Dialogue and Falling Skies

Falling Skies comic book cover
flickr credit: Filipão 28

You might remember my obsession love affair with Falling Skies from this past summer. Throughout the season, I found reasons to say, “Hey, I’m learning here!” and not feel guilty about my TV watching.

And I was learning. You know, in between the suspense, tension, and drama. They even threw us a bone when they gave the Second Mass that shiny happy moment and made Charleston real, strawberries included.

No Wasted Dialogue 

The dialogue of the final episodes reminded me how a few words can say so much. In fact, if your dialogue isn’t doing double-duty, it’s probably a waste of words. Dialogue should reveal character and move the story along, at the very least.

Checks calendar. Are there really six months till next season? To make us wait nearly a year to learn if the Second Mass has a new friend or foe—cruel and unusual, I say!

The show may be sci-fi, but the characters are what kept our eyeballs on the screen.

The bad guys—or critters, in this case—are deliciously multi-dimensional. As we learned more about the skitters, it became harder to define them or categorize them. By the end of the season, it was more unclear than ever who the bad guys were.

I loved it.

Characters Full of Color

I love it when a writer makes you want to root for the villain. Give me three-dimensional villains that I can sympathize with and make me almost want the hero to fail. Give me redeemed villains I can’t deny have paid their dues and deserve their rewards. Give me those characters that make me want to tear my hair out because they aren’t black and white. Life is filled with shades of color. Characters should reflect those colors.

The character of Pope is sure to surprise–and annoy and maybe tickle us. He stirs up trouble with every step and leaves disquiet in his wake. And we laugh anyway.

Pope has so many colors, we can’t distinguish them. Plus they’re covered in mud. We can’t decide what side he’s on until he reminds us he’s always on his side.

Then he says something like this, when he’s brought before Arthur Manchester (“The Price of Greatness”):

Pope: So the deal is, I give up Mason, Mason burns, and I walk free?

Manchester: I only want the truth.

Pope: Truth is Tom Mason is a pompous, semi-erudite history buff with delusions of grandeur. And if anybody is gonna knock him off his pedestal, it’s gonna be me. And not some two-bit, tin-pot dictator of Charleston, SC. Salud.

Just in case you’d started to think Pope was just a punk.

Does your dialogue do double-duty? Does it move the story along? Does it reveal character? Or is it just taking up space?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge