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6 Shows like Falling Skies: Fear of a Dead Planet

James Thomas itcherStephen Hawking, one of the world’s greatest minds, recently warned that if aliens ever paid us a visit, it would be more of a raid than a dinner party. The fear of an apocalyptic alien invasion is nothing new. Science fiction writers have articulated this fear in novels like ‘The Puppet Masters’. Now TV shows like ‘Falling Skies’ have become successful by capturing the dread of being hunted to extinction by alien overlords in a crumbling world. For a further look at this kind intergalactic, apocalyptic narrative, check out shows like ‘V’, ‘Invasion’, ‘Threshold’ and of course ‘War of the Worlds’.
~ James Thomas

The Sky Is Falling

‘Falling Skies’ is the story of  life after change, and by change I mean waking up to find that everything is on fire and all your children have become part of an alien hive mind.

That’s right, the E.T.s have arrived and they’re as subtle as a chainsaw with their conquest and worst of all, they’ve killed the Internet.

Who will save us from the incursion of an advanced and sadistic alien species? Only someone who has seen hell on the front lines…a high school history teacher…….yep.


Shows Similar to ‘Falling Skies’…

‘V’ (NBC, 1984-1985)

Even though the invaders in the ‘V’ series look like ‘Star Trek’ cosplayers from the 80’s gone horribly wrong, it is a really good depiction of conquest set with in a Nazi motif.

A group of aliens called the Visitors arrive on Earth in several gigantic saucer-shaped ships the size of continents, declaring a benign purpose of peace and mutual prosperity.

Unfortunately, the attractive human skin masks the Visitors wear are hiding ravenous reptilians that enjoy eating mammals whole, and by mammals I mean us.

Seriously, they unhinge their jaws and everything.

One of the most attractive aspects of this show is the presence of Freddy Kruger himself, AKA Robert Englund, as the only vegetarian Visitor.

Similarity Match: 90%
Like ‘Falling Skies’, ‘V’ looks at how the average person reacts to an existential threat to humanity. But in ‘V’ the invasion comes cloaked in kindness, and humanity sits back while the world is swallowed whole.

‘War of the Worlds’ (CBS, 1988 -1990)

Set up to be a sequel to the Orson Wells’ radio play of the same name, ‘War of the Worlds’ is a fresh take on a classic story.

The aliens, who were armed to the teeth during the first attack in 1953, got their intergalactic butts handed to them after being exposed to earth’s bacteria.

Fast forward to 1988 and the alien survivors are sporting human bodies and gross skin lesions and are primed to get revenge and take our world.

These aliens fight as a shadow organization trying to undermine humanity at every turn.

Similarity Match: 85%
Both ‘Falling Skies’ and ‘War of the Worlds’, show a pitched battle between invading aliens and humanity. However, the ‘War of the World’ invaders have learned that the best way forward is to blend in and help humanity destroy itself.

‘Threshold’ (CBS, 2005 – 2006)

‘Threshold’ falls more on the side of a CIA drama than straight Sci Fi show.

The premise of the show is that a high level government bureaucrat by the name of Dr. Molly Caffrey has developed contingency plans for nearly any foreseeable or seemingly unforeseeable problem the government or the Earth might face, and one of them is an alien invasion.

When aliens do show up primed for a hostile takeover it’s up to the good doctor and her team to find the alien threat and neutralize it with extreme prejudice.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘Threshold’ is a show that deals with the logistics of an alien threat in our midst. But in this series the aliens use bureaucracy and technology to make us more and more vulnerable.

‘Invasion’ (ABC, 2005 – 2006)

This show is one of the smarter alien invasion series, with a really lazy title. ‘Invasion’ portrays aliens that are less, “surprise we’re taking your stuff” and more “hey we can’t really go home because of the hurricane, so do you want to mingle DNA?”

This series is more like ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ than you would think considering how on the nose the title is, and how benignly the aliens behave.

But unlike that classic story or a series like ‘Falling Skies’, the aliens in ‘Invasion’ don’t seem too determined to conquer. They seem to just want to survive and maybe find a mate.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘Invasion’ takes the concept of cross-planetary immigration and gives it some ambiguity. Yes it’s a series like ‘Falling Skies’ that deals with an incursion of an alien species, the difference is that in this show the aliens are less conquers and more like refugees.


If You Like ‘Falling Skies’, You Will Like…

In ‘Falling Skies’ humanity is struggling to simply survive and that struggle is something which we can empathise with.

The following series; one that deals with a similar threat to that in ‘Falling Skies’ but with less destruction, and the other where humanity faces man-made annihilation that mirrors the decimation in TV shows like ‘Falling Skies’ should pique your interest.

‘V’ (ABC, 2009 – 2011)

This remake of the first ‘V’, which became a cult classic by the end of its run, makes the alien Armageddon shiny, new, and disturbingly attractive.

Like the original ‘V’ the aliens appear all sunshine and rainbows offering world peace, access to space exploration, and sexy human veneers. And like the original, ultimately our planet is just one big buffet.

The difference is the subtle political allegory concerning the ever present danger of surveillance in a police state that you won’t really find in the original series or in a series like ‘Falling Skies’.

This version of ‘V’ does what a series similar to ‘Falling Skies’ does so well, showing the threat of the unknown and the potential of humanity to overcome adversity. But unlike ‘Falling Skies’ the world of ‘V’ is much more glossy and intact.

‘Jericho’ (CBS, 2006 – 2008)

‘Jericho’ lacks aliens, but it does have that hazy feel of foreboding that you find in the best examples of post-apocalyptic fiction.

The world has been ravaged by a series of nuclear attacks that have wiped out about 23 major cities in the US. On top of that a new flag is suddenly raised by a very well-armed military force.

The country is devastated in the same way that it was in TV series like ‘Falling Skies’. The town of ‘Jericho’ figures out that they may be one of the last places in the country that hasn’t learned what the inside of a microwave feels like.

Also, seeing the threat of this new army, the people of ‘Jericho’ field a militia that would make the people of the Second Mass from ‘Falling Skies’ proud.

Unlike ‘Falling Skies’ ‘Jericho’ has nothing to do with an alien invasion; however it does deal with the same themes of a lost world and desperate humans scratching out an existence after near annihilation.


Look to the Skies, the End Is Nigh

A threat from above that can end the world as we know it is something that hits us all literally where we live. What do you think the invasion will look like?

Let us know in the comments down below.

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