Colony is an American science-fiction drama television series created by Carlton Cuse and Ryan J. Condal, starring Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies. A 10-episode first season premiered with an online preview release of the first episode on USA Network's website on December 15, 2015, following the launch of a game-like website to promote the show. The series had its broadcast premiere on USA Network on January 14, 2016. Taglines for the series used in promotional materials include "Behind the Wall" and "Life Under Occupation". On February 4, 2016, Colony was renewed for a second season by USA Network which premiered on January 12, 2017.
In a dystopian near-future Los Angeles, a couple, Katie (Callies) and Will (Holloway) Bowman live with two of their three children under a regime of military occupation by an organization known as the Colony Transitional Authority. They are part of a larger invading force of extraterrestrial origin who are referred to as the "Hosts", and as the "Raps", apparently a reference to raptors (the logo of the human collaborating forces features a stylized bird of prey). It is said of them that "no one ever sees them". The Hosts have built an enormous wall, around 20–30 stories tall, several meters thick, and many miles in length, which surrounds the central part of Los Angeles, where the series is set. Other similar walls have been constructed around other major cities (now called "Blocs"), while various buildings still display severe damage from the armed conflict during the invasion, known as the "Arrival".
The geographical extent of the alien invasion is unclear, but it is presumably worldwide. The occupying forces shown to the viewers are all human, and enforce their occupation via black-and-red-uniformed militarized police with automatic firearms and armored personnel carriers, nicknamed the "Redhats" by characters in the series. These Redhats, along with a privileged class of elites, the "Proxies", were all drawn by the Hosts from the local population, and are thus denigrated by some of those they control as "Collaborators". It is unclear how the Redhats were initially organized or equipped. They may be staffed by members of what was Homeland Security, and are still often referred to as such. The Redhats do recruit from the local population, though such recruits are sometimes shown to be thuggish or wannabe types. These forces maintain control by separation of loved ones, shoot-on-sight curfews, forced disappearances, random checkpoints and frequent electronic identity checks, limitation of motor vehicle usage to official transport by special permit only (most citizens must walk or ride bicycles), pervasive visual propaganda, slave labor in a facility called the "Factory" for any transgressors (and their families) who are not executed, 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 with a crude form of eugenics. An active resistance movement is referred to as both the "Resistance" and the "Insurgency" (without universal support among the population, even among non-Collaborators), alongside a black market, though both are subject to ruthless suppression. A resistance cell based in Los Angeles includes at least one former U.S. military/intelligence operative named Broussard. Most basic resources are rationed by the Transitional Authority, while limited trade is conducted
between citizens, bartering home-produced, used, and sometimes stolen items. The apparent leader of the resistance is known by the codename "Geronimo", after the Apache leader.
The series begins less than a year after the beginning of the Occupation. The Bowmans seek their middle child (younger son), Charlie, who was separated from them during the Arrival, while they try to survive with meager resources in a changed world that is constantly dangerous despite its urban veneer of order. Will is forced to work for the Redhats to hunt down the Resistance, or his family will be sent to the Factory. Katie, who is (unbeknownst to Will) a member of the Resistance, now has an inside source in Will.
The show has received generally positive reviews. On Metacritic it holds a score of 69/100, based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews." On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a score of
80%, based on 24 reviews with an average rating of 6.4/10. The critics' consensus reads: "Colony offers an engaging enough narrative, a few scares, and an overall good time, even if none of it is
Stephen King praised the series saying: "In a year of remarkable TV, Colony is really something special: smart, suspenseful, subversive... thought-provoking."