This summer, Falling Skies, one of TNT’s most successful programs, ends after five years. Centered on the story of Tom Mason (Noah Wylie) and his sons, he and what few survivors of the human race form the 2nd Mass to combat the alien menace that easily occupied Earth. Over the years viewers have learned humans aren’t alone in their fight against the Espheni and the scale of the battle spans galaxies. Thankfully for humanity, the tide turned in their favor in season four as Tom Mason leads his freedom fighters on the offensive, in hopes to drive the occupiers from their besieged planet.
Doug Jones (Cochise) shared his thoughts on the series and his character earlier this month at WonderCon:
Given the state of humanity in their latest campaign against the Espheni, the fifth season of Falling Skies is in for a rough start. Humankind and the Espheni are now on a level playing field. With the occupying war machine crippled beyond repair, both factions are in a desperate battle for their survival. The 2nd Mass is no stranger to hardship and as Jones noted, the Volm will play a more significant role in the resistance.
“You would think that I might go off [sic] to my homeland and my own people and find my way back to our home planet one day. […] But I think what you’ll find in season five is that Cochise is loving his new friends. He’s having his teenage moments that are a bit rebellious, regarding his father… who I also play in the show! In episode four this season is mostly my storyline. It’s a huge Cochise storyline, and you will laugh, you will cry.”
Although there are only 10 episodes remaining, the dynamics between characters remains in flux. Jones, a supporting cast mate for the last two seasons, has been a crucial player in the war for Earth. Cochise’s development has been fairly limited however, until now.
“When you meet me in season three, it was mostly the bromance with Tom Mason and Cochise. This season I’m branching out more and interacting with more characters on the show. You’ll see more interaction with Colonel Weaver and we almost become Abbot and Costello! They wrote a lot of funny for Cochise this year and I’m really happy with what the writers did with their sense of humor. The culture clash, the misunderstandings that can happen. They really played with that more and gave me a comedy muscle to exercise this year. I also interact with Maggie… she has a growing hatred for her spikes. That caused the love triangle between Ben and Hal, it confused things and she’s getting sick of it all. With that hatred of her spikes comes a little bit of comradery with me. I’m not giving anything away, but there you go!”
Espheni, Skitters, mutants, genetic engineered creatures and brainwashed humans… the struggles the group repeatedly face would be enough make the most hardened survivalist waver. Fantastical tales of otherworldly killer beings aside, Jones believes the conditions that the 2nd Mass faces are easily relatable to viewers.
“It tests every audience member watching it to ask themselves “What would I do in this situation”, right? California is about to run out of water. What are we gonna do? How am I going to behave if guns go to the streets? [laughs] You know what I mean? Over water! This show is one of those shows that puts out the possibilities, in a world where we’ve lost electricity, lost our creature comforts. What do we become? What would I become, would I hold on to our morals, would I hold on to my ethics, and my integrity?”
For fans of Falling Skies it’s been a bittersweet feeling to know the fifth season will be its last. Since it’s premiere, steady ratings have ranked Falling Skies as a top 15 drama on basic cable every summer. In its fourth season, the series averaged 4.7 million viewers. Viewership hasn’t wavered which is a great testament to the show’s ability to provide quality storylines and characterization in a condensed season. Despite given the chance to wrap Falling Skies with satisfying finality, when any show as successful and lasting as Falling Skies decides to hang it up, it greatly affects cast and crew alike.
“A family does form on a show like this with all the series’ regular actors especially. I think even more so the central focus of Falling Skies has been the Mason family. The family extends, they have a ripple effect throughout all the other characters in the show. We all kind of get grafted into the Mason family in some way, shape or form.
“I’m kind of the country cousin [laughs]. The one, you know, that doesn’t visit often. But when I’m there I feel very much grafted in. So […] it does have a sadness to it for sure.”
With a prolific career that’s replete with memorable characters, Jones was asked if he ever becomes weary of portraying creatures or aliens that requires extensive prosthetics.
“I would never say prefer, I do enjoy creature characters that I get to play. When you’re wearing prosthetic make-up, you get to play a much wider range of characters than you can with your own face. [points at self] This can only go so far. [laughs] I knew when I started my career, if you’re not Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, you have to be funny or scary. So I’ve made a life of being funny AND scary as a character actor. […] What I love though is when some writers find that creature character and give him nice moments and nice relationships and sympathetic things to play. Much like Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies, you’re charmed by him. I think Cochise is one of those charming characters, he’s becoming more of that every time we see him.
“When I’m playing a human character, I get to go to the craft services table and get my own snacks with my own hands and feed my own mouth! I LOVE THAT! I love being done with make-up in fifteen minutes as opposed to five hours… but the payoff is I only get to play a certain number of characters with this face whereas the creatures I get to explore other ecosystems, other worlds, other humanities… other things!”
Currently, Doug can be seen guest appearing as Deathbolt on both Arrow and The Flash, which concludes Tuesday April 21 at 8pm PT/ET on The CW. Also, Jones will be portraying Dr. Havel Allard in the web series Nobility, currently in production.
Cochise and the rest of the 2nd Mass will return for the final season of Falling Skies on June 28.