At the core of USA Network's Colony lies the big question: to resist or collaborate with the aliens that have taken over the world? At this year's Comic-Con, I had the opportunity to participate in roundtable press room interviews with the cast and crew of Colony to discuss both sides of the Occupation, what's to come in season two, and much more.

Colony co-creator / executive producer / writer Carlton Cuse on expanding the show's world in season two and increasing the sci-fi elements:

Carlton Cuse: The show will be more dystopic in season two. We intentionally tried to steer away from the traditional Blade Runner, rogue level of dystopia. Proxy Snyder was a guy who thought, "I'll try to leave things as much the same as they were in order to give people the best experiences under this occupation." It didn't work out too well for him, there's a new proxy in town. The way in which the block is managed changes dramatically. That was very intentional. Ryan [Condal] and I had this plan from the beginning to watch this become progressive. This is really the next step of our world building.

The biggest thing that we want to do in season two is open up the world. In season two you'll learn a lot more about the aliens, about how they got here, how they function, what their intention is. A lot of the questions that we set up in season one are not going to be hanging as long-standing mysteries. That wasn't really our intention. You'll feel like a lot of satisfying answers will be given in season two.

We didn't want to start there, but there's definitely a much higher sci-fi push this year, although it's still as grounded and there's still this police work. It's really still functionally a show about humans subjugating other humans given the opportunity. There's this colonization occupation metaphor that's still very much in play. The science fiction aspects are definitely ramped up.

Cuse on how Colony's pace of revealing mysteries compares to Lost, which Cuse wrote for and executive produced:

Carlton Cuse: Lost was a mystery show. We think of our show [Colony] as a science fiction show, crossed with an espionage show, crossed with a family drama. The mysteries are not the critical functioning element of this show. We will be answering questions probably faster than we did on Lost because that's not ultimately what makes the aliens tick or why are they here isn't really what the show's about. It's about this family trying to survive in a world that's been upended.

Co-creator / executive producer / writer Ryan Condal on how far in advance he and Carlton have planned the series:

Ryan Condal: Carlton and I have a real good sense of where we want it to end. His great analogy is you set out on a road trip, you leave the East coast and you're going to drive out to the California coast. You know that ultimately you want to end up on the California coast, which we do with the show, we have our California coast. The route that you take to get there, you think you're going to set out and go the southern route or maybe there's a hurricane and you take a dog-leg and go some other way. The fun of the creative process is just figuring out what those little benchmarks, milestones, are in-between and how that changes and ultimately shapes the characters as you get towards your destination. We have seasons of ideas out in front of us and we know where it ends, but whether that's five or seven [seasons], I couldn't tell you at this point.

Amanda Righetti on whether or not a part of her loves Nolan or if she has aligned herself with the Collaborator strictly for her family's well-being:

Amanda Righetti: Maddie is pragmatic. She has to believe in and buy that what she is doing is the right thing. In order to make anyone else believe it, she has to truly believe it herself. Also, as a character, for the audience to get onboard, she's got to buy that she believes in this. She does to some certain degree, but look, if suddenly the Occupation was threatening to kill her kid, of course she would go for the Resistance. That's what makes Maddie really interesting, she'd sort of go with the flow whereever it takes her to save her own skin and make sure her child will survive. Right now, being with Nolan and being a part of the occupation and being aligned with the transitional authority makes the most sense to her.

Maddie was a completely different character when I was casted, and the writers went, "This doesn't make sense. We have to write Maddie stronger than the way she was written," because it didn't match the casting. It took us a few episodes at the beginning of the season to figure who she was and where she was coming from and what direction she was going. Because initially she was much more of a victim and like a wounded animal and it was a much different character than it has evolved into.

Her and I just had to scene which was inconceivable the first season. Why would I run into her, but because the story lines are crossing a little bit. It does feed the fire, it makes everything a little more inner-woven to have those characters organically connect. So, absolutely. It's not just the political side of it. It's more of a familiar element that gets brought in this season.

Adrian Pasdar the wider world and overlapping storylines in season two:

Adrian Pasdar: Her [Sarah Wayne Callies] and I just had this scene which was inconceivable the first season. Why would I run into her? But because the storylines are crossing a little bit, it does feed the fire, it makes everything a little more interwoven to have those characters organically connect. So, absolutely. It's not just the political side of it. It's more of a familiar element that gets brought in this season.

Righetti on Maddie being more of a support system for her sister Katie in season two:

Amanda Righetti: Maddie solidified herself with Nolan and obviously they've aligned themselves with each other and she learns more about the greatest day movement and is now in much more of a power position than last season because of being Nolan. The tables have turned between what was happening with her and Katie last season and what's happening this season. Before, Maddie was very reliant on Katie to get insulin and to be the backbone to help her get through having a sick child. Now, Katie's had everything stripped from her and she has one child left at home. Will is gone, Charlie's gone, and Bram was arrested. She's now coming to Maddie for help.

Righetti reflects on being at her first Comic-Con to promote Friday the 13th (2009):

The last time, I was here was to promote Friday the 13th. It was crazy and mind-blowing. That was the first time I'd seen the trailer for the movie and the response from the fans was awesome. It was really overwhelming and amazing.

Tory Kittles on Broussard's mindset going into season two:

Tory Kittles: He thought that he had a plan. He thought it was going in one direction and then at the end he got the ultimate betrayal, from the one person he felt he still could trust in this new world. What Katie did, in getting them up in the very end, was a shock to him. He has to regroup. He has to make some new contacts. We're going to see a little more of how and why he does the things that he does, what makes him tick. [In season one] he came back and was thinking, "Hey, I'm going to rebuild my life. I'm going to take care of my mother." Then you find out, in season one, his mother passes away the night of the arrival. We're going to explore a little bit more of those things that really test his humanity.

Sarah Wayne Callies on whether or not Katie regrets joining the Resistance after coming home to an empty house in the season one finale:

Sarah Wayne Callies: If we started with literally, but also with the metaphor of Geronimo, Katie's mindset at the top of season two is more "I will fight no more forever." She went in with all the passion of a zealot and the human cost, both on a macro scale and also on the scale of her family, was enormous. I don't think she regrets the passion of her ideology, but I think she probably regrets the naiveté of, so to speak, jumping into bed with a group of people and, well, that went south.

Of seating her agency, she basically went to this group of people and said, "Here, I want to be involved. I'm going to put you in charge of my ideology." They took the ball and ran with it and I think it was a catastrophe.

Josh Holloway on the difficulties of portraying a character who works for the Collaborators:

Josh Holloway: I had a hard season because, like Sarah was saying, both sides carry an emotional burden with them. If you collaborate, you have this shame and this self-hatred and this, "Yes I've convinced myself I'm doing what I have to do in order for my family to survive." You feel like shit about it. You don't agree with that at all, that ideology. Will, most definitely, is more of a resister and wants to get the world back in any way possible, but he's not in that position. Then Katie has her situations and the consequences of resistance to her family and also on a larger scale. It's hard. It's a hard one to carry around. Even offscreen, I was like, "Son of a shit!" I was mad at collaborating. It makes you want to go out and break the law or something. Which I did, no [laughs]. Both are valid, like you said, both are valid and it depends on what your perspective is.

Peter Jacobson on former proxy Snyder's potential comeback in season two:

Peter Jacobson: I'm not dead and history is riddled with great political comebacks. I don't know if that will happen, but it's possible. I have ways to come back now. It would definitely be a comeback, if I got to be back in control. I'm out of the Colony, but that doesn't mean that I'm not in charge of something and it doesn't mean that I'm not back to my wily ways, trying to manipulate everyone and every situation to my benefit.

Holloway on why he enjoys working with Cuse:

Josh Holloway: I love big storytelling. Same when I read—I read constantly and I love anything that's a series of books. I like big stories that unfold. So does Carlton, apparently. I like mystery. I don't like to be told everything. I don't like just a one-note type thing, so a medical show would be hard for me to stay as interested in as something with a big, expanding, unfolding story that constantly poses other questions and answers few. I like that. I like to be tortured.

Callies on how the aliens could view humans as simply a resource to be used for their benefit:

Sarah Wayne Callies: It's possible that they're treating us as a resource, the way we have continually treated our planet as a resource, and that maybe there's a level of karma involved in that, which is to say, their attitude towards us is the same attitude we've had towards, take your pick—fish or the rain forest or whatever—that they would think it would be a very strange thing to anthropomorphize people. They don't have feelings like that. They don't experience things on that level.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.