Continuum Season 1 Eps 1-2 (TV Show Review)
Television shows with a strong SFF element are among my favourites amongst all genres. When I started watching Western television, shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed were what I dipped into and what I came back to again and again. And when a show has actors that I like from their previous television (or movie!) appearances, then that is all the more reason for me to watch them. One such show is Continuum, a Canadian-American science fiction crime drama that also involves time travel and a sophisticated, high-level of technology.
I’ve only seen the first two episodes of the first season so far (the show is currently in its third season), but right off the bat I really like it. Rachel Nichols turns in a wonderful performance, as do her co-stars Victor Webster and Erik Knudsen. Plus, the show is heavy on the science fiction elements which I always love. And to top it all off, the story in these two episodes is tight and focused, showing off Nichols’ Kiera Cameron in a really good light. Continuum is a show that I’ve been meaning to watch for a good while and I’m quite happy with how the show has started off, validating my expectations of it.
Set in 2077, the premise of the show is that right when a group of terrorists are about to be executed in a televised spectacle, they manage to field-assemble a time travel device which they intend to use to go back in time to only a few years in the past. Essentially, reverse time travel is a method for the bad guys to rewrite their past so that they emerge ascendant over the law enforcement agencies of their present. But, they didn’t count on the interference of Protector Kiera Cameron and the entire group ends up further back in the past than planned, specifically 2012. At this point in time, governments still run nations instead of the multinational corporate entities of 2077. With their old plans in disarray, the members of Liber8 come up with some new plans to take advantage of their situation, even as the protagonist goes to what lengths she can to stop them, going so far as to join the Vancouver Police Department of the past.
The first two episodes of the debut season form a distinct arc of their own. They introduce the main characters, set up several of the mysteries, provide some really wonderful character development, and overall tell some really good stories. The first episode “A Stitch In Time” is written by show creator Simon Barry with noted television producer Jeff King writing the second episode “Fast Times“. The latter has worked on many SF projects over the years, especially Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Mutant X, so him being attached to the show is no surprise. And I suppose neither should be the casting of Victor Webster as Detective Carlos Fonnegra, as Webster was previously part of the main cast of Mutant X, an X-Men styled television show that I used to love.
The thing I love best about this show is Rachel Nichols is quite outstanding as Kiera Cameron. I’ve seen her in G.I.Joe: Rise of Cobra and Conan the Barbarian before, where she excelled as Scarlett and Tamara respectively, so it is nice to see her attached to a show like this. She is someone that I think is a really good actress and deserves a lot more exposure for sure. As Kiera Cameron, she is shown to be a mother and a law enforcement officer both. Law enforcement characters in crime dramas are usually single or married at best. It is very rare that they have kids, and even rarer still that the character is so defined by that latter relationship. For Nichols’ Kiera Cameron, her son is a very important part of her life and part of her driving motivation to return to her own time is to reunite with her young son. While all the action deals with her present situation, the character development devotes a lot of time to exploring this aspect of her character. And it is nice to see.
Victor Webster as Detective Fonnegra and Erik Knudsen as young Alec Sadler also turn in some good performances in their respective roles. Fonnegra is a member of the Vancouver Police Department and through him we get to explore the Vancouver of the “past”, 2012. He represents a grounding platform for Kiera Cameron, helping her acclimate to the city and the way that the VPD does things on their home turf. Additionally, Fonnegra is the sounding board for Kiera in that he is wary of all her information regarding Liber8 and her choice of tactics and strategy. Something like that is good for a show like this because it keeps things really interesting and also provides lots of character and story elements to explore. The fact that Webster and Nichols have good on-screen chemistry is just icing on the cake.
Knudsen’s Alec presents another ally for Kiera. He is the tech-wiz of 2012 who created the technology that Kiera uses in her own time and thus when she arrives in the “present” time loaded with the bio-tech used by the Protectors, the two are able to form an alliance instantly, although Kiera is wary of young Alec just as much as Fonnegra is with her. And the same framing devices for their relationship development apply here. Knudsen isn’t quite the intense actor that Webster is, but as supposedly a young adult hacker and computer-expert, he performs well enough that I consider him to be one of the best things about the show.
More than anything else though, when it comes to the story I love how multi-faceted everything is. Every organisation has within its ranks those who work against the system even though their every intention is of being a part of the same. Just their mindset and their approach is different. This happens to both the Liber8 members once they are in the past and within VPD as well. This keeps things refreshing. Characters have relationships with each other, and these relationships are teased out in these two episodes. We get to see some different opinions in both sides and this means that there is much more room for character and story development than is apparent at a first glance.
Another great thing is that all the way throughout Kiera Cameron is always shown in a positive light. She is the star of the show and the story keeps as much of a focus on her as possible. And we get some good mileage out of the other three female characters as well, such as Sonya Valentine (played by the awesome Lexa Doig) and Jasmine Garza (played by Luvia Peterson) who are both members of Liber8 gone back in time and Detective Betty Robertson (played by Jennifer Spence). Lexa Doig was the titular character in the (awesome) Andromeda and (super-awesome) Stargate SG-1 space opera shows and is one of my favourite actresses in television. The first two episodes of Continuum don’t give her much to do, but I love that she is a part of the show and I’m waiting for her character to get even better. Luvia Peterson is an unknown quantity for me and her character Jasmine falls into the kick-ass female character trope and she doesn’t really get any lines in these episodes either. But, all the same, what little we see is promising. Spence’s Betty Robertson is someone we see a lot of however, in her capacity as VPD’s tech-guru and it is refreshingly nice to see a non-bimbo character in a role like that, mirroring that of Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity on Arrow to a degree.
The rest of the supporting characters, and actors, on these episodes all turn out a good performance, which was something I expected and wanted. I definitely loved both these episodes. I loved the characters, I loved the actors, I loved the story, I loved everything. Seeing Nichols’ Kiera work out how 2012 technology works is as hilarious as Tom Mison’s Ichabod Crane doing the same on Sleepy Hollow, although unlike her he comes from the past into the present, rather than from the future into the present. Good stuff all around. I’m definitely gonna stick with this show and see where it all goes. Some of my friends have recommended the show as well, so that is something else I have going for me.
Posted on April 20, 2014, in Continuum, Review Central, TV Show Reviews and tagged Action, Alec Sadler, Boy Meets Girl Film Company, Brian Markinson, British Columbia, Canadian-American TV Show, City Protective Services, Continuum, Crime, Crime Drama, Cyberpunk, Detective Betty Robertson, Detective Carlos Fonnegra, Drama, Edouard Kagame, Erik Knudsen, Female Heroes, Female Protagonists, Female-Centric TV Shows, GK-TV, Inspector Jack Dillon, Jasmine Garza, Jennifer Spence, Kiera Cameron, Lexa Doig, Lucas Ingram, Luvia Petersen, Matthew Kellog, Omari Newton, Protector Kiera Cameron, Rachel Nichols, Reunion Pictures Inc., Review, Review Central, Roger Cross, Science Fiction, Showcase, Simon Barry, Sonya Valentine, Stephen Lobo, Syfy, Time Travel, Tony Amendola, Travis Verta, TV Show, TV Show Review, Vancouver, Vancouver Police Department, Victor Webster. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.