While I’m a fan of the wackier side of sci-fi shows airing on the SyFy network (Eureka, Warehouse 13), the more dramatic actioner Continuum came as a welcome surprise. Focusing on a futuristic cop – Protector Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) – who finds herself thrown back in time 65 years to our present day, Continuum explores what happens to the future when events are changed in the past. The series, created by Simon Barry, could easily have fallen victim to anachronistic gags and time-travel tropes. Instead, smart writing, fast-paced action and an increasingly complicated plot make Continuum a show worthy of binge watching in a weekend.
Hit the jump for my review of season one of Continuum on Blu-ray.
For those of you who are already familiar with Continuum and are fans of this welcome addition to the SyFy lineup, you’ll be happy to hear that the show has been renewed for a second season. (Hopefully we’ll get some more answers to the questions that were asked in season one, but more on that in a minute.) If you’re new to Continuum like I was, the relatively short run of ten episodes makes a quick and enjoyable watch that will get you primed for the show’s return on June 7th. Each episode title hits you over the head with the time-travel aspect of the show (A Stitch in Time, End Times, etc) but thankfully that’s as heavy-handed as it gets for the most part.
Continuum borrows from a lot of familiar sci-fi icons: Terminator, Blade Runner, Judge Dredd and Ghost in the Shell to name a few; but it uses a solid understanding of the genre as a foundation upon which to build an original mythology. Cameron is introduced as a hard-ass cop hellbent on tracking down a group of domestic anti-corporation terrorists who call themselves Liber8. When the group’s ringleaders are suddenly sent back in time just seconds before their own execution, Cameron is caught up in the time warp and plunked down with the rest of them in present-day Vancouver. Now, she must round them up before they can alter the future by corrupting the past.
Joining Cameron in this quest is Vancouver Detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster), who you would peg as an instant love interest were it not for the fact that Cameron is revealed to have had a husband and son in 2077. Throughout the show, Cameron struggles with her desperate need to get back to her own time with her family which conflicts with her sense of duty to bring Liber8 to justice. Of course, she can’t confess her true nature to Fonnegra; luckily there’s one person she can confide in, even if he’s the unlikeliest of allies. Played by Eric Knudsen (Jericho), the teenage hacker and computer genius Alec Sadler not only helps Cameron in her duties, but plays a major role in shaping the world in the future. Without giving anything away here, I’ll just say that each of the show’s characters is developed quite nicely along the way; their stories are allowed to unfold naturally without feeling forced. And they won’t always do what you expect them to, ie what you’ve seen similar characters do a thousand times. There are some shocking surprises and evocative cliffhangers in store for you if you stick with it. Continuum is definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of the genre or like a little spin on the same old procedural.
As for the Blu-ray itself, I usually don’t comment on the audio or video quality unless something is drastically out of place. Unfortunately, some of the scenes have a blurred quality around the edge of the frame that is neither consistent from scene to scene nor an apparent artistic choice, in my opinion. It’s rather distracting either way. I don’t know if it’s an artifact of the Blu-ray transfer or if it goes back to a lens that was actually used during production, but it’s a bit strange. Thankfully, it either doesn’t appear throughout every episode or your eyes just get used to it. The audio tracks are just fine.
Meet the Makers, Protectors and Terrorists (~20min)
- Simon Barry talks about the original concept, Vancouver as a location, the mythology of the show and its star, Rachel Nichols.
- Rachel Nichols comments on how she got involved, her character, her co-stars and staying in shape for her physical role.
- Victor Webster talks about his character (Carlos), the relationship with Kiera (Nichols), his character’s fighting style and thinking about the future both in the show and in real life.
- Erik Knudsen talks about his character (Alec), his introduction to and relationship with Kiera, and his thoughts on the smart and original take on the show.
- Tony Amendola talks about his character (Kagame), his relationship with Kiera, Kagame as a terrorist and the philosophy of the resistance.
- Format: Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Language: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
- Subtitles: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Rated: NR (Not Rated)
- Studio: Universal Studios
- DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
- Run Time: 441 minutes