I don’t know how they do it but the Canadians just seem to know how to do Sci-Fi TV shows. I recently started watching ‘Continuum‘, which returns for a 2nd season on the Syfy channel June 7th here in the US, and it’s clearly my new favorite import. Think of a Terminator and Timecop mashup where there is no black & white good guys vs. bad guys. Continuum has a police detective working for a corporate dictatorship in 2077 trying to find and stop a group of freedom fighter terrorists who have traveled back to 2012 to start their revolution. I think the show would be way too cliche and cheesy if it was just a battle of good guy vs. bad guy. Who do you root for? It looks like it will be fun to find out.
Rachel Nichols plays City Protective Services (CPS) law enforcement officer Kiera Cameron who lives an average life as a working wife and mother in 2077 Vancouver. It all seems fine and dandy except the country is run by a corporate dictatorship called the Corporate Congress. The civil liberties we enjoy today don’t really exist and people are spied on as a matter of course. Cameron wears a special computerized suit and has some computer implants at the base of her brain and in her eyes so she can record 36 hours of sound and video. She also has a folding gun and a multi-tool that can help her start cars without a key or drain an ATM if she needs money.
A group of freedom fighters called Liber8, led by Edouard Kagame, played by Tony Amendola, use terrorist methods to try and topple the dictatorship. After a bombing that collapses two skyscrapers almost killing all the members of congress, Liber8 are about to be executed for their crimes. They have a trick up their sleeve and use some kind of special orb to travel back in time. Kiera sees what is happening and tries to stop them and is zapped back in time too.
She ends up in 2012 Vancouver like a fish out of water and tries to call for backup using the communicator in her head. Instead she reaches a teen age computer hacker named Alec Sadler, played by Erik Knudsen, who we find out in 2077 is one of the corporate dictators. He can talk to Kiera as well as hearing and seeing whatever she sees. When she looks in a mirror he can see her face and that causes some awkward moments as well as a discussion on boundaries.
While trying to find the terrorists Kiera meets Vancouver police detective Carlos Fonnegra, played by the great Victor Webster. He doesn’t know she’s a time traveler and with a fake backstory from Alec, she teams up with him in an ad hoc task force tracking down Liber8.
Like I said the thing I like best about the show is you really don’t know who to root for – the corporate police detective trying to save the dictatorship or the freedom fighters who use terrorist methods for a revolution?
The reason it’s hard to decide is that Rachel Nichols plays Kiera as sympathetic and someone you would want to see win. She isn’t a robot and doesn’t act like it. Kiera left a young son and husband behind so part of her reason for searching for the terrorists is to try to get back to home if possible.
I also like how the future technology is practical and not magical. Kiera pushes a few buttons on her suit and can tase someone. The show also acknowledges the time paradox in that in one episode Kiera lets a murderer go because in the future the person invents something that benefits the world.
Like other TV dramas that have come on the air recently there is a larger mystery. It’s suggested that the terrorists and Kiera were sent back by future Alec Sadler and so the viewer gets pieces of the puzzle as to why he did that.
The other thing that this show does to me is make me want to hear the song Millennium by Robbie Williams for no real reason.
Catch up with the first season on Netflix before the 2nd season starts on June 7th.