The Ultimate Guide for any fan of the Continuum TV Series
Reviewed: by Tyler Olson
***The review below contains minor spoilers.***
Like many other series in this era, this premiere wasn't about introducing the characters, but more about setting the scene. This does make things a bit harder to follow at times, but kept everything going at a pace to keep viewers from getting bored. I prefer the character building versus the action, but I understand that most of the other TV viewers don't, so I will allow it to pass.
Continuum's story is very similar to the movie Time Cop and the series Time Trax, where a cop gets sent back into the past to track down prisoners before they mess up the world. Only this time, the lines between good and evil are blurred to the point where it is hard to know who to cheer for. Do we want the 'terrorists' to stop the corporations from taking away everyone's freedom, or do we want the lawfully minded cop to stop them? There is also the nagging suspicion that all this may be part of a paradox and was meant to happen to allow the corporations to take over.
The largest part of the story that stood out for me was how much it was tied to the Occupy Movement. Sure, they are using current events to make a story that everyone can relate too, but the only difference was that instead of people sitting in tents, they were blowing up buildings. Are the writers trying to make everyone fear the protesters, or are they trying to say that they should be doing more? Also, calling them terrorists is just going to confuse matters even more due to most people immediately think of insane Muslims when they hear the word terrorist.
I am really surprised that we are starting to see TV series play with the idea of terrorists blowing up buildings again. I know that the tower attack happened a decade ago, but I am sure the events at the beginning of this episode brought back some dark memories for many viewers. It is a good thing that it was in Vancouver, and not New York, or this plot would probably have never made it to TV.
The only character that we really know well is Kiera. She is almost like a James Bond from the future, with all her gadgets and gizmos that all the normal law enforcement officers would love to get their hands on. Her uniform is bulletproof, and gives her access to a plethora of functions including invisibility, changing its appearance and creating violent electrical shocks. She even has a built-in HUD (Heads-Up Display) that allows her to log faces and match them to a database, see heat signatures left by escaping criminals, get detailed information on weapons that are being carried and even record and access all the information she comes across. If someone evil would get their hands on her stash of goodies, the world could be in real trouble.
As for the actors, I can't really say anything good or bad about their performance. There was nothing that stood out as horrible acting, and there were no points where I could say that I saw an amazing execution of their role. This is only the premiere, so it is very likely that these actors haven't settled into these new roles enough to start having fun with them, so I hope that things will only get better.
The CG, like most of Showcase's series, isn't the latest and greatest, and the entire series doesn't rely on them. Instead, the CG fits nicely in the background, and for the few short seconds where they come into the action. The computer models of the futuristic Vancouver, and the holographic displays were very realistic looking for the short time they were shown, although the time bubble could have used a bit more fine tuning. Even though keeping the expensive parts of episodes short has worked in the past for Showcase, they may need to loosen their belt a bit more since many of CG scenes were so short that they could have been left out without anyone realizing.
My biggest complaint about the episode comes from the very end, and has been something that has plagued many of Showcase's original series for a long time. The slow motion fade out with just a face on the screen really makes the production look low budget. Instead of just ending the episode with the introduction to the older Alec, I believe they should have panned back with the group talking as the screen faded to black.
The gun fight also didn't have the excitement or the suspense it should have. Increase the stakes and make our heroes more heroic. This is a Science Fiction series about a future cop, so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to have her being pelted with shots continuously while she is trying to take down the escapees with all her toys at her disposal.
It would also be nice to know more about these characters since so far we only know a bit about Kiera. I am sure these other characters will be fleshed out on future episodes, much like Showcase's other hit series Lost Girl did.
Overall, I find myself very satisfied with this premiere. There were a few wrinkles that will need to get ironed out, but most series do too. My only dread is that this might become a convict of the week type of story. I know that Lost Girl started like this and evolved into more during its second season, so I hope that they learnt their lessons and will just go directly into character building and storytelling.
The question that everyone who didn't watch it is probably asking is should I watch it? Yes! There is a lot to love, and many different genres have been combined to ensure that there should be something for almost everyone. Sadly, at the time of this review, it is only available for Canadian viewers, even online, but it sounds like deals in other countries are coming, so stay tuned!