5 things you need to know about...colony

The alien occupation show from Lost’s Carlton
Cuse, where collaboration means survival

IT’S INFORMED BY HISTORY
1 Since the ending of Lost, Carlton Cuse
has firmly embraced his genre
credibility, developing and co-showrunning a
host of dramas from The Strain to Bates Motel.
For this latest series, Colony, Cuse tells Red
Alert that the idea came from World War Two.
“[Writer] Ryan Condal and I are both
interested in WW2 and we had seen these
pictures of affluent Parisians sitting in sidewalk
cafes drinking espressos while Nazi
stormtroopers are going by in the streets. We
thought is there some way to do that in a
modern context?”
THERE ARE ALIENS IN AMERICA
2 Colony posits a current reality where
an alien force hovering in massive ships
let humanity live a semi-normal existence.
“We came up with Los Angeles being occupied
by this mysterious invading force,” Cuse
explains. “We tried really hard to subvert all
the traditional expectations for an alien
invasion show like Falling Skies, where we are
literally at war with alien beings. That’s not
what we wanted the show to be about. We
wanted it to be about how reordering society
affects the interpersonal relationships of
people. There’s this incredible propensity
humans have to subjugate one another when
given the opportunity and that’s what we
want to explore.”
FRIENDS REUNITE
3 Cuse worked with Josh Holloway for six
years on Lost and admits he wrote
Colony with Holloway in mind as the lead, Will
Bowman. “I did not have a shadow of a doubt
that he would kill in this part,” Cuse enthuses.
“Will is a family guy with three kids and he’s
been separated from one of his kids, so his
focus is external. How do I put my family back
together and then how do I keep them safe is
his agenda.”
FAMILY IS EVERYTHING
4 Together with his wife, Katie, played by
The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies,
Will has to figure out what to do when he’s
asked by the alien’s human proxy, Snyder
(Peter Jacobson), to monitor his peers and
report back. “It’s about the choices we all
make,” Cuse offers. “Will and Katie make
distinct choices that are separate from one
another because they each believe that the
choice they’re making is the best for their
family. It’s interesting to see they can make
these diametrically opposed choices but be
firmly and irrevocably convinced that they are
each doing the right thing.”
THERE ARE BIG SECRETS
5 Aside from ships and some tech, Colony
doesn’t reveal much about our new
overlords. Cuse says that’s for a reason. “The
audience really only knows as much as the
characters and the characters are trying to
learn about the world they live in. We didn’t
want to have some character give us this big
expositional download which wasn’t
interesting at all. So over the course of the first
10 hours you will learn a fair amount more but
there will still be existing mysteries. The
[characters] won’t know everything about the
world by the end of the first season for sure.”

Colony airs on USA Network from 14 January.
A UK channel is TBC.


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