Who checked out the US series premiere of Continuum last night?
For those of you who didn’t, a brief rundown.
In 2077, the world is run by the Corporate Congress, which is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, with a dash of Orwellian dystopia for flavor. A terrorist group called Liber8 bombs the Corporate Congress building, killing 30,000 people including the Congress members. The Liber8 members responsible for the bombing are captured and sentenced to death, the first execution in 40 years.
Kiera Cameron, a Protector who was part of the initial Liber8 takedown, is asked by her superior to be in the execution chamber. During the setup for the execution, a particularly shifty-looking guard hands out pieces of strange tech to the prisoners. At just the right moment, the Liber8 prisoners throw said tech into the execution machine, creating a shockwave that sends them and Kiera back in time to (shock and surprise) present-day Vancouver.
With most of her communications tech on the fritz, Kiera contacts the only person using her frequency in 2012, the kid who invented her nifty toys in the first place, Alec Sadler, future head of SadTech. Still in cop-mode despite being hurled 65 years into the past, Kiera manages to track down one member of Liber8 and have him arrested by the local authorities. Alec and Kiera’s investigation of her landing site puts her on the radar of the Vancouver PD. She pretends to be part of the Portland police force investigating new gang activity, and thus gains the help of the ruggedly handsome Detective Carlos Fonnegra.
Liber8 isn’t just sitting still during all this good guy plot development. They break into a military surplus store and start causing as much ruckus as they can. They stage multiple bank robberies with just one purpose in mind: getting the cops away from the station so that they can bust out their incarcerated buddy and cause as much damage to the past as possible.
Their crime spree gains Kiera a temporary spot with the Vancouver PD. Now with their help, and Alec’s, all she has to do is round up Liber8 before they destroy the future, and find her way home to her husband and son.
Alright, so let’s tally up what we’ve got here: strong female lead, ridiculously cool technology, and potential time travel paradoxes. Based solely on what we’ve seen in the pilot, I am all over this show. I’ll grant that the pilot episode isn’t always the best indicator of where a series is going, but so far, I confess myself hooked.
I like a lot of the choices the writers have made with the core plot. We know from the scenes set in 2077 that the people have quietly and gradually given up a lot of basic freedoms, clearly setting up a nice little dystopia. The fact that the major corporations are now overtly in charge of the government plays quite well on some present-day concerns. The protagonist, on the individual level, is clearly the hero and a Good Guy, but she’s also an instrument of a corrupt government. Liber8 have put themselves squarely in the corner of the baddest of the bad with their zealotry and willingness to harm the innocent, but their cause is just. Beyond the immediate characters, who do you really root for here?
I can’t wait to see next week’s episode of Continuum. What did you think?
Things to ponder:
- What’s your favorite flavor of temporal paradox? Are Kiera and the Liber8 members changing the future by living in the past, or are they just in a loop in which everything they do has already been done?
- I’m taking bets now: How long before Carlos finds out about Kiera’s origins?