Noah Wyle Previews Falling Skies Season 2, "Reluctant Leadership" of Tom Mason

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Spoiler alert: Tom Mason will get off the alien ship on to which he walked to conclude Falling Skies Season 1.

But will it be the same Tom Mason? What changes will befall the former history teacher and current second in command of The Second Mass after three months on board this foreign vessel?

Viewers won't need to wait long to find out, as Tom returns to his figurative and literal family right away on the Season 2 premiere, which airs this Sunday on TNT. You can actually watch the opening few minutes in this Falling Skies sneak peek and you can read a preview of what's ahead below, courtesy of a Noah Wyle conference call with TV Fanatic and other outlets...

As Tom Mason

On Season 2 Versus Season 1: The series doesn't have to "dedicate so much of our screen time to exposition, establishing the world, establishing the characters.... [there's] more freedom to be creative in flushing out these character arcs and exploring the mythology of the aliens and why they’re here and who they are and how we’d radically misunderstood the situation in season one."

On the Affects of His Spaceship Trip: "The fact that he walked on the spaceship and what happens to him on that ship definitely conforms the character in a different way and he comes back slightly changed.  And then it’s just sort of keeping with the trajectory that we laid out for the character’s arc or deconstructing the intellectual aspects of this character, and trying to show the emergence of a latent leader reluctantly but an effective one over the course of this season.

"He can’t be positive that he was released with some ulterior motive in mind.  So that allows us to start this season off with a little bit of tension in trying to figure out how to envelop Tom back into the fold and him to try and establish a position of leadership again after having been gone for three months."

On Romance Between Tom and Ann: "Last year we showed that there was a great chemistry between the two characters but the practical demands of the day sort of kept them apart… and then the clock gets reset a little bit as it’s been three months since we’ve seen her… And all the inherent complications about opening your heart up once it’s been destroyed, give them a little bit of an obstacle to have to get passed.

"But ultimately we end up sort of together."

On Tom's Internal Struggles: "His Achilles heel in a lot of ways is his children… that’s the one thing that he has to grapple with, this sort of dual feeling of wanting to keep his kids close and safe.  And at the same time realizing that there’s a greater good to serve and that his kids are going to play a role in that regardless of whether he’s around or not. And this sort of notion of reluctant leadership of really not wanting to be the guy center stage with all the responsibility on his shoulders, but at the same time not wanting to shirk his duties or responsibilities in the face of great need."

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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