Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming summer biggie for the small screen, TNT’s “Falling Skies,” is about as far away from his last series as one could imagine — but former “The L Word” actor Peter Shinkoda says he’s been having a blast on the alien invasion drama.
“In physical terms, it’s by far the most difficult production I’ve ever been on, demanding all the time. There’s a lot of running, sprinting and scrambling. I was hyperventilating at one point. I wasn’t prepared for some of that action I performed. I’m not 17 anymore,” Shinkoda says happily. “I think, physically, everyone is giving 110 per cent.”
Debuting June 19, “Falling Skies” centers on a group of resistance fighters outside Boston — six months after vicious space aliens have taken over the earth. Noah Wyle stars as the college history professor and father of three sons who finds himself charged with leading a group of survivors. The series has lots of big budget bells and whistles, from otherworldly explosions to the alien critters themselves.
Executive producer Spielberg did spend time on the Toronto set, according to Shinkoda. “It might have been nerve-wracking for the director, but for the other 300 people, including the extras on set those days, it was great.”
Certainly, the stresses under which the “Falling Skies” humans find themselves — starvation, deprivation, and constant threat of annihilation — make things like the deficit and Anthony Weiner look not so bad. Still, will viewers want to share such a post-apocalyptic world week after week?
“I don’t think it’s too dark,” Shinkoda responds. “The gritty reality is being played, there’s no punches pulled. It really respects the audience. But it is very much a story about hope and humanity, and certainly the drive to survive. Not everyone exhibits commendable behavior. The situation brings out the best and worst of people,” he says. However, “My character is actually quite a noble person.”