Kiera faces several challenges, including adjusting to life in 2012 and tracking the members of Liber8, the terrorists/freedom fighters (delete as applicable) she has accidentally pursued from the future…
The opening episode of Continuum promised a nuanced political drama that appeared to take a welcome stance of greying the boundaries between freedom fighters (the future that Liber8 fight against seems pretty oppressive) and terrorists (Liber8’s methods include the deaths of thousands).
Unfortunately, that nuance is immediately squandered in the first few episodes of the series. The opening narration is bald: Liber8 are terrorists and Kiera must stop them. To be fair, without their leader, the team do act in a negative fashion, murdering indiscriminately and pursuing selfish personal ends.
It’s only with the return of their leader Kagame (Stargate SG-1’s Tony Amendola)—who arrived later than the others—that the shades of grey return to the politics of the show. Yes, the opening narration is still uncompromising, but the subtlety Kagame brings to the situation (essentially, brains over brawn) returns some of the shades-of-grey politics that made the opener so interesting.
The experiment to eliminate Kiera’s grandmother in ‘A Test of Time’ is both a way to strike a blow against their pursuer, while also establishing the ‘rules’ that apply to their trip through time (or did they go sideways into an alternate universe or different timeline?).
The fish-out-of-water stuff and the videogame style depictions of the future are standard stuff, so it’s the Homeland-style moral grey areas that could, potentially, make Continuum great, if the show’s creators are willing to make the creative leap and take a few risks.
Verdict: A mid-season (there’s only 10 episodes) recovery from early episode stumbles suggests that Continuum may earn its place as a worthwhile addition to the current crop of sci-fi TV shows.
Episode 2 ‘Fast Times’: 4/10
Episode 3 ‘Wasting Time’: 5/10
Episode 4 ‘Matter of Time’: 7/10
Episode 5 ‘A Test of Time’: 7/10
Brian J. Robb