Continuum Review: New Time Travel Drama Makes Its Syfy Debut Tonight
Joining Lost Girl among Syfy's Canadian imports is Continuum, a sci-fi series about a cop from the year 2077 who finds herself launched into the past along with the group of terrorists who orchestrated the time traveling event. The concept has promise and Continuum gets off to an exciting start, but whether or not the series holds up beyond that remains to be seen.
Continuum comes from Simon Barry, with Jeff King, Tom Rowe and Pat Williams also among the executive producers. Set in the future in Vancouver, the series begins with a terrorist attack, which follows the revelation that, by 2077, the corporations are in control and humanity is at their mercy, more or less. These terrorists are fighting against the corporations, using any means necessary, including killing thousands of people to get their message across. During the planned execution of a group of them, they manage to send themselves back in time to 2012. Police officer Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) gets zapped through time with them and ends up pursuing the terrorists in the past while trying to figure out how she got there and how she can get back to her family in 2077.
Can the past be changed? Did all of this happen already? Or are the terrorists and Kiera changing the future, in which case will Kiera even have a family to return to if and when she gets back to 2077? Is there even any way back? How will Kiera get by in 2012? What are these terrorists planning for 2012? These are all questions that are addressed within the first couple of episodes, though not all of them are answered.
There's an added element that's well worth mentioning in all of this. Kiera's mentally wired with an online system that's tapped into her brain and allows her to upload and download information and scan things with her eyes Terminator style. You wouldn't think something like this would be of much use in 2012, given it's reliance on a network, but the man behind this extraordinary technology, Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen) just so happens to be in the early - but up and running - stages of development on it, which gives Kiera the closest thing to a confident and ally in her situation when she arrives in 2012. She also forms a working relationship with detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster), who doesn't know the truth about her appearance in 2012 Vancouver, but seems willing to work with her in pursuing the terrorists.
Continuum gets off to a really great start leading into the title sequence as we're taken through the corporate-dominated future and introduced to the terrorists and Kiera in her proper life, before she's launched back in time. Unfortunately, the 2012 part of the story doesn't quite measure up, and things drop down a few notches when the show goes back in time. But even with that dip in momentum, Continuum has a lot of potential to be a thrilling ride and an intriguing story, with enough questions to be answered to keep the show moving through its first season. In that respect, I'm optimistic and ready for more.
Time travel stories are tricky, but Continuum seems to be diving head first into the challenge and getting off to a great start in the process. While the show loses a little steam from the start, there's still a lot of potential for a really great series here. Given the shortage of those among the sci-fi dramas these days (the ones that stick around, anyway), I'm hopeful that Continuum will be a new must-watch series for Syfy.
Continuum premiers tonight (Monday, January 14) at 8:00 p.m. ET on Syfy.
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