Continuum 1.01 "A Stitch In Time" TV REVIEW
Writer: Simon Barry
Director: Jon Cassar
THE ONE WHERE A cop from 2077 is thrown back in time to 2012 with a bunch of terrorists. She teams up with a modern-day Vancouver detective to hunt them down.
VERDICT This confident little show has been working hard to make a name for itself over the pond – will it do the same here in the UK? Syfy has certainly been promoting the hell out of it, so we can only hope so. And it seems to be fully deserving of our love, with a pleasing blend of hard sci-fi concepts and police-procedural drama.
This first episode throws us straight into the mix, with an opening featuring a terrorist leader named Kagame (Tony Amendola), in the year 2076, delivering a monologue about freedom and liberty which sounds perfectly reasonable until you see that he's willing to blow up a skyscraper filled with 30,000 people to make his point. Oh, so he's that kind of freedom fighter... From here, the episode barely slows down, with his gang somehow propelling itself into the past and dragging Protector Kiera Cameron with them.
Thankfully, the show doesn't waste much time on Kiera wandering around saying, “Where am I?” Her plight is straightened out sharpish, particularly when she realises she can talk to present-day teen geek Alec (Erik Knudsen) via a communications implant in her brain. The episode also doesn't hide the fact that Alec is the old guy in the future who watches when Kiera gets tossed into the past (the little smile on his face as he sees it happen seems to imply that he knew it was coming, so that makes sense). The most amazing thing about this is that once you know Young Alec and Old Alec are the same person, the physical similarities between actors Erik Knudsen and William B Davis are amazing!
It's extraordinary that one episode can achieve so much: we establish what life is like in the future, we follow Kiera back in time, she meets (albeit in voice only) the man who can help her technologically and she also manages to get a foot in the door at the local police department thanks to a handy massacre and a hastily-weaved story about a drugs war. Additionally, we're introduced to her partner, Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster), and it's clear from the off that he's probably going to spend the entire run of the show three steps behind her, constantly asking, “What?” But hey, he's already saved her life, so that's a good start.
“A Stitch In Time” is a cracking opener to this new series, shot by veteran director Jon Cassar with a bucketload of style and flair, including a great sequence of the terrorists walking in slo-mo down an alleyway with pigeons flying before them. If the rest of the series can keep up this level of quality, we're in for a treat.
OH, CANADA Continuum is a rare beast: a show shot in Vancouver which is proud to shout about it, instead of pretending it's filmed somewhere else. It's also fascinating to see two Vancouver skylines: present and future, although the future one does seem unnecessarily Blade Runner -ish to us. Why are all future city skylines only shown at sunset/night? To make them moodier? Yet again we have a sci-fi show where the future looks as though somebody's turned down the sun...
DID YOU NOTICE? Kiera's husband makes a fuss when he sees she's in the chamber with the terrorists. Did he know she was going to get zapped into the past? She certainly looks baffled by his concern.
COOL TECH Kiera has a chip in her head which records all her memories so they can be used, if necessary, as evidence in court. Wow. We presume Sound Hound is long a thing of the past.
SUPER-SUIT Protectors' suits seem to be able to do everything under the sun. In this episode alone Kiera's turns her invisible, uses some kind of “chameleon” skill to make it look like she's wearing trousers, deflects bullets, electrocutes someone, detects the heat signature from footprints so she can follow her prey, and identifies bad guys. Phew! Oh, and it also seems to keep Kiera warm, seeing as she wanders around in the sleet for a while without freezing her butt off.
Kiera: “Alec, what year is this?”
Alec: “It's 2012.”
Kiera: “No... No, I have a son, and he has to see the dentist tomorrow.”
Continuum is airing in the UK on Syfy, Thursdays at 10pm