Join the resistance: Why ‘Colony’ is a sci-fi gem that deserves to be saved
Between the divisive cancellations of shows like Timeless, Shadowhunters, Ghosted, and Ash vs. The Evil Dead, 2018 was a rough year for genre TV fandoms. And now we have another underrated genre show on our hands that has also unjustly faced the chop: Colony. The smart sci-fi drama with a sizable and passionate fan base has been quietly cancelled by USA after just three seasons.
The potential reasons as to why bring a stale familiarity to the story. Though the show got off to a strong ratings start (including being the top viewed scripted cable show on Thursday nights throughout its first two seasons), it faced some troubles heading into S3 when Colony didn’t land a California tax credit and was forced to relocate production from Los Angeles to Vancouver. The storyline was adjusted to accommodate the move, the show started airing Wednesdays, and ratings began to slip.
Based on the cutthroat model of network renewals and cancellations where ratings take precedence over a show’s quality, value, and fandom, Colony perhaps didn’t stand a chance – but it most certainly deserves one.
Starring Sarah Wayne Callies and Josh Holloway, the dystopian sci-fi series centers around the survival of humanity following an alien invasion and the power dynamics that strain between everyday people, oppressive regimes, and resistance groups. But Colony is far more than just standard sci-fi fare.
We spoke to a few fans on Twitter who expressed that the depth of Colony’s narrative is one of the core reasons the show should be saved. SWCFans told us, “Colony is an incredibly relevant story tackling some of our most pressing current events within the framework of sci-fi.” Meanwhile, Proxy Snyder (a witty fan tribute profile for the Colony character) argued that the show has a “unique dramatic take on the sci-fi genre” with a story that “resonates with the current political climate around the world.”
In this way, Colony delivers sci-fi at its very best, providing an interrogation of current social and political issues within an entertaining yet thoughtful plotline. There are moments when Colony shifts so uncomfortably close to real world events that it’s impossible to argue against the idea that the show is capturing the zeitgeist.
As Vox stated in its review of S2 of the show, “it’s not so out there that it doesn’t bear an uncomfortably close resemblance to our real world. It’s easy enough to imagine the security state suddenly bugging every American citizen via their cellphones or something.”
Where the show also thrives is in how it develops rich complex characters fighting to survive within oppressive regimes and particularly in how Colony focuses attention on family dynamics in the midst of political conflicts. While the first season focused on the psychological cost of conflict and the second on the violence of living within a warzone, S3 has explored the unity that can emerge within oppressed communities.
All the while, the Bowman family has remained at the heart of it all, striving to maintain some sense of normality with parents Will and Katie devoted to the idea of providing better lives for their kids.
The characters of Colony are complex right across the board, providing an intense scrutiny of human nature and the dynamics of being both good and bad in order to survive. As fan Vicki truelove-tate shared with us on Twitter, “Colony is a show about saving humanity.
The characters have drawn us into their story, their fight to stay human for three years. It is written with intelligence and truth about human nature.” ThePansyBastard added, “The Bowman family felt like members of my own family . . . There weren’t any parts of the show that required you suspend belief to keep watching.”
The production values, performances, writing, and themes of Colony are enough to argue for it to be saved. But there’s one final and major argument that needs to be made for Colony to be picked up for at least one more season, if not many more: It still has so much story left to tell and questions that need answering.
Aside from what will happen to all these characters we’ve formed such a deep emotional connection with, there are also the mysteries pertaining to the aliens and their plans, and more specific questions left unanswered from S1 regarding the Greatest Day, how the Hosts perceive time differently, and why they seem to be collecting art.
On Twitter, TheJohnBaker2.0 argued that “the show is still developing its storyline and characters in new and fascinating ways,” while Vicki truelove-tate suggested that cancelling the show at this point in the story would be like “going to a movie and leaving before the final credits, reading a book and never reading the final chapter.”
The bottom line is that S3 has been setting the scene for a phenomenal S4 and it isn’t just the fans who deserve to see that – the whole Colony team at least deserves the opportunity to tell the rest of the story the show has so carefully been plotting all this time.
The final episode of Colony airs on Wednesday July 25, and fans are already planning a tweetstorm to help raise awareness and momentum for the #SaveColony campaign. Anyone looking to help can sign the official Save Colony petition and share some additional support for the show by signing this second petition on Change.
This is a show that’s far from over and for Colony fans, the fight to save their favorite show has only just begun. We’re with you all the way Colony fans – here’s hoping the resistance saves one of TV’s most underrated shows.