Will Bowman, a father in alien-occupied California, runs to Santa Monica in hopes of finding his lost son. The smuggling operation goes off the rails as a resistance explosive is detonated, destroying the truck Will was hiding him and exposing him to the Proxy, a new version of the Department of Homeland Security who police the citizens on the ground for the aliens hovering up above. When his identity as a former special operator and federal agent is made known to Los Angeles Governor Synder, he’s asked to assist the Proxy by becoming a “collaborator” and helping them to defeat the resistance he’s a part of. To convince Will to join, Snyder takes him to a light show that highlights the powerful presence the occupying force has made.
In his absence, Katie, his wife, tries to barter for insulin that her diabetic nephew needs, landing her in a black market deal that goes south, forcing her to brandish a pistol to get free, something that’s banned to citizens on the ground. When it becomes apparent that Will isn’t coming home, she risks curfew to find him, only to witness a raid taking place in the city. She narrowly escapes capture and meets with Broussard, a resistance fighter who knows where her husband is being held.
To convince the Bowman family and Will to join his cause, Governor Snyder shows up at their residence with a show of force. Will is already convinced to assist if Snyder will help them find their son. And although Katie agrees in the moment, in secret, reaches out to the Resistance and offers up Will as a potential resource for them to use.
One episode in and Colony is very clearly cribbed from the last few seasons of Falling Skies, a show that wasn’t entirely terrible but was perhaps a decade and some years too late for its intended audience. That show felt very much like a creature of the ’90s or early 2000’s, something you might find on the WB on weekend afternoons that you’d rarely hear about and wonder how long it had existed. Not necessarily a good or bad thing. There are a lot of characters I found charming in that show, and some real standout moments that raised the quality of the writing, but it was very much a by-the-numbers program.
While that show attempted to tell the story of the early days of occupation through a randomly assembled group trying their best to resist the enemy, Colony is about appropriately trained and educated soldiers and officers (maybe a few spies) resisting an occupying force they’re trained and equipped to handle. Aside from those very big differences in the cast makeup, a lot of the same is present here. If it worked for you then, it’ll work for you now.
In terms of what Colony does different–there simple isn’t much thus far. You have people resisting occupation, people embracing it for their own ends, a mysterious alien force in the shadows. It’s been seen before, even the tech that’s present I think I’ve seen in trailers for the upcoming Homefront game and elsewhere. I’m sure.
There’s plenty of show to go, lots of opportunities to impress, but for the pilot there’s just enough there to get you to the end.
Colony – “Pilot” (6/10)