Colony is a new show on USA from Carlton Cuse that centers on a family living in a near-future Los Angeles that is occupied by some sort of outside invaders who have superior technology and have subverted some of the population into collaborating in exchange for positions of power and better living conditions. Martial law and a curfew are the new normal, and anyone who dissents is arrested and taken away to “The Factory”, a mysterious location that is rumored to be a labor camp but is likely much more sinister. Josh Holloway (LOST) and Sarah Wayne Callies (Walking Dead) star as the husband and wife, while Peter Jacobson (House) plays the “Proxy”, a governor-like leader of the collaborators.
So this premiered this week. I watched the pilot, and it was pretty decent. The production quality is top-notch, from the armored vehicles and menacing black & red SWAT style uniforms of the new “Homeland” security forces to the alien-like drones that patrol the streets after curfew, everything looked real and believable. The story is pretty fragmented so far. It seems that the invaders came swiftly and suddenly, locking down LA and the surrounding areas and causing families to be separated. At some point soon after a huge wall went up to protect the “Green Zone” (Santa Monica apparently), where those who collaborate with the invaders are allowed to live in luxury while those outside the walls struggle under the occupation. Vague references are made to “The Factory”, which everyone seems to think is some kind of gulag where those arrested for even minor crimes are sent to work until they die. At some point anyone with a military or security background was rounded up and either sent to the Factory or allowed to become a collaborator. Josh Holloway’s character, ex-military and former government agent, along with a few others, managed to escape detection and is living under a false name trying to lay low with his wife, teenage son and small daughter while trying to find out what happened to his other young son, separated from the family in the initial occupation.
The show is obviously set up for some big reveals and surprises later on. Obviously the invaders are not what they seem. Aliens would be the first guess, but that’s probably not going to be correct. Also, the walls that separate the Green Zone from the rest of LA, and the perimeter that separates LA from the rest of California, are going to play an important role. I suspect that not all is as it seems outside of the LA area, and that the rest of the world is either destroyed or not under the direct control of whomever the invaders are. There is lots of exposition yet to come and questions yet to be answered, but so far the show seems pretty promising and I think Holloway, Callies and Jacobson are doing a pretty good job with their characters. It was difficult watching the pilot and not thinking of Holloway’s character as Sawyer, though he’s not playing him anything like Sawyer. Also all I could think every time Callies was on screen was “shut up Lori!”. It will take awhile to get over that. Jacobson is perfect as the weasely guy from pre-occupation who sees an opportunity to grab power and influence working with the invaders.
One big plothole already though is Holloway’s new job. I think his neighbors and the resistance are going to figure out pretty quick who his new employer is when they see them eating bacon and eggs for breakfast and having all sorts of things everyone else is going without…but they sort of circumvented that a little with the end scene reveal.