USA Network’s new drama series Falling Water is from Blake Masters and the late Henry Bromell, the Emmy-winning writer/executive producer of Showtime’s Homeland. At the network’s TCA panel today, Masters divulged on how the series came to fruition.
“The way we came up with [the show] is we were drunk….It was actually my bachelor dinner, and Henry had this theory about how our dreams reflected our collective unconscious,” said Masters, who added that both his and Bromell’s mothers were Jungian therapists. A pilot was written in 2008 during the writers strike, but the pair decided to sit on it as they felt the concept “was so out there.”
In 2013, Bromell died of a heart attack. “I lost my partner on the show and I lost my brother and I didn’t touch the script for a year,” Masters said. “Then I said I had to finish it.”
Described by Masters as a “metaphysical thriller,” the 10-episode first season set to premiere October 13 follows three unrelated people who slowly realize they are dreaming separate parts of a single dream that may hold the key to humanity. “The premise is the idea that we are all dreaming parts of the same dream,” which is established “in the opening voice-over,” Masters said. “How we follow the cinematic trail of the meaning of the setup, that’s what the show is all about… what happens in your dreams isn’t the recourse of your life, it’s the other half of your life.”
Masters and fellow executive producer Gale Anne Hurd rebuffed the series’ classification as a science fiction show. “Science fiction and about things that are speculative future or technology — this [show] is about humanity and about something that every single person in the world does,” Masters said. “It just has one simple metaphysical leap, which is what if all those dreams are just as connected as our waking lives… The approach the show is rooted in drama and cinema and metaphysics than it is science fiction.”
Falling Water is the latest in USA’s efforts to veer into edgier, more complex dramas as it moves away from its “blue sky” brand of escapist fare. Said Hurd, “If you look at the other programming on USA….this fits in perfectly to their new approach to the channel and the viewers for the channel.”
Per Hurd, Falling Water “takes place in the dream world,” but “it’s grounded in the people.”
“It’s not like we are going to a different world or saying aliens exist or zombies exist,” she said. “This is something that is a part of the understanding of the power of dreams. We can change ourselves and we can potentially change the world by harnessing the power of our dreams.”