Season Two of the outstanding television series– “The Colony” — debuted on The Discovery Channel this week, and while this year’s “survivors” are dumber and weaker than those on Season One, the stakes are evermore higher in the Age of Urban Bioterrorism.
Here’s the PR blurp from Discovery setting the seeds for this year’s survival story:
Season Two of THE COLONY introduces viewers to a new group of volunteers with differing backgrounds, skills and personalities, to bear witness to how these colonists will survive and rebuild in a world without electricity, running water, government or outside communication. Over the course of 10 episodes, the colonists — who include a construction foreman, teacher, carpenter and auto mechanic — must work to utilize and strengthen their exploration, technology and survival skills in ways they’ve never had to before. THE COLONY features on-going commentary and input from experts in homeland security, engineering, psychology and the medical community, with expertise and insight into what the future could look like after a biological disaster.
Filmed on 10 acres of abandoned neighborhood on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, THE COLONY’S simulated environment had been left decimated by Hurricane Katrina, a naturally occurring disaster zone that was slated to be bulldozed and turned into a public park. Empty buildings, weedy streets and the backwoods are all the colonists have to work with as they scavenge essentials for survival from their surroundings while fending off threats such as wild animals and malicious outsiders.
Even though we know what we are watching is simulated — the circumstance of just living and dying in every moment of the day is daunting.
The survivors are always in danger.
They are forever surrounded by death.
The five things you must find to survive in any circumstance are:
This year’s cast are adept at the first four — but when it comes to security — they are essentially entirely rotten at protecting their own, valuable, interests — even when repeatedly attacked, they take no proactive measures to lock down their camp.
Their expressed lack of interest in creating a perimeter, and defending it, is stunning. They leave the front gate open to their compound!
The beauty of The Colony, as a television show, is the test of willpower, morality, compassion — and the want to kill to survive — within the viewer.
The show continually prods us: “What would you do? How far would you go to survive?”
The most fascinating irrevocable change in the first episode was The Self-Righteous Bible Thumping Carpenter — who moved from New Testament Loving God to Old Testament Punishing God in the span of less than 20 minutes.
During the first stranger insurrection into their camp he, alone, wanted to give the intruders a carton of milk to assuage them and make them go away.
When the same intruders later returned with a gang of friends to steal the colony’s medical supplies, our Carpenter-as-Jesus, tried to kill the malingerers and shouted — “You are DEAD!” — until he was hoarse.
I am always amused by temporary morality and conditional compassion, but watching the Godless Carpenter so quickly turn on his own system of beliefs — was head-snapping.
We know bioterror is the new threat to our everyday freedoms, and television shows like The Colony reinforce the need in all of us to not only face our demons, but name them, categorize them, and prioritize them for publication — because when it comes down to “us against them” and, inevitably, “you against me” — the evolutionary requirement to kill to survive against others threatening your limited resources is the base mentality of every living species in the world.
The trick of surviving is being able to kill without regret or fear of retribution.
War makes enemies.
Killing someone stealing your water is righteous self-defense.
You must be willing to kill your neighbor — not just the intruding stranger.
Will The Colony turn on itself? Are they willing to kill each other to survive?
The horror of it all is that you will not survive a pandemic attack unless you are willing and able to kill — without conscience — any threat, real or perceived, that inhibits your commoditized, preternatural, want to survive beyond the moment and into the next breaking day.
How does ‘killing’ work on the show? How would it work?
There isn’t any killing yet on the show. The bad guys are all actors hired to play “intruders” — but there is physical violence that is very real — so the attacker “hands off” approach of Season One is definitely no longer in play with these planned attacks against the survivors.
Last year, there was much more emphasis on the players defending their perimeter. They used razor wire, they would create oil slicks to blunt an attack, they created Molotov Cocktails — and threw them! — the defenders even created a flame thrower to repel any attack.
This year, the marauders are better prepared. When 30 of them showed up to take on the 7 survivors, you quickly saw there was no way for the survivors to placate or fight against such overwhelming odds. In real life, they’d have to start killing the attackers in order to prevent them from taking your water and medicine.
The survivors tried to fight back physically, but the attackers put three men on each defender and hit them and beat them down while the attacking women pillaged the camp. The attackers used brute force, weapons, and pepper spray — and it all worked perfectly.
If the situation were real — and not a TV show — the attackers would not have hesitated to kill the survivors: Why fight and risk get hurt when you can overwhelmingly kill them with overpowering numbers and lead pipes to the head?
In the end, the survivors were left bruised and bloody and poorer — but still alive — while the marauders all left happy, unscathed, and with all the goods they originally sought.
We know the marauders will be back. Previews of shows left to come indicate at least one survivor is kidnapped by the mob — and it looks like it is a woman — which makes your murderous blood boil even higher.
Thanks for the great explanation. Feels like I’m watching the show!
Let us know what you think of the show if you decide to watch, Gordon!
Oh, and as for “killing” on the TV show, last year, one of the surviving doctors wandered off while scavenging a building with the others.
We never saw him again.
His “disappearance” was never explained to us or to the colonists.
The others searched for him, but could not find him.
That was real and scary and probably just how “a killing” in the middle of a pandemic might just find you: Without rhyme nor reason nor a flint of evidence left behind.
I’ve waited a few years for this show to return; hoping that during it’s absence, it was being remodeled into a more believable show. Rumors abound whether its an on-set death, to just poor ratings. The concept of the show for posing the ‘What if?’ question of survival in a post-apocalyptic situation was solid. Even if it was portrayed with silly stick-waving combat, dramatic yelling, and complicated needless construction.
For some, it may have been the first show to allows them the chance to ask, ‘what would I do?’ if I was in “The Colony” experiment. I’ve scanned the web, and in many places, I see people asking about the 3rd season, expressing a desire to participate, or simply to observe others. A lot of reviews speak of the unrealistic aspects. Plots and storylines that require feats of mental agility if the show is going to make any forward progress. Suspension of belief if we are to accept that ‘this’ is how it would be in a real-life situation.
Since “The Colony” appears to have seen it’s last days, I’ve taken action to see about acquiring the rights to use the show, for the purpose of continuing the series. After carefully researching, and reaching out to the public, I’ve found ways to enhance the realism, and bring back a show that surpasses the shortcomings we’ve been shown. As it stands, I’m still waiting to hear back any information concerning the use of rights or limited rights for the show. I may resort back to my original plan to produce a similar show of my own design.
Any information or support for this would be appreciated.
Thanks for the great comment!
While I appreciate your want to continue “The Colony” — why bother with all the rights and acquisition fees and attorney payments?
Why not just create your own new show that is “inspired” by the original Colony series? Then you control and own everything right from the start.
I agree, and it was my initial intention to do exactly that in the beginning. “The Colony” name and model is already established, even if it is a bit forgotten or scantly remembered, it still has a solid base of reference for fans, and others to go back and relive the show as it was. Creating a new show, has problems of starting from scratch, and potential infringements if it bears too many similarities to the original. In some regards, they might be willing to allow me usage, that doesn’t outweigh the risks of potential legal damage later on… Its just an option for now, if they are willing to negotiate, that works, if not, I still have ‘made from scratch’ ideas of my own.
I’d like to think that former cast members, would be open to provide comment and reviews (added within the show), if it still fell within the realm of “The Colony”. This and other aspects aren’t overly important, but might add to the perpetuity of a show that was first seen years ago. Of course, with a new banner flying overhead, those aspects are tossed out, (some might say with good reason). For now, I’m continuing to research both aspects of using the established name, and a newly formatted program. Odds are, I’ll end up trying my own thing, just waiting a bit, to see if there are other options first. Quite honestly, a new season three could appear in the news next month? I highly doubt it, but it never hurts to rattle a few cages to see what beasts might lurk within.
Thanks for the reply, and I’ll definitely consider using the ‘inspired by’ concept. Nice suggestion!
I appreciate your plan! Please keep us updated!