‘Falling Water’ – What You Need to Know About the New USA Network Drama

Falling Water producers Gale Anne Hurd and Blake Masters
‘Falling Water’ executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and writer/executive producer Blake Masters (Photos by: Evans Vestal Ward / USA Network)

USA Network will premiere the new sci-fi drama Falling Water on October 13, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT. The Walking Dead‘s Gale Anne Hurd, Brotherhood‘s Blake Masters, and Homeland‘s Henry Bromell executive produce, with David Ajala, Will Yun Lee, and Lizzie Brochere in starring roles. The series is described as a “mind-bending drama” that follows “three unrelated people who slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream. The deeper they dig, the more they come to realize that the visions found in their common dream just might hold the key to the fate of the world.”

Executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Blake Masters appeared at the San Diego Comic Con in support of Falling Water‘s upcoming launch, taking part in both a panel with Comic Con attendees as well as roundtable interviews to delve into the show’s mythology. “One of the central conceits is that we are all dreaming separate tiles in a universal dream. We only see our tile, but maybe there are people who can see other people’s tiles. So that’s really one of the interesting things,” explained Hurd. “If we’re dreaming separate tiles, maybe we can come together and be united because those walls come down. Or, maybe it can continue to instill the fear we see in the world and divide it. It really depends on who those people are who can potentially affect our dreams.”

Hurd’s The Walking Dead and Hunters are big ensemble series, but Falling Water narrows the focus down primarily to three characters. “Obviously we build out the world, […]but it really is about connections. This is a show about connections. It’s a show about three seemingly unconnected people who find out that they are actually connected. We have the character of Tess, played by Lizzie Brochere, who is convinced she’s had a child and is seeking to find that child and prove she had a baby when everyone tells her it’s impossible,” explained Hurd. “So, it’s about that sense of loss and connection.”

“The character of Taka, played by Will Yun Lee, his mother has been catatonic for years and years and years. He’s seeking a reconnection with her. He’ll try anything to bring her back because she’s the piece of the puzzle of his life that is missing,” said Hurd. “And then the character of Burton, played by David Ajala, is madly in love with a woman and yet does she exist or is she just someone that he’s connected with in his dreams? So, there’s that sense of longing and loss and need to connect with a woman that he doesn’t even know is real.”

Masters said that what he tries to do when writing a show is to make sure the audience has something to be engaged with, to become invested in, but that doesn’t mean he needs to string them along by asking questions that aren’t answered. “One of the tenets of the show, and I think it’s really important for the audience to know, is that we’re not a show that intends to string out secrets forever. I think by the end of season one you will understand the entire mythology that we need you to understand to be able to enjoy the show,” said Masters. “There will be future mysteries, but we’re not going to be one of those shows that strings you along with just question after question and not giving you an answer. I don’t watch those shows. I believe the characters we’ve created and the world we’ve created and this fundamental idea of what if somebody could wander into your dreams is compelling enough that we don’t need secrets.”

Masters also believes audiences have moved on to a new evolution in dramatic TV shows. “We’ve done gritty, grounded realism,” explained Masters. “Audiences want a taste of magic now. They want that slightly heightened reality, so the idea is to take all of those storytelling elements of the great shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men and infuse them with a little David Lynch, a little Haruki Murakami, a little bit of that ‘other.’ You can still tell stories that are very character-based, and we do, and yet still have that ongoing stretch and having that character evolution, and having a compelling mythology that creates an audience not just who watches but they want to be a part of it.”

Asked if the dreams featured in the series will have a unified look to them visually, Masters replied, “I think every dream is individual but I think there’s a visual grammar to our dreams.” Masters also said that he and director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) were on the same page when it came to the show’s visual style. “It was a really, really blessed collaboration and the show would not be what it is without him. We spent a lot of time talking about the language of the dream world and we liked the idea that dreams are usually subjective, that you want to travel with the dreamer,” said Masters. “We want to feel that they move through space, just like our dreams do. Now, what happens in those dreams is very particular. Different things will happen in different ways and as our dreamers start running into each other in the dreams occasionally as the season goes on, weird things will happen. But we also wanted the dreams to have that unified cinematic grammar so that the audience was never really confused on is it a dream or is it not.”

Watch the full interviews with Blake Masters and Gale Anne Hurd for more on the casting process, the show’s mythology, the setting, and what viewers can expect when they tune into USA Network’s Falling Water this October:

(Interview by Fred Topel. Article by Rebecca Murray.)