I've become a huge fan of TNT's Sci-Fi drama Falling Skies. I like both the plot scenario and the characters showing the struggle of Humanity to survive in a post-apocalyptic Earth invaded by aliens.
The last chapter broadcasted here in Mexico took the show on an interesting twist, which seems to suggest the producers are taking inspiration on memes spawned inside Internet forums.
To understand what I'm talking about, first a little background: The story is set in the not-so distant future, where civilians organized in resistance guerrilla groups are fighting a horde of alien invaders that have utterly destroyed the infrastructure of all the world governments, and are systematically plundering the Earth's natural resources; among those resources, the one the aliens seem to be most interested in are human children, who are routinely captured and mentally-controlled via a bio-mechanical device called 'the harness'.
Up until now the aliens comprised of two main groups: the Skitters, and the Mechs: The Skitters are hideous multi-legged biological entities —a clear homage to H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, the shows' main inspiration— that are in command of the Mechs, which are advanced AI battle droids.
However on episode 7, "What Hides Beneath", the main characters catch a rare glimpse of another type of alien, a tall humanoid-type entity they assume is part of the actual commanding elite of the alien invasion. What's interesting about all this, is that the new tall alien is eerily reminiscent of the Slender Man, an urban myth that is said to prey upon unsupervised children:
The Slender Man was created at the Something Awful Forums in a thread entitled “Create Paranormal Images.” He is described as wearing a black suit strikingly similar to the visage of the notorious Men In Black, and as the name suggests, appears very thin and able to stretch his limbs and torso to inhuman lengths in order to induce fear and ensnare his prey. Once his arms are outstretched, his victims are put into something of a hypnotized state, where they are utterly helpless to stop themselves from walking into them. He is also able to create tendrils from his fingers and back that he uses to walk on in a similar fashion to Doc Ock, the Spider-Man villain in the Marvel Universe. The superhuman stretching ability could also be seen as a similiarty between himself and Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Whether he absorbs, kills, or mearly takes his victims to an undiclosed location or dimension is also unknown as there are never any bodys or evidence left behind in his wake to deduce a definite conclusion.
Not only do we have the tall lanky form, and the main interest (children) but there's also the mind-control component (the harness).
Unfortunately, there's still no image available on the web that I can show to illustrate my theory, and I will be th first one to admit it's all an unconclusive speculation on my part; yet it wouldn't surprise me that the producers of the show appreciated the huge potential this Internet meme had to offer, not only from an aesthetically point of view, but also because it would help blur the boundaries between fiction and reality —something TV and film is always seeking to accomplish as of late.
Plus, there's the advantage that you don't need to worry about copyrights when it comes to Internet memes!
It will be interesting to see how the story further develops during the remaining of the season. So don't miss another episode!