The Walking Dead: Is Sarah Wayne Callies channeling Lori Grimes in her new role on COLONY?

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead /

The answer is a resounding “no”. But as a fan of both The Walking Dead and Sarah Wayne Callies’ new series, COLONY, I find it interesting to compare the two roles. Sarah Wayne Callies plays Katie Bowman on the new series airing on USA Network. The show also stars Josh Holloway of LOST fame as Katie’s husband, Will.

The show officially premieres on January 14th, but the network has generously released the pilot episode early on iTunes, the USA app, and On Demand. Additionally, in a move matching the intrigue and essence of the new series, Twitter fans were individually sent codes to “unlock” the pilot episode as well!

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead /

COLONY is set on the west coast in Los Angeles, which has been recently occupied by some mysterious “hosts”. Cell phones, vehicles, and many other daily luxuries are swiftly taken from the residents and replaced with bicycles and “pay” phones only accessible with a special access card. There is ongoing surveillance with the assistance of flying drones.

A new government called The Transitional Authority hands down new laws and procedures from the unknown “hosts”. A militia boldly decked out in red hats patrol the blocs (that’s right, regions are broken down into blocs, not blocks with a “k”), which are separated by insurmountable walls. They also enforce a nightly curfew and other mandates with threats of sending violators to the “factory”, a horrible place that has not yet been revealed. All the while, some residents are establishing an underground resistance movement in hopes of thwarting the occupation.

Let’s take a moment to compare Katie Bowman and her world to that of Lori Grimes:

  • Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Both characters are mothers facing worlds that have been turned upside down and they must figure out how to adapt and keep their families safe.
  • Where is my kid?

    Fans love to joke about how Lori was not so adept at keeping up with Carl, her son who’s had a long history of difficulty “staying in the house”. Poor Katie is facing a much more serious dilemma. One of her three children became separated from the rest of the family during the mayhem of the initial occupation. This appears to be a key plot line for the new series.

    Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead
    Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead /
  • Human threats. Both shows  make it clear that humanity is not always easily maintained under extreme circumstances. The Walking Dead has had its share of villainous humans taking advantage of others who are vulnerable. In COLONY, it is also very difficult to know who to trust. The new regime tries to lure people into collaboration with promises of better living arrangements. Meanwhile, those who choose not to collaborate live under much more oppressive conditions.
  • Non-human threats. The undead are an ongoing threat in The Walking Dead universe and Lori Grimes herself had some close call with walkers. Surely, you recall the walkers she battled when she wrecked the car going out alone at night to look for Rick. In COLONY, there are the flying drones monitoring the residents, supposedly for their protection, but clearly to the dismay of the “colonists”. Finally, there is no confirmation, but there are some suspicions of alien life in the new series.
  • Fashion statements. While both Lori and Katie are easily identified by long brown locks, Katie has a more Bohemian sense about her, whereas Lori seemed to favor a more traditional sense of style.
  • Grocery lists.

    When Lori needed a pregnancy test, she sent Glenn out on the dangerous errand for her. When Katie’s nephew needs a particular commodity, she takes matters capably into her own hands without reservation.

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    I am very excited about Sarah Wayne Callies’ new role as Katie Bowman on COLONY. And while it’s fun to compare her character on The Walking Dead to her new role on COLONY, I have no doubts after seeing the pilot that Katie Bowman will be making a name for herself ALL her own. In fact, from what I’ve seen so far, she is quite a force of nature! Best wishes to Sarah Wayne Callies on her new adventure with COLONY.

    If you are looking for more COLONY fandom fun, I invite you to follow my blog or visit @TalkColonyTV on Twitter. I enjoy “dual fan citizenship” with The Walking Dead and COLONY!

    COLONY officially premieres Thursday, January 14th, on USA Network.