Once Upon a Time, I was a big fan of a show called Lost. A lot of us were. It was suspenseful, engaging, character driven storytelling. Yes, the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were dealing with an Island chock full of strange things – the numbers, polar bears, smoke monsters and the Others, but each episode centered on one single character.
Lost ended… badly. Horribly, in fact. While fans had been assured that everything would have a rational explanation and that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were NOT in purgatory, the show ends in a place that is a way station in the afterlife between life and one’s eternal destination. Purgatory, by any other name.
Unlike other shows I’ve binge watched, I’ve never been able to bring myself to rewatch Lost, because I know that, ultimately, it leads to an unsatisfying conclusion.
Enter Colony. It has Josh Holloway, one of the actors who portrayed one of Lost‘s main characters, as its protagonist. It’s created in part by Carlton Cuse, one of the co-creators of Lost.
The premise is that aliens have invaded, placing walls around occupied cities and patrolling the streets with merciless drones and human Red Hats. The Bowman family is trapped in the Los Angeles bloc, where the city’s residents are divided between Collaborators for the Occupation and the Resistance. It’s sci-fi and full of mystery. Who are the aliens? What do they want? Why are they sending people to the Factory? What’s going on in the world outside the Wall? What is the Greatest Day?
So much good stuff.
Yet on June 21, 2018, four days prior to the final episode of the 3rd season, the USA Network simply cancelled Colony. It was a bonehead decision that has fueled significant fan rage. The last episode ended on a major cliffhanger with tons of unresolved questions and was clearly scripted with the expectation of another season. Yet despite the fact that it had all of the earmarks of a long-running show, the announcement came just days before final episode aired.
Like many fans, I’m left wondering why I’m ostensibly stuck with such an unsatisfying ending to the story I’ve invested myself in.
While some cite falling viewer numbers, one of the major reasons for the decision is that Colony failed to score itself a California tax credit. This forced the show’s production to move from LA to Vancouver, which had some major effects on the show’s settings and storylines. While the season started strong, it then muddled about trying to make its settings switch. The show regained its equilibrium and the final episodes were breathtaking but the confusion these changes caused them to lose viewers. The second season had seen a drop due to being moved to Wednesdays. Seriously, have these TV execs never heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?
According to Devon Maloney at The Verge, the other reason Colony was cancelled is because of the USA Network’s new The Purge television series:
“SFX-heavy sci-fi is expensive, and with The Purge on the horizon, USA no doubt made the cut in anticipation of whatever that new franchise investment will eventually cost them.”
I am a fan of The Purge movies and I would normally be interested is such a show, but why should we invest in another show on the USA Network when they won’t follow through with the ones we’ve already invested in?
So basically, Colony was a victim of circumstances.
As I once noted ten years ago while commenting on NBC’s decision to mess with Heroes’ schedule, no matter which network we’re talking about, network executives seem to be as brainless as Sylar’s victims.
The fans know what they want. Immediately after the news broke, social media broke out with #SaveColony and #RenewColony posts. A Change.org petition to Bring Back Colony for Season 4 has over 8000 signatures as of this posting.
SaveColony.org is urging fans to participate in a Tweet Storm on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, targeting @USA_Network on Twitter with the hashtag #savecolony. The time to send out the tweets is 10pm Eastern/9pm Central/7pm Pacific on Wednesday, Aug 8 (8/8). For those outside the US & Canada, use 0200 GMT 8/9.
One of their suggested tweets is as follows:
Hey @USA_Network, we #outliers want to #SAVECOLONY . We want a fourth season of @colonyUSA. @netflix, @hulu, and @AmazonStudios are you listening?”
In other words, we’re not picky. If USA Network isn’t smart enough to renew Colony, we’d be perfectly happy if Netflix, Amazon or Hulu to pick up the show for a fourth season.
This isn’t just wishful thinking. It can happen. As SaveColony.org points out:
“There is precedence for a TV show to be saved by it’s fans.”
“Star Trek was the first show to benefit from a letter writing campaign. Other shows include Jericho, Friday Night Lights, Chuck, Roswell, and Arrested Development. In 2018, the television shows Lucifer and Brooklyn Nine Nine were successfully rescued and found life elsewhere.”
So I urge every Outlier to participate in this Tweet Storm on Wednesday, 10pm EST. I’ve already set a reminder in my phone. And if you haven’t watched Colony yet, head over to Netflix asap to see what the fuss us about.