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Friday, June 15, 2012

New show: Continuum (pilot and premise discussion)

In order to give a premise, we spoil the first ten minutes and a few other things about the pilot. But if you don’t know if the show is for you, you should read this anyway to ascertain that.

We watched the pilot of Continuum and will make no jokes about the John Mayer album of the same name. Another Canadian import, this show (recommended to us by a regular commenter) is science fiction set in 2077, a time when democracy has ended and corporations rule. That’s actually pretty believable. Without the constitution’s protection and the people’s will, the corporate dictatorship has removed basic social freedoms and the people are watched closely (like in Orwell’s 1984). A terrorist group (Liber8) wants to reestablish democracy, but the eight members use despicable tactics (causing the collateral deaths of innocents) to further their means. They have been arrested, but they escape and go back in time to 2012.

In 2077, City Protective Services, CPS, are the cops and one of them is Protector Kiera Cameron, a young wife and mother. Kiera is also transported to back in time, and it’s up to her to catch the terrorists and stop them from changing the past. Kiera makes contact with a young nerd, Alec Sadler. She poses as a cop and starts working with a 2012 police department. In 2077, Alec Sadler is the head of the corporation with the technology that sent Kiera back in time, and his old self seems unsurprised by everything going down (smiling as Kiera and the terrorists disappear).

Kiera is played by Rachel Nichols, who we remember as the 21-year-old who tried to have a threesome with Samantha and Richard in Sex and the City. We like her much better years later and as a brunette. She looks a little harsher and less perfect, as the role requires. She’s a cop, not a model. And the hair also makes her look older so we can take her seriously. She’s not nearly as annoying, which means that the actress is more versatile than we had first surmised on S+tC. So far, she’s an appealing lead, reminding us of Kahlan in the Legend of the Seeker series. Some of the other actors are bad, especially the man playing Lucas. He needs to die soon, just for this.

One of the things we don’t like about the show is the fact that we haven’t gotten to see a lot about 2077 so far. Would it have been too much to have a main character working in 2077? This show could have supported two coexisting storylines, one in the past and one in the future, and two main characters. That way, we would have gotten to compare and contrast the times, government regimes, technology, and culture more. The thing we most want to see is more character development. Sci-fi and fantasy excels at making us care about characters, and so far, we don’t care about the people on this show. They are stock and unoriginal as of the pilot.

We doubt that Kiera’s trip back in time is actually a “one-way ticket.” We like that Kiera has a family back in the future because that adds complications for her. It might stifle any romance in 2012, but we doubt it. Cheating’s common on TV, regrettably. We won’t like a cheating plot, but we do like the tension Kiera experiences in wanting to reunite with her son and husband. Our resident hot guy is Kiera’s fellow 2012 cop, Carlos. We want to know a little more about Alec Sadler. So far, he’s a funny little nerd. We also like that Kiera took a little futuristic technology with her and that the terrorists intend to start a war in 2012.

Entertaining TV sci-fi and decent summer programs are hard to come by, so we appreciate this series for being watchable in both a genre and seasonal drought. We’re digging the premise, female lead, and pacing, so we’re going to catch up and keep watching. It’s a serial, and we eat those up. There are only ten episodes in the first season, after all, and this show might experience a struggle gaining and keeping viewers. It’s not like it’s been advertised enough. Come on, networks. Let people know what shows you are carrying and we will watch them, dangit.

A Stitch in Time: B+

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