions.
Do you have to make a choice between Maggie and Karen?
Sarah: I help him out.
Drew: This season we find Maggie and Hal very close because of the troubles that he’s going with through this ear bug. She’s really had to step in and help him just stay focused. This relationship has become very close almost like we’re a married couple. We have our own room, we function on our own. This is a tricky question.
Does she know, or is it does she knows there’s something is wrong with Hal?
Drew: She just senses.
Sarah: I know my man, I know something’s off. I have my suspicions. It’s dangerous for me to be vocal about any thoughts I might have because the stakes are extremely high. Yes, I’m waiting for it to be unbearably obvious.
(To Sarah) What’s up for you?
Sarah: Well, that’s the main thing for Maggie. She’s the real caretaker and I guess halfway through the season that shifts for her, the comfortability of their relationship, the dynamic, like Drew was saying, has really solidified into more of a marriage type relationship and through the second half of the season we see some real change in Maggie. She does revert back to that a lot of that more hardened, survival kind of place. It was great to play that and to feel that. It almost made it clear when we first meet Maggie why exactly she was so tough.
The final interview was with executive producer Remi Aubuchon, who is the writer of the season three premiere. He had a few great tidbits about the new characters, played by Gloria Reuben and Robert Sean Leonard, among other great tidbits.
Producer Remi Aubuchon
What can you say about the new characters that Gloria Reuben and Robert Sean Leonard are going to be playing?
I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that. (laughs). One of the fun things about this season is that we start seven months after the end of the second season. One of the cool things about that is the audience is going to have to now catch up to everything that’s going to be happening. What’s fun is all of a sudden Gloria Reuben shows up as this new character, Marina Peralta, who suddenly it seems like everybody knows. That’s one of the fun things about suddenly having a character like ‘Who exactly is this person?’ She seems to know everything there is to know about Charleston and she basically has become Tom Mason’s most trusted friend and advisor. Gloria has just jumped into it. She’s wonderful and has found her character. She clearly has a lot experience in politics and government and keeps order in Charleston. She’s a lot of fun.
Robert Sean Leonard plays this wild character who we dubbed “The Rat King” but I realize now we actually never really refer to him in the show as “The Rat King.” In essence, we always try to have someone who has some sort of some technology based skill so that they can help us through various things. Unfortunately, as you may remember, Jamil had an untimely end in the second season who was sort of our guy. So Robert Kadar is a guy who lives in the basement, or the bowels I should say of Charleston. He’s the one that has gotten the energy going so that they have energy all the time. He’s a complete genius but also he’s agoraphobic. He won’t come out of the basement. They finally force him out and he’s a total wreck every time he’s up on top because he believes at any minute the aliens are going to come and eat him. It’s very funny. You won’t recognize Robert Sean Leonard in this show at all?
Is Tom a reluctant president? Does he struggle with the job?
He’s a reluctant president times twenty. There’s a great line, which I won’t spoil too much, no, I will, I’ll spoil it. There’s a great line where he goes, “Yeah, I’m the president of twenty city blocks. I don’t know what I’m doing here.” He believes that what he’s doing what is right, so he’s willing to take the job even though he doesn’t like it at all.
Ben with the harness. So he went out and now he’s said he’s come back?
Oh yes, all of that’s true, and he has friends. So it’s even more interesting. Should be fun. Ben has a lot to do in this season as well so it will be fun to see what happens with him.
What would you say is the over reaching arc of season three?
The way I approach it is the that the first season was really about dealing with the initial trauma. No one quite could believe that what was happening was happening. I think that especially Tom, which is the vanguard character that we’re following, (was) kind of thinking, “I just got to keep my family together during this whole thing until this whole thing is over so I can go back to our lives and do what we want to do.” But then the realization in the second season is, no, they’re here to stay and we got to do something. I don’t know how we’re going to do it but we’re gonna figure out a way, we’ve got to fight. The third season is really about synching in and figuring out how exactly it is we’re going to win the war. Now that it’s been a bit of time, everybody is taking their jobs very seriously. Where as Charleston seemed like a good pipe dream for the second season I think that Tom Mason and everybody else is realizing there are no pipe dreams. It’s just going to be hard work. If we believe in the human race, if we believe in our planet, than we just have to methodically get these guys off our planet.
How much does the new alien play into that?
That’s a good question, which I won’t give you all of the answer to. If this alien is an ally, can they help us in our goals? We don’t want to fight their war or get involved with their nonsense, but if they’re here to help us then we’ll take their help. But that’s always going to be an open question mark.
As far as the storyline for the series, do have an overall outline you’re working from or do you play off of each season?
We have an overall, what I would call a five year plan. I’d love it to go ten years, I can really figure out a way for it to go ten years, I just want to let everybody know that, if it needs to, but I think I want it to at least get a sense of where we were headed and what’s going to happen. Having said that, I believe in the happy accident and dynamics of what might happen in the writers room and that happened this season. We kind of knew where we wanted to go at the end of the season, but a couple of things came up, a couple of actors suddenly brought us some surprises in their performances that we didn’t expect, and we want to take advantage of that. And we did, and it kind of moved some of the stories off into different areas. The long and the short of it is yes, we know where we’re going, but we’re willing to make side routes if we need to.
Going back to the seven month gap, from a story standpoint, are we going to be left to fill in that in based on what we see in present tense or will there be flashbacks?
I think that is a good question. The fun thing for me as a fan, I love it when all of a sudden a world is happening and I have to help fill it in. I think we do a good job at catching up the audience fairly very quickly to everything but there’s going to be a lot of fun lingering things like “How did that happen?” or “Who’s this person?” and we do eventually answer those all of those things in a relatively short period of time. I just thought it was a fun way to inject a lot of adrenaline and a great tension because the audience is always going to be wondering, “Oh no, what’s that, oh wait a second, what’s happening with that?” just like I like to do.
Is Colin going to be back? (His name wasn’t in the press packet).
Oh yes. Mr. Pope is back, and badder than ever. That’s odd that it’s not, because it should be. Even John Pope has gone through some changes in the last seven months. It’ll be interesting to see what those are too.
For those that haven’t seen it, here’s the official synopsis for episode one of season three, which airs tonight:
Enjoy the premiere everyone! Come back here afterward and tell us what you thought about it.