Fan-favorite actor Josh Holloway returns to TV in a big way. Since the hit show Lost vanished from prime time in 2010, Holloway has gone on to play various roles. But this time he plays nothing like James ‘Sawyer’ Ford in USA’s new sci-fi series Colony. However, Holloway does reunite with his legendary Lost executive producer, Carlton Cuse.
Colony is set in a future Los Angeles, where the city is seized and occupied by an alien force. Naturally, there is a clash between the city’s residents and those who seek to control it. Some residents choose to fight and rebel against the occupation, while others choose to collaborate with the intruders. Holloway plays Will Bowman, a former FBI agent and father who feels he doesn’t have much of a choice about how to deal with these interlopers. During the invasion, Bowman’s son Bram (Alex Neustaedter) is taken and is used as a means of forcing his father to cooperate with his captors.
Screen Rant spoke with the cast and crew of Colony at NYCC, and the following is their impression of the series so far. For Holloway, it was the moral dilemma his character faces that drew him to the show:
“What is so rich about the storytelling [in this show] is [it’s based] in reality.” He adds, “What would you do if they had [taken] your family? What decisions would you make if you were put in that situation? Who comes first your family or your humanity?”
Show creator Carlton Cuse echoes the significance of the human and moral aspects of this sci-fi show:
“The human story kicks off in the very first episode of the show when Josh’s character…is sort of forced into becoming a collaborator and hunt down the resistance. There are a lot of twists and turns that occur and a lot of moral dilemmas that come up for him and his family members as he is on that quest.”
Bowman’s quest, or really, the show’s concept, grew out of the historical interest writer Ryan Condal and Cuse have with World War II and Nazi Germany. Condal confesses the war “…was a big inspiration. I mean Carlton and I both are huge fans of history, particularly World War II history.” Condal explains what aspects of the war inspired the kinds of storytelling that will be seen in Colony, specifically pinpointing the occupation of Nazi forces around Europe:
“We were really, really fascinated by the Nazi occupation of Europe because you had this massive overwhelming technological force that took over all these countries and very quickly the people adapted and tried to survive in this world. Life in these places went on…[and] very quickly people adapted and moved on. The thing that really fascinated us as drama storytellers was the villains in these stories. See, everyone knew the Nazis were bad, but the really interesting thing were collaborators within those places that allied with the Nazis… They would all have their own stories and justifications for that, and that felt just like a really rich place for storytelling for us.”
So expect that, through Colony, Condal and Cuse will explore the dilemmas and reactions that basically moral people must face when they find themselves in a threatening, oppressive situation like a military occupation. Understanding that will offer viewers some insight into the justifications the characters have for making the choices they ultimately make.
For his part, Holloway admits that part of the series’ draw was the opportunity to reunite with Lost executive producer, Carlton Cuse. “It was like putting on an old pair of jeans after working with this guy and not knowing anything for 6 years,” he says. As for the his approach to playing a character that is demonstrably different than Sawyer, and one who finds himself in a storyline that really bears no resemblance to Lost, Holloway says he’s ready for the challenges that presents.
“I am trained for this. I love a story where the audience knows as much about what is going on as the characters, and it is a slow reveal of the mystery and what is happening and you take the ride with me.”
As for Cuse, he’s just happy to be working with Holloway once more, saying he didn’t have anyone else in mind for the role of Bowman. “We wrote the role for Josh,” he says. “We totally did. We specifically talk about [him and] we would actually refer to the character as ” Joshed” in story meeting. We were kind of all in on this idea.”
So, what would have happened if Holloway hadn’t taken the role? “I would have been killed,” Holloway says. With that kind of incentive it seems like he is definitely up for making the show a success.
The Colony series premiere airs Thursday, January 14 @10pm on USA.