Lost's Carlton Cuse on how World War II inspired his new alien occupation drama Colony

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May 21, 2015, 7:35 PM EDT (Updated)

Though you might know him best as one of the minds behind Lost, Carlton Cuse has been keeping busy in the genre ever since that hit went off to the big island in the sky. His latest project? A thriller about alien occupation ... inspired by World War II.

Cuse (Bates Motel, The Strain) chatted with Collider about his new USA sci-fi series Colony, which is set in the near future and focuses on a Los Angeles family trying to survive after the city is occupied by “outside intruders.” It almost has undertones of a political thriller, as some factions fall in with the new overlords, while others mount a secret rebellion. The series stars Josh Holloway (Lost) and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead).

According to Cuse, he was largely inspired by the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, and the sometimes surreal effect it had on Europe. It sounds like a fascinating pitch. Check out his comments below:

"I think there might be an initial assumption that it’s an alien invasion show but it’s not that at all. The metaphor for Colony is Paris during World War II. So, Ryan Condal, who I created the project with, and I looked at all these great photographs of Paris during the Nazi occupation. You see women in fur coats sitting at sidewalk cafes, drinking espressos while Nazi stormtroopers are marching by, and that incongruity really fascinated us. We wanted to explore this idea: Could you come up with a modern context for this? So, in our story, Los Angeles is under occupation from a mysterious force, but we don’t really deal with who the occupiers are. They’ve installed a proxy human government and the show’s really about occupation.

It’s much closer to us installing a proxy government in Afghanistan with Karzai, or Iraq. Pretty much every country on the planet has either been a colonizer or a colony. How do the dynamics of that kind of society work when you have one super-empowered group of people and one colonized group of people? And how do they interact? And I think North Korea, Cuba – there are many examples of repressive societies where people have to adopt elaborate strategies to survive and that just felt like really dramatic territory if we could put that in a contemporary American context."

USA has ordered a 10-episode debut season for Colony, and they're on schedule to start shooting in July. No premiere date has been set, but it’ll likely bow later in 2015.

(Via Collider)

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