The Man Who Fell To Earth, Ep1

Season 2, Episode 3 - Janae & Amanda discuss Ep1 of Showtime's The Man Who Fell To Earth

by Girls Go Books Deep

Hello, Weirdos!

Have you been taking care of yourself lately?

Below, Janae & Amanda dive into Ep1 of Showtime’s The Man Who Fell To Earth

Director: Alex Kurtzman

Writers: Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet (Walter Tevis himself actually writes 3 episodes)

Producers:  Adrian Kelly, Jane Maggs & Bill Wolkoff

Janae: Hey Fam! We are 

Both: Girls Go Books Deep

Amanda: and together, we take deep dives into the Fantasy & Science Fiction content you love the most. 

Janae: Today we’re talking about the first episode of Showtime’s The Man Who Fell To Earth, starring Chiwetel Ejiofer, Naomie Harris, and Bill Nighy.

Amanda: So, stay tuned.


Janae’s Intro w/ Music


Amanda: Hello there, thank you so much for joining us today.  Janae and I are currently watching Showtime’s newest reimagining of the cult classic science fiction novel by Walter Tevis The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Key Points

  • Book was released in 1963, known as one of the finest science fiction novels. Way ahead of its time. 
  • Movie starring David Bowie was released in 1976 and was his first major starring role, for which he won a Saturn Award for Best Actor. 
  • First 2 episodes were featured at Austin’s SXSW
    • Note: While looking up info about the SXSW release, I watched a review of the first two episodes (thankfully with no spoilers) by BigGoldBeltMedia YouTube Channel, saying that Faraday is giving “the better version of Edgar, the Bug Man from MIB.” #dead
  • Book/Movie main character is named after Newton: an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, and author (described in his time as a “natural philosopher“) widely recognized as one of the greatest mathematicians and physicists of all time and among the most influential scientists. He was a key figure in the philosophical revolution known as the Enlightenment.
  • Series main character is named Faraday: an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis. Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history.[1] It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics
  • First major change in the movie that continues with the series is that the landing location is New Mexico, which is a clear nod to Roswell.  But in the book, the Alien lands in Kentucky.
  • First major notice that is kept consistent across the movie and series is the look of the Anthean eyes, bright orange with long slits. Helps keep the story immersive. 

Thoughts on the Acting & Characters:

Chiwetel Ejiofor

10 episodes • 2022

Naomie Harris

10 episodes • 2022

Clarke Peters

10 episodes • 2022

Bill Nighy

10 episodes • 2022

  • Officer K. Faraday was Martha Plimpton – Stef in The Goonies! (which she is hilarious in this btw)
  • I find the level of commitment to the acting to be top-notch.
  • Could you imagine if Bowie were still alive and able to reprise his breakout role? Le Sigh. [RIP]
  • If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll notice that Bill Nighy is dressed to look exactly as Bowie did at the end of the ‘76 movie, making it obvious who he is to those in the know.
  • Justin’s father, Josiah was a scientist as well, from the Bahamas “Alien of Extraordinary Ability”
  • Justin’s loss of hope in the world is very palpable “Hope is too Expensive.” Very understandable for her current situation.
  • Very curious as to what happened to Justin in order to make her leave science and take a job scooping hazardous waste?
  • Background music is great…
  • I really enjoy all of the comedic relief given to such a tumultuous event going on in multiple lives. It’s very reminiscent of real life.  Shitty moments having hints of humor around the edges. Like his pink being broken, or omg his face when the jukebox plays. The whole pawnshop scene is great!
  • Chiwetel really evokes a lot of different emotions from the viewer in just one episode. From the pawnshop to the scene with the horses – his face is an amazing tool for empathy and emotion.
  • And buying the cooler! I dyed, my notes say “He’s already an American.”
  • Justin is a much smarter, safer person than I am – If someone had called me up out of the blue and told me he was told to “ Find her. She is integral to the mission, to the next step.  You cannot take it alone.” If someone told me I was vital to the mission and started quoting off coordinates like rainman – I would have been like Let’s Go! I’ve been waiting for this call my whole life.  Uncuff him – Get in the car now!
  • But she’s very genuine.  Lots of cursing and running away – but she always comes around to what’s right, she always comes back.  She sacrifices for her family, she’s not a stranger to danger. She’s sort of dead inside, but not 100% – There’s still a little tiny spark there, the timing of this encounter is crucial for her. 

Story, Plot, Diegesis

  • I learned a new word today: Diegesis: In a narrative film, the world of the film’s story. The diegesis includes events that are presumed to have occurred and actions and spaces not shown onscreen.
  • The visuals from the opening sequence were very impressive, giving more detail to that portion of the story that was untold in the book. 
  • Story lineup was done well, it has my curiosity stoked – but we noticed some things that made us say hmmmmmm
    • How does he know the current market value of the gold rings?
    • Why is he so unaware of his surroundings when Thomas was more in control?
    • Flashbacks to his planet: Why have the face shield if you’re going to open it? TF… Are those houses, harvesting, environmental? Are they creating fake atmosphere?
  • Obviously, they’ll be following him from the moment he landed.  This was a thing in the movie and I think it will carry over. No way in hell he fell from space and no one in NASA or the SETI project didn’t notice…
  • Clearly a message about what’s going on in the world and if we don’t make changes there will be consequences.  It’s the same message as in the book as well as the movie.  It was ahead of it’s time, and this is a sentiment we have been talking about with growing apprehension since the 60’s.  #NothingIsNew.

Ending Thoughts

What we learn in just the first episode is that Tomas Jerome Newton miscalculated the amount of energy needed to take water back to Anthea, plus he got distracted by alcohol, television, and sex. So after a long time, he calls on another to come to Earth and pick up where he left off with better tech and better calculations, as well as much more knowledge about Earth and its people under their belt. 

The limited tv series is a continuation of the story while having a new traveler go through most of the same steps as the first spaceman, in effect giving the original story in a new more modern form.  

From the preview we get of next week’s episode, it seems as though after being poked and prodded for years by different agencies, World Enterprises was stolen from Newton and he wants Faraday’s help in stealing it back.  From the small snippet we got, it’s hard to tell whether he still wants to bring water back to Anthea or just get back at the ones whom he perceived to wrong him years ago. 

I honestly can’t wait to see how this plays out. 

Outro Script:

Janae: That’s all we have for today, we hope you enjoyed our time together and come back next week to talk about Episode Two of The Man Who Fell To Earth. 

Amanda: We also just released our podcasts talking about The Batman and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, available now wherever you listen to podcasts.

Janae: You guys are our favorite part of the week and hope all is well for you.

Amanda: So with that we say our Farewell.

Both: Wake Up and Stay Geeky. 

Janae’s Outro w/ Music

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Girls Go Books Deep
Two millennial best friends who (couldn't be more opposite, but) love to talk about Fantasy/SciFi TV Shows & Movies, especially when they're based on literature or graphic novels.
Listen to the Podcast anywhere and everywhere or enjoy Janae & Amanda's *Live Reactions & Discussions* on the YouTube Channel under the same name: Girls Go Books Deep
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