Aired on: USA Network
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
After seeing promos for the new USA television series, I was torn. I liked the fact that the show starred Josh Holloway, formerly of Lost, and Sarah Wayne Callies of Walking Dead fame, but I wasn't sure about the storyline. It was clear that the main characters were trying to survive occupation of some sort, but by what? Aliens? Another country? There were some hints at higher technology, but was that because the show is set in the future, or because the tech belongs to aliens? I decided that I had to know, so I checked out the online preview of Colony.
As the show opens, we are introduced to the Sullivan family of Los Angeles, California. Will (Josh Holloway) is the mechanic father. Then there is wife Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies), son Bram (Alex Neustaedter) and daughter Gracie (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp). It is obvious something is not quite right with this family. It's not just the edginess that one would feel under military occupation, it's the fact that someone is missing from the family. We soon learn that middle child Charlie (Jacob Buster) was separated from the family during the occupation.
We also discover that Will is about to smuggle himself into the Santa Monica Exclusion Zone to find his lost son. He is captured, thanks to a resistance raid on an inspection facility, and brought to L.A. Proxy Governor Alan Snyder (Peter Jacobson) in hopes of winning him over to the Collaborators' side. You see, Sullivan is not Will's real name. Will Bowman was a former US Army Ranger and FBI Special Agent who changed his name to Sullivan and went into hiding with his family when the occupiers, known as the Hosts, showed up and people with his skills began disappearing. Governor Snyder believes that Will's skills as a tracker will serve their Hosts well in rooting out and taking out the pesky resistance.
Will teeters between accepting the job and punishment - sending his entire family to labor camps, or worse. Though Katie is against it at first, when the possibility of being reunited with Charlie is dangled in front of them, the Bowman's accept their fate. But Katie is hiding a secret that could make Will's new job a very dangerous proposition for everyone.
After watching this preview of Colony, I find myself remembering a miniseries from the 1980s called V. No, this show is not exactly the same, but the premise is there - alien occupation (though no one has actually seen the aliens...and lived to tell about it anyway) with Collaborating humans making their path to whatever resources they need easier for their Hosts. As yet, there are no brainwashed highly placed individuals, but people with military skills seem to disappear...as do other individuals for unknown reasons.
Where this show differs is that there is no rogue news cameraman or young doctor trying to discover the aliens behind human faces - remember, no one has yet seen what the Hosts look like according to the first episode. Also, we don't see humans being processed for food here...at least not yet. Also, though there is advanced technology, regular bullets are being used to achieve tactical goals, not plasma rifles. In fact, it would appear that the collaborators are doing all the heavy work for their Hosts.
But where is this storyline going? What is in store for Will and his family, especially given the startling revelation at the end of the first episode? What has happened to Charlie and how was he separated from the family to begin with? There are hints that this was Will's fault, but how exactly? And what sort of being is this Host anyway? I'm intrigued enough to start watching the series in earnest once it has officially begun its run on television on January 14, 2016.