Josh Holloway and Carlton Cuse on Colony's Occupational Hazards

Ileane Rudolph
Courtesy of Mike Coppola/USA Network

Josh Holloway made one thing perfectly clear at the New York Comic Con panel following the first public screening of Colony, Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal’s new political sci-fi thriller about a future Los Angeles occupied by a merciless unseen force run with an iron grip by eager collaborators. “At the core, I understood why,” he said, about why his character (former FBI agent Will Bowman) agrees to work with the traitors in order to save his wife (The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies) and children, one of whom is missing and possibly in the hands of the bad guys. “What would you do if they had your family and they could send them to concentration camps, if you don’t work with them?” Sounding a bit like Lost’s irascible Sawyer,  Holloway admitted to the large audience: “Sorry, humanity, I’d make the choice to fix my family.” Not that Bowman is Sawyer redux. “Sawyer went from the darkness to the light, if you will. This guy has the right priorities, and then because of the situation, to protect his family, he’s forced into this darkness."

Moral dilemmas are at the heart of this story, agreed Lost's Cuse about the show, which was inspired by Paris under the Nazi occupation. “We were interested in how life just went on,” Condal said, “and fascinated by  those who turned against their own people.”  The producers also revealed that they had Cuse’s old friend Holloway in mind since they first wrote the lead character. “We began to say, 'Josh did this’ or ‘Josh did that’ whenever we talked about Will,” Cuse admitted. There was no second choice, he said. Luckily, Holloway confirmed, the call came at the right time: when his wife was nagging him about how it was time “to get off the couch and find a job.”

A producer clearly comfortable with different genres (The Strain, Bates Motel) Cruse happily described his new entry as “a cross-genre show like Lost. In this case," he said, “It’s a family show crossed with an espionage show with a little dollop of science fiction.” Though he plays it coy, the occupiers certainly have all the earmarks of an alien culture. But, he emphasized, they didn’t want to do an invasion show like Falling Skies. “That’s been done before. We want to explore the consequences of occupation. It shines a mirror back on the real world’s moral dilemmas. For instance, how much oppression is required to keep order? That’s the experience on the show.”  (Plus, the banning of private cars within the walled-in city certainly dealt with traffic congestion in the show's mythology.)

Besides selling his new project, Carleton told the audience that he wouldn’t mind returning to one of his old shows. “I would like to do a reunion show of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. with Bruce Campbell. I hear he’s around here,” he joked about the horror icon, who was also at NYCC promoting Ash Vs. Evil Dead. Colony premieres in April 2016 on the USA Network.

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