Sunday, 13 April 2014
TV/DVD: CONTINUUM SEASONS 1 & 2
I picked up Season 1 last year on a whim and enjoyed it a lot, so much so that I watched it again just before Season 2 arrived which I then watched (all 13 episodes) in a couple of days and enjoyed it at least as much.
The premise is superficially simple. A group of terrorists in 2077 are about to be executed but somehow escape to the present (2012) dragging along a Protector (cop) with them. Their intent is to change the past so that their future never materialises. The cop wants to stop them and get back to her own time and her husband and son.
The execution is far from simple. Our hero Kiera befriends Alec a teenage genius (who will become very powerful by her time), gets in with the local cops and partners up with good looking cop Carlos. Villains do villainous ruthless things except they think they're heroes and the problem is that they actually might be.
There's a flashforward at the beginning of each episode which gradually reveals more and more about Kiera's world which starts to look more and more like a dystopia run by and for the benefit of mega-corporations. It soon becomes apparent that Kiera was set up to go back in time, possibly by the old Alec.
The more the series goes on, the more devious it becomes. The bad guys turn on each other. Not everyone is what they seem. Not every thing is what it seems. Is Kiera there to stop the bad guys (Liber8) from preventing the future to happen as it did which does not seem to be a good thing? In which case she actually may be the villain. Or is everything pre-determined? And then, towards the end of Season 2, we get the appearance of a third party with a different agenda that suggests a different possibility.
Basically this is really good intelligent,well thought out TV science fiction. There's plenty of action, plenty of character beats, more mysteries than you can count, and it's really impossible to predict what's going to happen next as revelation piles on revelation. In at least one case a man who is accused of murdering millions, and actually has done that, but the situation is far from what the viewer has been led to believe.
Here's a photo of some of the cast. Speculation on time travel in the series is continued below.
From l-r: ambiguous guy, our hero, good guy, bad guy, good guy (for now), very very bad guy.
How this series is going to end: the three possibilities.
The scenario which annoys me the most: the closed loop. Everything is self-contained. The future dictates the past which makes the future possible. See also: Dr.Who-Blink, Robert Heinlein's "All You Zombies". I absolutely hate closed loop stories because they depend on there not being a first cause which makes them logically impossible. It also makes the series totally pointless and if the series ends this way, fans will burn down the studio. I think it's the least likely option but I could be wrong.
The past is changed, therefore the future is changed. The fun with this scenario is how the future is (being) changed. It makes everything open-ended.
Changing the past does not change the future. It creates a new world with a different future; in other words, the alternate world shtick. This possibility is hinted at near the end of Season 2.
I think that whatever happens, whichever of these three happens, Kiera will end up being re-united with her son and, possibly, her husband.
I also happen to think that time travel is one of science fiction's most stupid tropes because on any logical level it doesn't make sense. Unless you accept that travelling to the past automatically creates a new alternate world. I'm not saying it doesn't make for entertaining and thought provoking stories because it most certainly does, as does the parallel/alternate world concept.
Anyway, Series 3 will be on Sky later this year and I'll be glued to it. Unless, of course, the past is changed and the show was never given the green light in the first place and you never read this post.