Week three of Discovery Channel’s reality series The Colony premiers on Tuesday August 4, check your local listings for broadcast times.

I am not usually a fan of reality TV, it is anything but real. One only has to read the credits to understand that there are script writers. If this as all happening in real life, what do you need a script writer for?

I do however enjoy watching The Colony, it appeals to my sense of ‘what if’. I am generally not a big fan of Science Fiction, but I have often wondered what the world would be like following a global tragedy, either biological or as a result of some nuclear armageddon. Would the world look like Mel Gibson’s Mad Max, or John Wyndham’s post apocalyptic world in The Day Of The Triffids?

18472_0747_m2.jpgThis weeks episode Comfort In Chaos once again seems to demonstrate the very distinctive differences between the cerebral PhD’s, engineers, etc, and the practical aspects of the handyman who is used to dealing with practical challenges.

Michael, who I am sure is going to get lynched by the rest of the colonists at some point, lays down the law on using the little electric power that the group has. Michael reinforces his message by shutting down the generator in order to add a second scavenged alternator. I think it is fair to say that he made few friends, but I also suspect he gained a huge amount of respect from the rest.

18127_0887_m22.jpgThis weeks other hero is Joey. Using a huge amount of creativity he manages to cobble together a shower. An old water heater on the top of the building, some garden hose, a few scrounged plumbing connectors, and voila, instant hygiene!

The group also make a rare foraging trip outside their relatively safe compound looking for food. Citrus is plentiful in Southern California and they score big. They even manage to snag a river carp. Carp are not renown for being good eating, and the LA river is more of a running sewer than fish farm, but I guess beggars cannot be choosy.

Unfortunately the group discover that their priorities may have become confused. Rather than building a shower they might have been better off fixing the physical security of the compound. A late night raid results in them losing some valuable supplies.

All in all I think this series is great fun, this week marks the half way point, and even though there is an amount of stage management it is very apparent that nerves are getting frayed. I have access to some ‘out takes’, one of these days I will find some video editing software and put some clips up. They are indeed priceless in their venom.

I suspect the the reason The Colony is as successful as it is, is due to the production team. I watch quite a few Discovery Channel series, and there is one name that keeps cropping up Thom Beers. If you see this name associated with a series it is likely going to be good! One of these days I am going to track this guy down for an interview.

Simon Barrett

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