Sunday, 10 April 2016

Colony S01E01


"When an outside force occupies LA, a former FBI agent and his wife are forced to make tough decisions."

What I thought?

Sky labels this show as "Gripping futuristic thriller" and gives it an 18 rating. If a city being occupied by an alien force and surrounded by a massive wall wasn't too much of a stretch for most viewers, than the terms "thriller" and the use of "18" will be. There was barely any violence, swearing or nudity to warrant anything over a 15-rating at worst. Compared to most other programmes on TV this was almost like an episode of any weekly soap opera than anything pornagraphic or violent. Perhaps this will change in future episodes? Certainly there is a simmering darkness and grittiness to the show throughout that's really being forced upon us, but all in a rather artificial way. It does a decent job of setting the premise for the rest of the season in this episode and giving us a taster of everything that's going on but it's certainly not making me feel anything like it's a thriller just yet.

The show centres around Josh Hollaway's character Will, his wife Katie and to a less extent, their children. Will was an FBI come miltary hard nut before the alien occupation and it seems most of his colleagues have been removed from the occupied land. Thus he's undercover and hiding his real identity. No matter, that all goes to hell before the end of the episode. After copious very unsubtle pointers in the first five minutes that this family is missing one child, Will and a helper are smuggled like fish (literally) in a truck through a checkpoint into the next presumably occupied zone. This is where the missing son, who it seems was separated from the family at the start of the occupation, resides and it's somewhat Will's fault going by conversation he has with his wife. Things are going well until another lorry explodes at the checkpoint causing carnage. Naturally almost everyone else is killed except Will, who is then bundled into some sort of detention centre by "red hats" who appear to ruthlessly control law and order in the occupied colony. They aren't aliens though. Just humans given these roles. They look like hard nuts too and don't seem to do anything pleasant. Regardless, Will's former identity is discovered and he's brought to the colony's governor, Proxy Alan Snyder, who is played by Peter Jacobson portraying a character so uncannily similar to that which is he played in Ray Donovan. You'd hardly know the difference. Thankfully that was an amusing character. This guy brings an air of joy and humour to proceedings but doesn't really ever go too OTT on knocking what are some really severe issues going on all around them. In return for his freedom Alan asks Will to work for him to discover who makes up the resistance. As it happens, Will's wife Katie is in the resistance, unknown to Will, but undoubtedly highly suspected by us all throughout the episode, not least by the cliffhanger reveal being spoken about in almost every trailer for this show beforehand. Sigh. Yes, we all knew this before we started watching! It's not a surprise.

So, we have a show that is 'Lost' meets 'V' meets 'Under the Dome'. It's got the mystery of Lost, the alien occupancy of V and the "trapped in a location for an unknown reason" bit of Under the Dome. Thankfully this opening episode isn't as badly scripted and acted as Under the Dome, but isn't as dramatic and captivating as Lost. But it's a decent opener thanks largely to not revealing very much about the aliens, if anything. There's some gorgeously beautiful CGI views of the huge wall surrounding the colony, which is not quite on the Game of Thrones scale for walls but pretty impressive anyway. I'd say this show is very much more like V than the others and hopefully they'll keep to their word of drip feeding us information about the aliens, because much like Lost, a lot of people went south when it all went sci-fi on us. Not me though, I loved that show and still do. Colony hasn't started anywhere near on the same level as Lost did but it's made a decent stab at it and has a mystery kept thankfully at arm's length from us, therefore making me curious enough to keep watching.

Rating 6/10 (DECENT)

By the time they actually told us, it was obvious a family member was missing thanks to numerous camera angles telling us.

Will took to being smuggled in a container like a cool guy.

Guess who was the only survivor of the bomb in the nearby lorry? Yes, Will.

Will's wife goes around like a badass but it really doesn't feel natural.

It's that guy from Ray Donovan! And he's playing the same character from what I can tell.

The only time we get close to seeing the aliens is in this beautiful CGI moment of their ship taking off.

Josh's mandatory shirtless moment.

The wall blends in so well that it's hard to notice it most of the time.

Who do you like your eggs in the morning? Alan arrives for breakfast.

Secret codes. Secret knocks. Secret rooms. Oh look, Katie is in the resistance. Yes, Yes. We knew this from the trailers!

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