Josh Holloway (Sawyer, from “Lost”) heads a fine cast that includes Peter Jacobson (Taub, from “House”) in a thrilling dramatic take on what the world might become once aliens have landed and divided humanity into those who collaborate, and those who suffer if they don’t. A wall has been erected to keep the huddled masses out of the ‘good’ part of California, and the stage is set for conflict and character development. Jacobson’s character heads the ‘Red Hats’, the security forces that enforce the division of mankind into the ‘regular’ people & ‘the new elite’. Smuggling and resistance is a large part of daily life under the alien overlords’ rule. The parallels between real life in the 21st century & the fictional world of ‘Colony’ are nicely handled, and the political statement that the writers are making is clear: there already is a division between the haves & the have-nots is real and disturbing. Robotic drones patrol the skies, your neighbors may turn on you at any minute, and the tension is palpable from the very first scene. I liked the first episode a lot, and I hope the quality of writing stays this high. ‘Colony’ stands a good chance of being a hit if people tune in, it’s really well done.
— Steve Davis
In a dystopian near-future Los Angeles, residents live under a regime of military occupation by an organization known as the Transitional Authority. The Authority serves an extraterrestrial group referred to as the “Hosts”, about whom little is known. The symbol of the collaborating forces features stylized birds of prey, or raptors, which gives rise to their nickname, the “Raps”. The Authority enforces Host policy via militarized police called Homeland Security and nicknamed the “Redhats”.
The Hosts took control on a day known simply as the “Arrival”. Late that day, massive rectangular blocks descended from the sky, linking together to build walls dividing the city. One of these walls, 20 to 30 stories tall, many meters thick, and many miles in length, surrounds the central part of Los Angeles, where the series is set. Other similar walls have been constructed around neighbouring urban areas, called “blocs”, with the whole referred to as a “colony”. Traffic passes through the walls at heavily secured checkpoints, called “gateways”, which allow the Authority to strictly control the movement of people and the distribution of consumables, such as food and fuel, which are rationed. The geographical extent of the alien invasion is unclear, but it is presumably worldwide.
A privileged class of elites, drawn by the Hosts from the local population, are denigrated by some bloc residents as collaborators. The ruling forces maintain control through the separation of loved ones, shoot-on-sight curfews, forced disappearances, random checkpoints, frequent electronic identity checks, limitation of motor vehicle usage (most people walk or ride bicycles), pervasive visual propaganda, slave labor in a place called the “Factory”, and electronic surveillance with Host-provided drone aircraft that launch from the wall. Some medical problems, such as diabetes, have been “deemed unworthy for treatment” by the Hosts, to cull the population.
A resistance movement is referred to as both the “Resistance” and the “Insurgency”. An informal barter-based black market has also sprung up, trading in surplus materials and home-produced goods.
In the second season, it is revealed that a large organization, known as the Global Authority, stands between the Transitional Authorities of the colonies and the Hosts. In flashbacks, it is revealed that before the Arrival an organization called the “Institute for Global Advancement” was collaborating with the Hosts, recruiting suitable people for the Transitional Authority.
Season 3 begins six months after the Bowmans’ escape from the Los Angeles bloc as Will and Katie struggle to rebuild their family in the world beyond the walls. When their peaceful existence is shattered, they are sent on an odyssey that will finally reveal the horrifying truth behind Earth’s mysterious occupiers and once again force our heroes to choose sides.