Given the current climate in Washington, the plot of the Canadian Sci-fi series Continuum could not be more topical. In the not too distance future, the government has failed. Private business bailed the government out. The corporations imposed draconian laws essentially removing privacy and limiting personal rights. Seven terrorists are about to be put to death for a bombing that killed 30,000 people. The condemned have hatched an escape plot and, at the last second, travel back in time. They did not count on two things: instead of going back six years as they had planned, a miscalculation sends them back 65 years to 2012, and Protector Keira Cameron is sent back as well. Stuck in the past and unable to get back to her husband and son, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they can wreak havoc in our present.
Protectors are the cops of the future. Keira as a protector is equipped with an electronic body suit. This suit, which is worn under the clothes, enhances her physical strength, speed and endurance. The computer within the suit allows it to become a wearable weapon. When it malfunctions Keira seeks out its inventor, Alex Smith, who is a teenager in this time and asks him to repair it. This would be akin to asking Henry Ford to tune up your 1966 Mustang 20 years before the first Model A. Part of the technology Alex has invented allows him to communicate with Keira and even see through her eyes or replay events she witnessed. Impersonating a detective of the Portland Oregon police department, Keira also forms an uneasy alliance with Vancouver detective Carlos Fonnegra.
The show, produced for the SyFy channel is a Canadian production. It includes a current trend unique to Canadian television. Though in recent years American television has been willing to blur the lines between hero and villain, our friends up north take this one step further. Though the focus of the program is placed on the protector, it is unfair to call her the protagonist. Though she is on the side of the law, the law of the corporations is unjust. The terrorists have a noble agenda, but their means are less than so.
The effects are fantastic. You won’t find the current expectation of movie level effects in a small screen production being met here. What is achieved is just enough CGI to make you want more. Still, you get enough in eye candy to show that the program has a respectable budget. The character development is somewhat slow and tends to lean more plot driven. My favorite thing about Continuum is that is does not bother itself with the traditional rules of time travel. It is evident that what goes on in the past will effect the future, but it is not overbearing.
All-in-all, Continuum is a great time. It introduces some topical concepts for the current America while maintaining its Canadian sensibilities. Is it enough to make up for Justin Bieber? not really…but it’s a start.
The first 2 seasons of Continuum are streaming on Netflix. Season 3 is currently airing on SYFY.