There is much for viewers of TNT’s Falling Skies to look forward to. For one, the alien-invasion series has been picked up for a second season, just four weeks into its freshman run. Also, looking to the immediate future, this Sunday’s episode takes us inside the head of Anne Glass, the stalwart but not-entirely-indestructible pediatrician tasked with human medical matters as well as taking scientific stock of the “skitter” being help captive by the 2nd Massachusetts. (Along the way, we’ll also learn something new about the ETs, including what exactly they do with the harnessed kids at bedtime!)
Moon Bloodgood, who plays Anne, shared with TVLine a look at the crucible her lady doc must navigate this week, and the breakdown it begets. Plus: Which of the actress’ past TV series holds an extra special place in her heart?
TVLINE | There’s a moment early on this week where Uncle Scott asks Anne why she hasn’t put a picture of the son she lost on the school wall. What is her mindset?
What you find out is that I feel guilty because I don’t have any sort of physical reminder of him — I don’t have any memento — so I feel like a bad mom. I also feel guilty that I’m alive, because my backstory is that I was actually at the hospital when the [alien] attack happened. My husband and son were at home, and because of that separation they died and I lived.
TVLINE | OK, so there were especially distressing circumstances surround their death, like how Tom’s wife only died because she took Dr. Harris’ shift.
The way it was explained to me is that when the aliens came, we didn’t know if they were hostile, and they were there for like 30 days before they attacked. But people were going missing, and the aliens weren’t responding to any communications, so my husband was like, “I have a really bad feeling about this. I don’t think you should go to work today.” But I decided to go, because it’s my job to help kids. And that day is when [the aliens] dropped bombs, and my husband and child were basically burned to a crisp. The guilt that I feel is because I know that I could have been there.
TVLINE | Interesting that this show presents another instance where humankind wants to give extraterrestrials the benefit of a doubt. Me, if the day ever comes, my default presumption is going to be, “Hostile.”
Right, you want to believe it will be like Close Encounters, but it’s really War of the Worlds. If that happens — if aliens came? — I honestly don’t know what I would do. I don’t have a game plan. I don’t think there’s anything you can do, except run.
TVLINE | Also this week, a few in the group are going to be angling to kill the captive skitter. What’s Anne’s point of view?
She’s a doctor first, and part of that is about not having personal feelings persuade you to act on any kind of vengeance or hostility. What I like about her is that she’s rational, and she tries to tell Dr Harris, “Nothing would give me greater joy, but if we kill it we’re not going to understand them and maybe learn how to fight them.” What we want as individuals does not outweigh what we want as a collective group. She’s usually levelheaded, but this is an episode where she gets really emotional and has a bit of a breakdown.
TVLINE | Yes, all that tension and buried anguish leads her to engage in one of the series’ most startling moments to date. What was it like when you first read that scene?
Oh, I loved it, because what’s fascinating to me in science fiction is finding out how [aliens can] die — What is the one thing you can do that will take their life? — and here you find out by accident. It was a horrifying moment, but a cathartic moment, when you later see Anne fall apart. This is the moment, Noah [Wyle] said, where Tom falls in love with Anne. I thought that was really romantic.
TVLINE | You previously told me that, ultimately, Tom and Anne will grow close.
We wanted to be really careful about not having a lot of romance between Tom and Anne, strictly because they both have spouses that they lost not that recently, and his kids are still alive, and you didn’t want them to seem disrespectful of the life they had before. [The intimacy] really comes later in the season, with little things like holding hands. It’s always subtle and not in your face.
TVLINE | Lastly, if one of your past TV series could have run longer, which one would you choose and why?
I would say… Journeyman [which ran on NBC for 13 episodes in 2007], because that was really close to my heart. It was a really sophisticated show that showed time travel in a way that we hadn’t seen in a while. It was high-concept and my character [doomed District Attorney Livia Beale] was just about to get ready to reveal a lot. I think she was born on the same date as Kevin McKidd‘s character [Livia’s onetime fiancé, Dan Vasser], and there were going to be a lot of other reveals. I love everything I’ve ever done – Day Break included – but Journeyman I would have liked to see go on a little longer.