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Adrian sees the first episode of Spielberg's Falling Skies and has some Walking Dead Season 2 tidbits! Kapow!

I've been looking forward to Falling Skies for a very long time. I can't remember when we first heard it was happening, but it's great to finally see the first 42 minute episode in all it's glory - and that's what I and 499 other people got to do today here at Kapow! in North London.

There was a massive queue through the convention hall for this one, but being the diligent reporter I am I joined my line early, and managed to get a seat right in the middle, at the front. My neck hurts now, but it was worth it.

Some of the footage is out there already, but seeing the full length episode really showed where they're going with this whole project. There are Spielberg fingerprints all over the first episode - as usual, there's a young boy, various family issues and one or too unnecessarily schmaltzy moments which I didn't think worked so well, but in general this was great stuff.

I know I'm risking the ire of a lot of Walking Dead fans when I say this, but this was better than that for me. It was like The Walking Dead without all the cliches that zombie stuff inevitably has these days.

To cut a long story short, the aliens have invaded, all the major cities and armies have been destroyed, and it's up to the likes of Noah Wyle and various ragtag groups of people who weren't soldiers six months ago to fight the marauding bugs off their damn planet.

The show shares many similarities with The Walking Dead actually - the survivors deciding to leave the city but having to go back for provisions and so on. But the aliens they've created for this are great - nasty four legged freaks, who appear both in their natural form, and as laser-targeting 'mech' armoured versions. The bad guys have built giant platforms in the centre of the city as their base - and it's alluded to that getting inside one of these will be the aim of the group at a later date. Or in a later season, perhaps.

There was plenty of action, most of it very good, well paced and quite brutal, but still fun. The big twist is that the aliens are specifically trying to steal human children, and to attach metal slug things to their spines (known as 'harnesses') which seem to make the kids their slaves. It's not clear why.

Surprise, surprise, one of Noah's kids has been caught and is being used by the aliens this way! What will Noah do? Risk the group by going on a suicide mission for his son? Or let the aliens keep his little boy?

The whole thing was hugely enjoyable, with Wyle's character constantly quoting military history (he was a history teacher), and saying that history is littered with examples of small groups making so much trouble for an invading force through an insurgency, that the superior force eventually gives up and leaves.

The rest of the casting was solid - some good turns from the likes of Moon Bloodgood and Will Patton - for me, Falling Skies isn't groundbreaking, but definitely something I'll stick with, based on episode one.

As well as that preview episode, we were also treated to a video interview with Andrew Lincoln - the star of The Walking Dead that most of my friends here in London still can't believe is pretending to be an American. He says they're filming season two right now, and that "we're going to keep pushing the envelope of taste and drama" as they make more episodes. He also says that working on the show has allowed him to restart his career in a way that he never knew was possible, because "there's a whole continent where people don't really know who I am still".

The new season will apparently see the survivors moving further into the countryside, away from Atlanta, but will continue to honour the structure and tone of the comics. Lincoln also said he's not sure about whether the Stephen King episode is happening, but that he's very excited at the prospect. He also revealed how much he's enjoying himself these days "I get to wear cowboy boots and ride horses and shoot zombies! I'm living the dream!"

More from me here at Kapow! Comic-Con in London very soon...

Adrian Hieatt

Readers Talkback
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  • April 10, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    i'm not that fussed on the Spielberg one

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • April 10, 2011, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead = Win

    by Nicoflex

    Even with Lincoln's accent

  • April 10, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    there's a whole continent here in Europe

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    that don't know who he is. This Life was a good while ago! Great actor though.

  • April 10, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Alien invasion is stupid and Walking Dead was a massive letdown

    by SadTruth

    Yea, me again, saying how any alien invasion story that lasts longer than a few minutes is so totally beyond reality that really only children can suspend their disbelief in order to enjoy. But hey, now they want to steal our children rather than just our woman, wow, that really ups the ante! (heavy snark). Hmm... let's see... interstellar civilization, being at least several thousand years ahead of us in tech, can't just sample our DNA and breed their own race of slave humans? It makes EROEI (look it up) sense to expend the massive energy needed to travel between the stars, setup massive bases here, battle the somehow able to put up a resistance local troop of monkeys, just to steal the monkey children for slaves? REALLY? WTF people, this cannot be anything but made for 5-10 year olds, RIGHT? God, Ripley really was correct about IQs. Walking Dead= stupid lazy writing and a bunch of us geeks/nerds desperatly trying to apologize for it. Trash can, give HBO greenlight for WWZ series. DONE.

  • April 10, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST

    INDY 5 is coming, guys... I happen to know it for a fact;)

    by Mennen

  • April 10, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    I wish sadtruth was wrong....

    by blackflowerX

    But they aren't. I kind of enjoyed Walking Dead , but I like the comic better. <BR><BR> As for a good ,real, intelligent, alien invasion , WTF how hard is this shit to make FFS . I'm sorry but Falling Skies sounds stupid and looks like a bad PS3 game .<BR><BR> Its 2011 FFS give us something that lives and bleeeeds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • April 10, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Moon Bloodgood

    by Lucky_Day

    I just image searched Moon Bloodgood and wow, just wow.

  • April 10, 2011, 5:33 p.m. CST

    "continue to honour the structure and tone of the comics"

    by DeckardB26354

    Ummm, the first season of The Walking Dead tv show took the structure and tone of the comics and threw it out the window. Too bad AMC and Darabont turned The Walking Dead into a zombie version of "Lost". The comic is far more daring and original than the tv show, unfortunately.

  • April 10, 2011, 5:33 p.m. CST

    sadtruth: I mostly agree with what you are saying

    by lv_426

    but I don't think the concept of an alien invasion film or series is stupid. It all depends on the process of invasion, the motivation of the invaders, and how advanced humanity is in relation to the invaders. Surely a standard military invasion by aliens is not the most sensible way to invade us present day Earthlings, but what about classics like Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Invasion, or in this case, infestation by way of an alien spore or alien virus. That has potential for an alien invasion TV series. Hell, they could just do an Invasion of the Body Snatchers TV series. I'd watch that. If Spielberg wanted to do an alien invasion by military force type of show, then why not do something like Halo, which he was interested in producing about a year ago? Or they could create an original fictional universe and characters, all set in the future after mankind has begun to pioneer new settlements beyond Earth and even beyond the Sun. Basically, if the humans are already a spacefaring civilization with military starships, robotic drones, and space marines, etc... then they could likely defend against an alien military force, whether that means the war is centered around one planet/star system or many planets across dozens of stars. This approach also means that the human faction might be close to or equally as advanced as the alien attackers are. I suppose that puts an idea like that in line with being similar to Space: Above and Beyond or Battlestar Galactica, but at least it would make more sense and be plausible within the boundaries of a fictional universe.

  • April 10, 2011, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Whats Journeyman?

    by JohnWayneWasGay

  • April 10, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    what?????? a kid in trouble???

    by Detached

    in a SPIELBERG production???? say it isn't so! why, we haven't seen that since... since... well, since virtually everything he's ever done. naturally, i'll tune, but really... alien invasion stories are pretty silly. any civilization with technology advanced enough to travel between stars is not going to have any problem not only conquering, but controlling, earth. their technology would be at bare minimum multiple decades ahead of ours, and more like at least a few centuries. (now, if it was just martians, who only have to travel from mars to earth, and are only a few decades ahead of us, that would be a different story). but, all that aside, i'm there anyway.

  • April 10, 2011, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Falling Skies is Tripods

    by mike allegretto

    Falling Skies seems to be a direct copy of the british tv show Tripods. the premise is the same including the capping of youths with behavior-modifying "caps".

  • April 10, 2011, 8:17 p.m. CST

    The Tripods

    by Keith

    Blimey, that's a blast from the past. Wonder if it still stands up? Actually, it was a bit of a mixed bag at the time. Based on John Christopher's book trilogy, right? Except it got a little loose with the plot when they moved into the Masters' city. Remember that the TV series ended on a cliffhanger at the end of the second series (equivalent of The City of Gold and Lead), with the human base in the mountains having been tonked by the tripods, but they never made a third season. (So, like Blakes Seven, the final episode was a downer.) Cool title theme, as well. Very reminiscent of Jeff Wayne's "War of the Worlds", which isn't surprising as the composer also worked on that project.

  • ...ha ha bitches. Too bad that tactic didn't work in Iraq. Sound-Off you dirty American an British bastards, we kicked their Hadji Asses!

  • April 10, 2011, 9:39 p.m. CST


    by Absent Nine Times

    The difference would be, of course, that the invading alien army wouldn't have media reporting every single civilian casualty and a political agenda to sway public sentiment against the OTT. (Operation Terran Takeover) Also, the aliens would actually USE their advanced technology, not just chase us with a board with a nail in it. I grudingly agree, alien attack movies are kinda silly, but then again, so is making a Time Machine out of a DeLorean, or wearing an unlicensed nuclear accelerator, or expecting the dead to rise and attack the living.

  • April 10, 2011, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Did someone say Moon Blood good?

    by ATARI

    Excuse me, I think I just came a little bit.

  • April 10, 2011, 10:24 p.m. CST

    dont worry youself too much about the WD characters *spoiler*

    by deelzbub

    they get eaten by zombies

  • April 10, 2011, 10:24 p.m. CST


    by deelzbub

  • April 10, 2011, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Waiting for Walking Dead season 2 for judgement...

    by Viewer 3

    I wanted to like the Walking Dead, and in many ways I do. Especially after that first episode. It wasn't overly dramatic... it was somber, quiet, yet emotional and atmospheric. But the rest of the episodes seemed written and directed by an entirely different crew. I was really looking forward to a non-mainstream, non-Romero, non-Resident Evil sort of zombie story. They scratched the surface in season 1, but they'll really have to pull something out of their ass for me to care enough after season 2.

  • April 10, 2011, 10:35 p.m. CST

    People who whine about Walking Dead..

    by quantize

    need to get a fucking life as soon as possible...we live in a time where a major tv series about people surviving a zombie holocaust, with solid writing and a great director is being made.. and STILL people bitch? fuckinnnnn 'ell shut the fuck up you navel gazing losers

  • April 10, 2011, 10:36 p.m. CST

    'They are not compelling.'

    by quantize

    Then you have no taste. Simple.

  • April 10, 2011, 10:45 p.m. CST

    I'd like to second that

    by MoffatBabies

    bring back Journeyman. heh. Yeah.

  • April 10, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST

    I have the strangest feeling that

    by Turingtestee

    Andrew Lincoln is an asshole. Looking forward to season 2. It's a bummer about Carl.

  • April 10, 2011, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Walking dead eps 1, 2 good, 3, 6 okay

    by Keith

    4 and 5 were boring, though. They unleashed "emotional moments" that simply hadn't been earned. Lengthy farewell scenes for characters we barely knew but which were played as though they'd been regulars for two seasons.

  • April 11, 2011, 12:29 a.m. CST

    Didn't any of you guys see JOURNEYMAN or DAYBREAK??

    by CeejayNightwing

    Man did you miss out! Both starred Moon Bloodgood and both were among the best time-travel scifi shows ever. Best thing about them both is that they had an ending, well Daybreak did; Jorneyman kinda had a satisfying final episode that answered most of the questions. Do yourselves a favour and find a torrent!

  • Awww poor baby ... shit theres people in the next street who dont know who i am :)

  • April 11, 2011, 1:04 a.m. CST


    by rockness

    is an awesome show. one part the prisoner and one part the fugitive. sad that it was never discovered. in any event, most of it is on youtube episode by episode. shh.

  • April 11, 2011, 2:20 a.m. CST

    Fame does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    "there's a whole continent where people don't really know who I am still". Am I taking this line out of context or does this guy sound like a right fame whore? I know who you are now 'Andrew Lincoln' - you're a CUNT!

  • April 11, 2011, 2:22 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    I got distracted halfway though when the guy mentioned 'metal slug'... side scrolling retro arcade goodness - love that game...

  • April 11, 2011, 5:09 a.m. CST

    I'm sure Lincoln is being ironic with his comments

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    He'd not known in the slightest for being a media whore, and never is in the gossip rags. So I read his comments about being known on a whole new continent as a little British irony.

  • April 11, 2011, 5:09 a.m. CST

    I'm sure Lincoln is being ironic with his comments

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    He'd not known in the slightest for being a media whore, and never is in the gossip rags. So I read his comments about being known on a whole new continent as a little British irony.

  • April 11, 2011, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Re: detached

    by MakNeil

    How could you possibly know the technology level of aliens, especially since the earth (as far as I am aware) has never been invaded. How could you know their motives (that is, assuming that their are aliens) and wouldn't they be, well, alien? Those are two reason why you can get away with alien invasion flicks. Also, since there's little evidence (I really do want to believe Roswell happened) that they even exist, it's a bit hard to say what they would or wouldn't do. Besides, we use aliens from space to project our fears of the here-and-now. They give us something that we can kill with impunity because they TRUELY aren't like us, unlike the proxy aliens we oftentimes spend out time attacking in the real world.

  • April 11, 2011, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Uh... it sucked.

    by Joh Doe

    I attended the same panel yesterday, mainly for the Walking Dead bit, which was very short and revealed very little. The trailer for 'Falling Skies' made it look ok, the episode on the other hand, was trash. I felt sorry for Noah Wyle. He's grown a beard so that he looks a bit older than his son, which showed a lot of dedication, but his character was awful. As were the others - underdeveloped and cliched. A quiet, tough asian dude, a couple of 'crazy' black brothers, a concerned medic/love-interest and some others who I forget. It begins with this awful on-the-nose narration by lisping children explaining the apocalypse via drawings. This is followed by a bit of running from the unseen aliens (with a lot of The Terminator and a bit of Predator thrown in.) Noah chats with the tough army guys (even though all of the armed forces were wiped out apparently) and then we spend about half an hour building up to a fight with some awful looking CG aliens that lasts for a minute. There are also kids wandering around with 'control packs' on their backs, that look like the He-Man power sword I had as a kid, dipped in jelly. Honestly, it's crap. This is nowhere near as good as The Walking Dead. Was anyone else there? Because after reading the review above, I'm starting to think I attended a different screening.

  • April 11, 2011, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Grammar Errors

    by MakNeil

    Should have been a question mark at the end of my first sentence. 'there' instead of 'their' in my second line. I should have lost the 'e' in 'truly' in my fifth line. It's early, though I should have caught them nonetheless.

  • April 11, 2011, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Alien Invasions...

    by Hipshot

    Have been written about by some seriously brilliant SF writers. While there are lots of thorny questions (why would a group with such technology and energy want anything to do with us? Need our resources? Have any difficulty dealing with us?) there have been, and continue to be, interesting, entertaining and creative answers. If you think you're smarter than Niven and Pournelle, David Gerrold, and H.G. Wells is to laugh.

  • April 11, 2011, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Bravo for your grammatical corrections, makneil

    by prince_fufu

    I read that and thought, "He's making some good points", but I noticed the grammar and almost dismissed the post out of hand.

  • April 11, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST


    by v3d

    Why would an alien race that can travel light years to earth with technology thousands of years ahead of us, need to make small hairless apes slaves? It never occurred to them to just build robots. Robots that don't have parents that will stop at nothing to get their children back. And didn't they end up killing millions of potential slaves in their initial attack? Oops.

  • April 11, 2011, 10:44 a.m. CST

    For those that don't like The Walking Dead....

    by DangerDave

    go fuck yourself and go watch Cougar Town. Unbelievable, you have a weekly zombie holocast series based on a rocking graphic novel....and you don't like it? "Lengthy farewell scenes for characters we barely knew" -----it's not the dead that they are mourning for, you get to know the living characters because of that. "I don't care about the characters in The Walking Dead. That's a problem. They are not compelling."-------sorry that you feel that way, Dancing with the Stars is on. Cunt Fanboys.

  • April 11, 2011, 10:47 a.m. CST


    by prince_fufu

    Maybe they are just evil, psychotic bastards who happened to find us in this vast universe of ours and decided to be a bully just for kicks and giggles. "Oh look, we can put the smack down on those hairless apes and then train future generations as slaves, that way we get slaves and eliminate any future galaxy spanning competitors."

  • April 11, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST


    by blackwood

    The second season of WALKING DEAD better have Michonne. I really dug the first six episodes, but I do feel they zigged when they should have zagged and ended a lot weaker than they started. But I'm there for it, I'm in it, I want to see it play out for good or bad. I don't mind straying from the source material, but don't take it for granted. Far fewer people in the 'main' cast died than should have. The integrity of the threat is key, and the show didn't maintain it in the first season. I want to check out FALLING SKIES. I just want a good alien show.

  • April 11, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    invasion of alien space shite!

    by clic333

    I couldn't agree with joh doe more. I was at the same screening. it's DREADFUL!!!! on EVERY level. I'll be stunned if the whole season is broadcast. it's lame, twee....& compiled of every cliche possible. the dialogue is an assault on the brain. but not even so bad it was funny. I don't think there was anything original in it at all. & everything it copied has been done so much better elsewhere. frankly I hoped everyone was killed in episode two.....& I'm a pacifist by nature. particularly the'll never have respect for a kid on a skateboard again.

  • April 11, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Insurgency tactic by the professor...

    by Alientoast

    ...only works depending on the disposition of the enemy. Ghengis Khan didn't let stuff like that bother him...his army would literally massacre EVERYTHING in a town, including the stray animals. Now the only reason I can think of that the aliens didn't wipe out everyone is the whole slave angle...obviously you can't totally erradicate what you need. Until we know more of the plot, it's honestly difficult to make assumptions about the hypothetical validity of such an alien strategy. Battlefield: Earth had a good plot device in that the aliens had extreme weakness to certain levels of radioactivity, whereas humans could tolerate it. My guess: They have stated that the aliens are insect-like. We can assume that the writers are using Earth insects as a baseline, which means they will probably use a social insect like ants (ants would be the best fit for an invader). Some ants enslave other insects to serve some unique role, like when they make aphid farms. It could be some insect "cultural" thing, or maybe humans are useful somehow to this alien insect collective race and thus why they need to be made part of the swarm. I guess we'll see!

  • April 11, 2011, 12:34 p.m. CST

    lol @ dangerdave

    by JuntMonkey

    Is that a satire post? You have to be a really special type of person to think that a show about a zombie holocaust based on a "rockin' graphic novel" automatically belongs on everybody with nerd tendencies' hotlist. If a show comes out starring LOLcats and monkeys flinging poo, will we be required to like that as well? Somehow you try to peg people who don't care about the moronic and unrealistic Walking Dead characters as the same people who would enjoy Dancing with the Stars, which makes no sense whatsoever. If you're an easily amused tool who enjoys anything that has to do with zombies no matter what, you're much closer to a Dancing with the Stars watcher than somebody who dislikes the crappy writing of Walking Dead.

  • April 11, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST


    by Joh Doe

    Yeah that skateboard part capped it all off. Hilarious. His skateboard was meant to be futuristic and it looked weak. He put his helmet on and some of the people watching him clapped. Weird. I was hoping he'd get blown up, but no, just a couple of minutes of slo-mo skateboard inaction. And what's with all this Walking Dead hatred? It's awesome.

  • April 11, 2011, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Agreed that alien "infestation" storis can work

    by SadTruth

    Stories like The Thing, Body Snatchers, Triffids, have enough plausibility to be enjoyable by sentient adults. Heck, the theory of Panspermia is a pretty strong one, so it's actually got some science behind it. Yes, I've also mentioned before that stories of us encountering and warring with other civilizations after becoming an interstellar species ourselves can work. Even if we are way behind them in tech, at least the basic playing field is level. But to argue that we cannot know their motivations because they are "alien" is absurd. Again, simply Google EROEI and read a paragraph or two on what it means. That right there shoots any present day alien invasion story right into the 4th grade. So come on, people, let's put this kind of thing to rest and pressure the film industry to grow some creativity and plausibility balls. Or not, and hopefully you can enjoy more Skylines, Battlefield Earth:LA, V, etc... As for the insulting Walking Dead apologists above, I got one question for you: If civilization fell and the population plummeted a mere 6 weeks ago, would you have any trouble finding guns, ammo, food, fuel basically anywhere and everywhere? Just answer me that please.

  • Okay, that whole scene where Gramma Vato comes out and saves the day? Where it turns out the gang members were actually all concerned employees of a old age home? R E T A R D E D ! I burst out laughing at how stupid and totally unbelievable all of that was. I mean, if they really were these concerned guys protecting an olde age home, why not just come right out and say that, trade prisoners, and let everyone leave peacefully? Here's how it shoulda went down -- they're having the stand-off/showdown when the zombies show up. After a few people go down, each side realizes that they need to band together to beat zombies back. They then form an alliance based on mutual respect and reciprocal benefit and beat back the horde attacking the hospital. Makes sense, right? Alot more than the cloyingly pc and borderline insulting bullshit they came up with. That was the one spot of dumb on this otherwise good show.

  • April 11, 2011, 6:18 p.m. CST


    by Alientoast

    It depends. 6 weeks is a pretty long time when you think about it. If panic set it, then food/ammo/fuel would be harder to find...or at the very least, it wouldn't be where you are expecting to find it. People would stockpile, loot, etc from the caches that exist (gun stores, supermarkets), then squirrel them away in their homes, forts, etc. Not only would that make it logistically hard to locate things, but it would also force you to enter home after home which may be hiding zombies (enclosed space = higher chance of getting cornered/trapped). I mean hell, look at Japan. They are the text book case of not-panic mode and they still went through all their ready supplies in the immediate areas of need in an extremely fast period of time.

  • April 11, 2011, 9:07 p.m. CST

    TWD dicked around in Atlanta way too much

    by Turingtestee

    There were at least 2 1/2 hours eaten up by unnecessary diversions that should have all been in-camp character stuff. Teaching everyone to use guns (which explains the camp attack), arguing about waiting in camp for the government or heading off to find safety elsewhere, Glen sweet on Amy (not in the books, I know, but it gives us more of a reason to care about her), and more than one father/son moment (was there one?), that is what should have happened, not Merl and the vatos.

  • April 12, 2011, 6:50 a.m. CST


    by SadTruth

    Actually, unless I'm totally off, it was only 30 days that he was in the coma, so only a couple of weeks of actual collapse. But even so, sure people would hoard up stuff, but they would have not had a chance to consume much of it at all. So it would literally be everywhere. In houses, buildings, cars. Fuel still in almost every vehicle. So their making due with crap vehicles, lacking in firepower, seeming shortage of food, is just so completely idiotic. So the very basics of the world they exist in is counter to what common sense tells you it would be. That makes connecting with the story next to impossible. WWZ did it absolutely perfectly. The short stories in his first book: Zombie Survival Guide all worked perfectly. Why? because he simply put the time into thinking things through before writing them down and publishing. Doesn't take a rocket scientist, nor a Shakespeare, just someone with half a brain and some attention to detail. That's why The Road sucked such Hugh Jassole. Nothing about that world made any rational sense, so unless you just wanted to flog yourself with contrived father/son depressing interaction, you just kept scratching your head and saying to yourself "whaaaa?"