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Reviewed by Sackett, © 2006

Format: TV
By:   Mikael Salomon (director), Sara B. Cooper (teleplay)
Genre:   Fantasy
Review Date:   July 27, 2006
RevSF Rating:   8/10 (What Is This?)

Fallen, on ABC Family channel, is an interesting show . . . and fits right up my alley, fantasy-wise.

The movie is based on Tom Sniegoski's four-book series. Angels walk amongst us, and they are getting their boogey on with mere mortals. Thus are produced the nephilim, half human-half angelic "monsters". (Racism, by any other name?)

The angels that now walk the Earth were apparently Satan's soldiers during the Great Rebellion, not evil enough to be cast down into Heck, but certainly no longer good enough to reside in Heaven.

And there are rampaging angels out to get these nephilim, apparently working on outdated orders (last issued just before the Flood?) from the Creator (not God, but He who is all Gods. Keeps the evangelical a little happier). And there is one cool angel that used to be the worst rampager, but now is trying to help these hybrids.

Oh yeah, and there is a prophecy, that one of these nephilim will be a redeemer (!?!). Guess who the star of the show represents. Go on, I dare ya.

I enjoyed this show as pure fantasy. The action was good, the star was very believable, given the circumstances. If I squinted, I could believe a half-angel kid would act like he did. I liked the family dynamic that was created for the hero of the show. ABC/Disney is known for heartwarming. But this was heartwarming, without being all goopy.

The special effects were striking. The angel wings were cool, though the way the angels flew was disappointing. The producers should have just used the wings as a visual, dynamic thing, not as a means of flight.

The premise of the show had a nice articulation. I mean, the idea of "good angels" hunting and killing unaware "half angels" while stomping on defenseless "evil angels" could get unwieldy, but the writers kept the story moving along nicely.

I loved the dog! Hokey, you betcha. Hokey to the max, but it was great.

As you might tell, there are some things that go [ping] at you when you look at them too long. First, the whole idea of angels killing mortals that are merely inconvenient to them kinda makes the Judeo-Christian in me wince.

The idea that the angels believe in an obscure prophecy makes my left eye twitch. The idea that the Creator is so hands-off that He doesn't keep track of what His angels are doing is so overdone (like He didn't learn his lesson from ol' Lucy?) The idea that angels need a Christ figure makes me reach for the Pepto-Bismol.

Gabriel, the dog, more than made up for all of that.

My wife rather disagreed.

The best things about the show are the family dynamic, with the autistic brother. The new girlfriend was intriguing, and the dorky redhead had some amusing possibilities.

In doing a (very) little research about this show, I see there is some confusion on whether this was a pilot for a series, or a TV movie. My assumption following the show would be pilot. And I don't know how good an idea that would be. If it is, I see Highway to Heaven in our future, again. And I shudder.

I enjoyed Fallen for two hours of sword-wielding angels and amusing canine sidekicks. I reserve the right to judge it as a spectacular pilot for a series until I see a couple of hours of series.

Sackett is the pseudonym used by a simple farmer from Iowa who would rather raise cows than corn. He has no website or blog, and the reason he uses an alias is because his wife is notorious in certain genre circles on the net, and is a security freak. Sackett is secure enough not to think she just doesn't want people to know she's married to him. Yeah. Right. You betcha. And don't ask him what makes his right foot wiggle.

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