The Colony: Discovery Channel's New Post-Apocalyptic Reality Show

Just when you thought reality TV was running out of steam, a new groundbreaking reality series from Discovery Channel called The Colony puts an interesting spin on the Survivor/Big Brother reality model.

The Colony, which premiered last night at 10PM ET/PT, follows 10 strangers confined to an LA warehouse with scarce food and water for two months as they try to establish their own society in a post-apocalyptic world. Catch the trailer here.

The Colony  will try to construct how a global catastrophe could affect life as we know it, and begins with the 10 unwitting cast members moving into a 50,000 square-foot abandoned warehouse on a three-and-a-half acre plot near the Los Angeles River in downtown Los Angeles.

According to the network, the warehouse and small acreage was designed by Homeland Security along with engineering and psychology experts who took cues from real-life disasters and forecast models of what the future could look like after a global catastrophe like massive climate change related weather changes, nuclear disaster, plague or other natural disasters.

While the premise of The Colony requires viewers to suspend their disbelief, the social experiment could prove to be rivetting, especially when compared to reality drivel like I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

The first episode follows six participants as they make their way to the colony where they find they have no potable water, no electricity and a small amount of food. Soon, they welcome four others sent in later and figure out how to filter the polluted river water and hooked up a collection of car batteries to provide power.

Sounds pretty tame so far, but reports indicate that producers have spent a lot of time and money to make it all look and feel like the aftermath of an apocalyptic event - right down to the Mad Max-style outlanders hired to steal the group's food and water.

"There was a time or two when I had to exercise restraint, not to physically harm one of the marauders. "I thought to myself, 'I'm into this a lot more than I thought I was going to be,' " says one Colony participant.

Part social experiment, part reality TV show, Discovery's The Colony looks like it could become a new TV addiction for those of us who've ever wondered "what would happen if...." Stay tuned!


11 comments
Posted by Jacky on March 18,2010 at 2:08 AM

In the end Joey doesn't go with them can someone tell me what happens to him pls he's my fav charater

Posted by The Colony on January 29,2010 at 5:38 PM

NOW CASTING SEASON 2 of

"THE COLONY"

The Discovery Channel invites you to participate in an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experience: in the second

season of this critically acclaimed docu-reality series deemed a "social experiment", a group of eleven strangers must co-exist in a simulated, post-apocalyptic world. The world as you know it is gone – there is no water, no food, no communication, no power. It's now up to you and eleven strangers to fend for yourselves as you rebuild society and reengineer the world as you once knew it.

If you understand the science of survival, if you have a skill that would help you and others survive after a catastrophe, if you are ambitious, motivated, resourceful under pressure and willing to un-tap your personal ingenuity, we are looking for you. Join us in this true test of the human spirit.  

If interested, please email the following info to:

thecolony.ashley@gmail.com

NAME:

AGE:

OCCUPATION:

SKILLS/TALENTS/AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

SURVIVAL SKILLS (if any):

CITY/STATE:

PHONE #:

RECENT PHOTO:

Posted by Robert Vreugde on September 13,2009 at 8:17 PM

The glaring problem with this show is that there are no children or families (or even partial families) that are trying to survive. The care of infants or kids would be a huge issue in any post-apocalyptic world and the show fails to deal with that.

AND if you did not have children, a way to care for them and raise them to adulthood, in the end your colony would die out in spite of everything else you did.

Instead it is like so many Hollywoodish apocalypse shows/movies where almost all the survivors look like well fed, well toned, hollywood actors celebrating their new grunge lifestyle. Remember no condoms in post-apocalypse land so if a bunch of Hollywood types are going to be sharing their life together you are going to end up with kids – or at least pregnant women. So how do you survive that?

Other than that issue, a pretty interesting series that showcases some survival issues in a broken urban environment.

Posted by Rick on September 11,2009 at 12:37 PM

As it nears the end of its run, I have to say I've enjoyed the show pretty much, but it's starting to get a little hard to suspend my disbelief. I don't mean it's hard for me to pretend that civilization has collapsed--that's their burden, not mine. Rather, I'm having trouble believing that *they* can sustain enough belief in their situation to explain the post-civilization mores they portray. For example, "the Colonists haven't been told" that the marauders are instructed not to seriously harm them. Are we supposed to believe that people who can figure out how to build technological marvels out of junk are too stupid to realize that TV producers aren't going to risk being sued? Or that these people are dumb enough to sign blanket liability waivers before being thrust into an unknown, possibly perilous situation? Ok, so given that they know their various attackers aren't going to stab, shoot, or even punch them very hard, would they really take the time to build *lethal* weapons like grenades, flamethrowers, and morningstar clubs? Wouldn't they just pick up some random pieces of pipe and rock? But no, that wouldn't be as dramatic.

Furthermore, how persistently can anybody hold on to a siege mentality that he *knows* is a fiction while (presumably clean and well-fed) cameramen, lighting techs, etc. are calmly and dispassionately following him around and occasionally interviewing him? There's more than a little element of acting in the Colonists' supposedly "immersive" experience. It's either scripted to some degree, or the Colonists are minding their status as cast members at least enough to do a little acting for the audience's sake. Either way, part of what we're seeing is fiction dressed up as reality TV, and once you realize that it's hard to say where to draw the line. Did John V. have a SAG card prior to being cast? Is Mike working from a character outline? Are Joey's tattoos even real?

Posted by Briana on September 2,2009 at 9:46 PM

So I love this show, but my husband thinks it is stupid. So he goes on to bed and I get to stay up and enjoy it on my own which is fine with me! Survival is something that is very very interested to me, especially since learning about what would happen during and after a nuclear attach while in Radiation school.  Some of the things these people have come up with are incredible! my only complaint or issue is that all 10(now 9) of these people are very highly skilled in something..doctor, engineer, nurse, scientist, special forces, martial artist, life long "handyman" ect...which are all important, but what about the every day person: The stay at home moms, secretary, teacher, homeless man or woman(which could have put an interested survival twist to it) these people may not have college degrees or 25 years experience. but they also wont be the only ones to survive. I applaud Discovery for this show! and I cant wait for each new episode!

Posted by Van on August 18,2009 at 2:41 PM

Agreeing with Elise, I see some of the 'projects' as being too tertiary when compared to more higher priority issues.  I think that Mike is right 99% of the time, his flaw is his delivery; it almost makes you want to 'kill the messenger'.  Joey dips into that bowl, more than a few times too.  The depravation of necessity and creature comforts had to take it's toll, as I'm sure the responses seen wouldn't have happened in a 'normal' setting.  What we see on the episodes, are the condensed from 24 hours, to around 45 minutes.  We might not see the value and contributions of the colonists, in light of this.  Security seemed to be important, but the value of it was set aside and only became a priority, once it failed.  In a situation where cooked food was a luxury to eating it cold or raw, it's easy to get caught up in creature comforts.  Toilet paper, again a luxury in a post-apoc society; yet, hard to imagine not having it at the same time.  It's easy for me to watch, and say, "I'd have done this, or that would take precadence" all the while sipping on coffee, sleeping in a warm bed, or having a daily shower.  At the same time, I'm learning from this group.  I'm watching their shortcomings and mistakes; listening to debate, arguments, hostilities, based on the priorities of this group as they experiernce them.  Like others, I'd love to be a part of this group, or of another similar group to push myself and my abilities.  The challenge of not just survival, but the goal of not having the struggle day by day for the basics of life.  I've watched the episodes, and can't wait to see the next.  What pitfalls lie ahead? What new innovation will be devised? When will they build the battle-wagon and be ready to leave (even though an exodus plan is already in the works, without the colonists knowing).  It's hard to imagine, the excitment of catching one fish from a poluted river, of seeing power from the grid, even if just for a few minutes.  Methane gas created from useless pallets.  I'd hope we never have to experience these things, but in just a few episodes, we've learned something that might keep us alive in a worst-case situation.

Great show, waiting to watch it unfold in the weeks ahead. (wish I could just watch it all at once..)

Posted by BMW on August 18,2009 at 10:00 AM

I like Mike and Joe the best....they are leaders and bring something to the table. I dont like Morgan or Leilani, they bring nothing but attitude. John and Vlad are pretty cool as well...they have a lot of good ideas. Amy looks like shes coming into her own especially with the fishing nets.

Posted by Elise on August 13,2009 at 10:42 AM

I have watched all four episodes of the Colony and LOVE IT!!!  This is such an addicting show.  I really like Mike and can't stand how some of the women are trying to villify him.  He's done so much more than any of them have.  It's funny because I am a woman, yet have absolutely no feelings of agreement with these do-nothing women.  You see the men always getting stuff accomplished and the women starting a 'gym'  DUH!!!!   You don't need a gym to survive.. you need food, energy, clean water, and weapons.  It may be just sexist editing, or it may be that these women selecting just have no skills they can do anything with at this point.  Either way, the strongest people on there are Mike and the Contractor dude.  I wish I could be on the Colony.   I'm a survivalist, and have medical experience, can cook over an open flame, understand water distillation for absolute purity, and would never waste precious energy and materials on silly fluffy crap like cute outfits and a personal gym.  

Posted by Nick on August 5,2009 at 4:26 AM

I have been watching the show now for the past 3 weeks, and I have to say I find it fascinating! It really does contain all that you are expecting from a reality show based on this premise. I can see though how the experts might guide the participants from time to time, after all, it is an experiment. Naturally being so, there would be no way to safely leave them to thier own devices, in case something fatal might potentially occur.  Even in a mock scenario like this...the tensions run high and can lead some to really get into the moment, even if it is staged a bit.  That being said, I think the producers have done some incredible work creating event that has not ever happened and placed the stage for this series to be set. The attention to detail while creating the setup is great, right down to the real life situations one might be faced with in those circumstances. It simply has it all,  personal fueds, food and water issues, and threats from marauders (even if the threat is only the food supplies).  I dont have time to write about this show all night, you got the point. Check it out1

Posted by Angie on July 22,2009 at 3:01 PM

Very riviting and worth staying up for. As a matter of fact, I found it hard to go to sleep. This show is much more intelectual than the stream of reality shows that we are currently bombarded with.

Posted by Debbie on July 22,2009 at 12:05 PM

Loved the show.  It was interesting to see how the people acted and what they would do to survive.  Can't wait until the next episode.

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