Ordinary decisions are layered with enduring consequences and based upon complex ethical issues in TNT’s new drama series, Falling Skies. Operational decisions as simple as “Should the civilians be allowed to sleep in houses?” reflect the underlying potential for individuals and groups to turn upon each other in difficult situations.
Captain Weaver (played by Will Patton) has the final say over military and civilians, and he uses it. As he sees it, the military is playing the primary role of keeping the civilians alive and are civilization’s only hope in the battle against the skitter invasion. Of course, the fighters need optimal rest and resources; with limited housing resources, the fighters get the houses, and the civilians sleep in tents.
Dr. Anne Glass (actress Moon Bloodgood), increasingly playing the role of politician and advocate for the civilians, sees appropriate preferential treatment on a different value scale. Don’t the injured need more protection? What about the vulnerable children or pregnant women? Should the housing be shared in a fairer fashion allowing civilians to have their needs considered, too? Perhaps, a rotation?
Falling Skies’ hero, Boston professor Tom Mason (played by Noah Wyle), verbalizes the reflection that the army fights, but the civilians and civilization are what makes an army fight harder. With historical perspective, Tom knows both groups are integrally tied, but desperate circumstances demand harsh choices and compromises.
Looking back to a Greek philosopher
Aristotle once wrote, “We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we have those because we have acted rightly.” It’s important. What is fair? What can be sacrificed without losing everything? The questions are large ones, going beyond a single detail.
Again, “Should the civilians be allowed to sleep in houses?” Results are available at two, unofficial Falling Skies fan sites. At http://falling-skies.org/, with a larger number of voters, the poll results were 73% yes and 27% no. At Falling Skies’ other, poll-involved unofficial fan site, http://www.fallingskiesfansite.com/, the polling results were 65% yes and 35% no.
If democracy and fan votes held sway, the Falling Skies’ housing system allocation would include the civilians. However, in Falling Skies’ action, Captain Weaver reserves the housing for the fighters. How will the ripples of action play out in the larger, unfolding drama for survival and retention of humanity? Sneak previews and interactive details are available at Falling Skies’ official site and its two, unofficial fan sites.