TV REVIEW: Continuum Series 1 Episode 1 – ‘A Stitch in Time’

We take a look at opening episode of the brand new Syfy series Continuum.

In the year 2077, 8 terrorists from the group Liberate manage to avoid execution by transporting themselves to 2012. In doing so however, they also transport Kiera Cameron, a law enforcement officer. – IMDB

A lone protector who travels back in time to protect our future is not a new concept. One of the big problems with so many Time Travel story ideas is so much of the ‘What if’ factor has already been done to death in TV and Film. The trick is to take a known concept and either turn on it’s head or do it in such a polished way that you don’t mind that you’ve seen it all before. At the moment Continuum falls into neither camp but as the potential to both.

The action was OK  apart from a fight our heroine  has with a future thug which is so stilted and staged it’s painful to watch. The acting is solid enough but there are no real standout performances. All the characters feel a little too stereotypical in their roles in this first episode  ranging from the teenage genius, the  good looking honest cop and the gruff police chief. Time will tell if that opinion changes. I did think Rachel Nichols, who was great in her stint on Criminal Minds, who plays the lead character of Kiera Cameron was watchable enough but a little stiff in the role. Now some of that stiffness is suggested as coming from a staid and sanitized future her performance came off, at times, as looking like she was not really that invested in the whole ‘look at me I’m from the future’. It’s only the first episode so there’s more than enough time for Kiera’s character to develop and Nichols to grown into the role. I also think the same can be said of the plot and the other characters as there have been a number of shows in the past with have had ok beginnings and  go on to become stand out, much watch TV.

One of my biggest issues with this first episode was that we were in the future for what felt like five minutes before we are back in good old 2012. Perhaps it would be a risky move but it would have been good to have spent the first episode entirely in the future have Kiera travel back at the end of episode one. We get a limited insight into the future society and instead are treated to the standard ‘look how bad ass this future cop is’ scene on some future transport system and ‘look at this cool future tech’ scenes. We don’t really get a sense of what life is like in 2077 and how people live, work and play there. Looking at how the episode ends we may get more glimpses of the future to help fill in those blanks which would be something different than having it firmly set in our time. I think if the the show went down that route of having ‘flashfowards’ to the future to give some more background on the society and some of the main characters that would definitely keep me watching.

On the upside though it was good to see the time travelling bad guys/rebels wasting no time in making their presence felt 2012 in a violent and explosive way. This goes against a lot of time travel shows I’ve seen in the past where (unless you’re Terminator) you try to keep things on the down low. There is also a neat little twist at the show’s climax and some interesting little story points just before Kiera travels back in time that could make for some interesting plot development. It was some of those ideas that made me decide to give the second episode of Continuum a try when it airs.

Continuum is not going to be for everyone and I can see people watching the first episode and not coming back to it. Having it on during the Autumn months when so many big shows are returning will make it harder for the show to find and sustain an audience. However saying all of that I enjoyed the first episode and would probably check out a few more episodes in the hopes this is a slow burner. At the moment though it just feels a little too much like so many other shows I’ve seen before. In case you’ve never seen a single show of this type before I have given out two ratings to help you out.

Rating for Time Travel Show Geek: 2.5/5

Rating for Time Travel Show Newbie: 3/5

Reviewer: Nuge

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