Both MTV and TNT teased eager Comic-Con attendees with glimpses at new television programs Teen Wolf (MTV) and Falling Skies (TNT). Ironically both panels were back to back and both either draw from familiar source material, Teen Wolf being a re-envisioning of the Michael J. Fox movie, and Falling Skies using themes akin to War of the Worlds and other comparable alien invasion epics. Did the sneak peeks serve anything fresh to audiences with their bite size snippets, or were they awkward rehashes of contrived stories? Hit the jump to find out.
Teen Wolf kicked off with the obligatory introduction to the show runners, writer Jeff Davis and director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) and the actors filling out the new universe of Teen Wolf. Being my first panel, I expected it to be a bore sitting in a crowd of smelly people (when reading about SDCC I read many a story about attendees with pungent body odor) and listening to young actors blab about a remake of a 1980s film property. I must confess I was intrigued by the conversation Davis and Mulcahy held with the cast. In fact, that’s what made the panel bearable, Davis approached the interview more as a laid back conversation than an official interview. Mulcahy and Davis stated they were going for a scary and sexy vibe with the new Teen Wolf. The conceit of that concept seems cliché, but they sure nailed the sexy part. The cast is very attractive, especially actresses Crystal Reed and Holland Roden. The footage I watched was fun and moody. Highlights from the footage:
- Dylan O’Brien as Stiles scaring the shit out of Tyler Posey’s Scott McCall. Actually, the Stiles character was one of the most entertaining parts of the footage, and O’Brien himself was pretty funny during the panel. The dude is genuinely hilarious and has a solid screen presence.
- Stiles leading Scott through a murky forest in a heinous rainstorm, looking for the body of a young lady who was recently killed.
- Scott running from some shadowy beast and stumbling upon half of the young lady that he and Stiles were searching for. Although brief, the scene was quite graphic. Apparently something (a werewolf perhaps?) ripped the poor lass in half.
- Scott wandering out of the forest and onto the streets holding a vicious bite wound on his side. I wonder what’s going to happen to Scott…
That was it for the footage, which ran about ten minutes. Davis stated there will be three different types of werewolves in the show, Alpha, Beta and Omega. On being a straight up wolf, another being a hybrid between wolf and human and lastly one being some kind of uber terrifying beast that trumps the other two. While initially reticent about this new Teen Wolf, I think once it’s aired on MTV it’ll be a hit. Davis and Mulcahy seem to have successfully executed their plan thus far.
TNT’s Steven Spielberg produced Falling Skies panel opted to lead off with a bang, showing the trailer to a crowd that seemed pleased and intrigued with the footage. Description of the footage below:
- The clip began with two Alien space craft darting across the evening sky and dumping what looked like orbs of plasma into the city below.
- Clips of children’s drawings depicting aliens, their space craft and non-graphic destruction with a child narrating were peppered throughout the trailer. Show runner Mark Verhein stated that rather than show the alien invasion, the children’s drawings and narration would act as an expositional recounting of it.
- The footage got juicy when Noah Wyle was trapped in a warehouse looking building with one of the aliens. The footage never displayed a full good look at the creature, but it definitely stood bigger than a human and looked like a cross between a predator and a prawn (from District 9).
- While it was never fully seen, it appeared that the invading aliens used some type of bi-pedal mech to patrol the streets of Massachusetts where the show is set.
- Multiple clips of civilians and military personnel bantering, bickering and cautiously sneaking about the decimated urban setting.
The panel that followed only consisted of actors Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood and writer/ show runner Mark Verheiden. Noah Wyle was very contemplative and engaging. His character Tom Mason is a U.S. History professor whose wife was killed in the initial alien attack and lost his son to abduction by the aliens. Wyle’s character specializes in the history and military tactics of the Revolutionary War. Wyle stated that the show was originally planned to be called Concord, an allusion to the Revolutionary War. From what I gathered, Falling Skies was going to be an alien invasion re-imagining of the Revolutionary War. Wyle said that concept was scrapped due to the need to give the show’s writers more creative freedom. Bloodgood stated that while she is appearing in another sci-fi themed production, her character is less action oriented this go around. Verheiden and Wyle stated that aside from creating tension the abduction of Tom Mason’s son is tied into the alien’s research and interest in human adolescence. Noah Wyle said what intrigued him about the show was the idea of the remaining humans banding together and attempting to reshape the world, re-writing history, the Constitution and essentially having to start from scratch. Falling Skies thus far seems like an exciting property and definitely worth watching when it airs next summer. If the actors and individuals behind the scenes can steer it from typical alien invasion fare and into the contemplative character drama territory Wyle discussed, it’ll be the summer epic TNT is billing it as.
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