Falling Skies Season 5: Doug Jones on the end

Doug Jones on the conflicted loyalties of alien ally Cochise in Falling Skies

Doug Jones stars as Cochise, a member of the Volm race who turn up to assist humanity

It’s the final season of Falling Skies, but something tells me it’s not the sort of show to go for a straightforward happy ending. Are there grim times ahead?

Straightforward happy ending, are you kidding me? Have you seen the first four seasons? No, there are many turns and twists to get us there. We did have the luxury of the writers knowing this was our last season going in, so they could plot the course and put little bullet points along the road for us to travel to that ending, happy or not – maybe happy for some, not for others, I don’t know. That’s what we have to wait and see.

There’s ups and downs emotionally for everybody and new pairings for characters. For myself as Cochise, my dealings have mostly been with leadership, like Tom Mason played by Noah Wyle and Will Patton’s Colonel Weaver. The three of us tend to confer quite a bit. But now in season five I have great moments with Anne Mason, played by Moon Bloodgood, and Connor Jessop’s Ben Mason, I deal with him more, and also with Maggie, played by Sarah Carter. She and I have never really had much mingling in prior seasons. We all have moments that connect the whole family better this time.


At the end of Season Four, Tom Mason was stranded in space, and he’s been Cochise’s main ally up until now. Does his absence cause problems for Cochise with the rest of the 2nd Mass?

You would think without him there to defend me I could become dinner?


Well maybe not dinner…

(Laughs) Actually, no. By the time he’s left I’ve proven myself to be an ally, to be a friend to these humans. So in his absence, after his trip to the moon, I’ve come alongside the others and there has been no angst or distrust really. Colonel Weaver was my biggest hurdle – whenever he looked at me it would always be with his eyes slightly squinted, out of the corner out them, looking at me like, “what are you up to?”. But when the show opens you see Colonel Weaver and Cochise sharing a couple of funny moments together.

The writers did a great job this year of writing subtle little humour moments for Cochise that just haven’t been there as much, so I was really happy to be able to play the subtleties of some humour with that misunderstanding of cultures and the clash of personalities, but in a light-hearted way. Weaver and Cochise are completely different types, so the funny notices of that will start in episode one.

Cochise and Tom have become firm allies

Across the series we’ve seen Cochise going almost native. Is the humour a sign that that’s going even further? Does he even have any desire to return home anymore?

There’s the conundrum that Cochise faces in every episode. He loves his new human family and he loves this effort to save Earth, and I think it reminds him of why the Volm were in battle for all these years anyway, it’s for the love of home, the love of family. And these humans experience that and flesh that out and live that much more demonstratively than the Volm ever did.

Out of the whole race, Cochise is probably the poet that would sit off on a tree branch and write a journal during the day while another Volm would never even think of that. So he’s found a species that he can connect with for the first time, I think that’s the back story that I play with him. So here we are in season five where things come to a close, what’s going to happen to him? Does he stay or does he go? That’s the lingering question.

And his allegiance to his father, that’s been established before, that he has a little bit of a sandpaper relationship with his Dad, Waschak-cha’ab, also played by me. So in episode four of the season you will see… it’s a beautiful episode for Cochise. It’s hilariously funny in moments, it’s tear-jerkingly touching in moments. So you’ll see a little ride that Cochise goes on, I get to play one of the main plots in that episode, so Waschak-cha’ab, my Dad, will make a return in that episode and we’re going to work out some of the daddy issues that Cochise has been dealing with. And that also sets the tone for will I go or will I stay.


Without giving anything away, were you satisfied with the ending of the show?

I was. That’s always a worry whenever anyone’s looking at how they’re going to end something. I remember standing on the set on our final wrap day of the show. Most of the cast were being wrapped out that day. I think Noah Wyle and Connor Jessop had to stay for one more day to do a scene between the two of them, but most of us were leaving that day.

The final scene we shot was the final scene of the series. So I was looking around and I got very sentimental that day. I haven’t been on the show for as long as the rest of the cast, I joined them at the beginning of season three, after a CG version of me was introduced at the end of season two. So it was three years of my life and five years of everybody else’s. So I did feel the gravity of it. That’s the longest running gig I’ve ever had, and for a lot of these people too.

So as we’re standing there in the final scene, I was looking at everybody and it was a very stirring moment and I wanted to pump my fist in the air and say “ra ra!” for many reasons, for the plotline of the show and also for what we’ve all been living through as real people in real life with the show for all these years. It was really a very satisfying time.

Season Five of Falling Skies is airing from 30 June at 9pm on FOX. For more on the biggest TV series, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.