A co-creator of “Lost” is doing something highly unusal for the rollout of his latest series.
An important part of the story behind Carlton Cuse’s new sci-fi drama, “Colony” (debuting Thursday), won’t be told on the air. Instead, USA Network is giving viewers a unique look at the series online.
“We have a larger feeling that the best stories you can tell are stories that feature expansive world-building, right? And digital represents a real opportunity because you sort of have unlimited shelf space to add to the world-building of the show,” Jeffrey Kaufman, USA’s senior vice president of digital, told Business Insider.
“Colony” centres on one family’s struggle to survive in Los Angeles in a futuristic world occupied by aliens. While some choose to collaborate with and benefit from the new order, others rebel and suffer the consequences. It stars “Lost” alum Josh Holloway and “The Walking Dead’s” Sarah Wayne Callies.
The network will use the internet to build on the world of “Colony” in several ways. One video series features “Colony” character Proxy Snyder (Peter Jacobson), who acts as a middle man between the occupied human communities and their captors.
“We were imagining if it was a world in which an occupation like this had happened, you don’t necessarily get to see it onscreen in the weekly show, but there would be all sorts of measures like these videos that this Transitional Authority would be attempting to use to reach the citizens of the colony and keep order,” Kaufman explained.
Watch an exclusive video of an unreleased “Colony” extra featuring Proxy Snyder below:
Then there are the videos featuring the story you don’t see on the show. “Colony” begins right in the middle of the action, but the online story fills in the gaps, with characters unique to the digital series written by “Colony” writers. They tell their own stories of what’s referred to as “The Arrival.”
“The videos give you a sense like, ‘OK, I was living my life one way and now I have to figure out how to lead my life in an entirely different way,'” co-creator Carlton Cuse told BI. “The extra content is just a way to show that the world has changed and been upended and get you excited to watch how our characters navigate through this upended world.”
These videos are just part of an interactive world that USA Digital built up around “Colony” at ColonyTV.com, which helps to continue the show’s theme.
“We’ve created this map by which you can interact with the world of the colony, but at any point, you can switch that map from a Resistance point of view to a Collaborative point of view,” Kaufman said. “The map colours and locations will change, the information that is available to you, the locations that are locked or unlocked, all change depending on whether you’re looking at it through the lens of a Collaborator or Resistor. Everything that we built, we tried to build to sort of resonate with those themes of the show.”
“We have some cool stuff that I think just gets your appetite whetted for the show right now,” Cuse added. “And downstream, I think there is other stuff we can do which will be really great.”
“Colony” premieres Thursday at 10 p.m. on USA Network.
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