Thursday, March 7, 2013

You Should Probably Be Watching Continuum

The loss of Fringe left a large science fiction-shaped hole in my television viewing. Revolution ended up being not very good, Robot Combat League is something we can pretend isn't really happening, and so on. Continuum, a science fiction series from Canada that's being broadcast in the United States, is filling that hole quite nicely. It's like if Fringe and short-lived but well-loved The 4400 went off and had a baby, and the result was a fun, not-too-serious sci-fi achievement.

Continuum stars Rachel Nichols, who you know either from her role on Alias or as Captain Kirk's green girlfriend in the newer Star Wars. An officer of the government in 2077, she is blasted back in time with a gang of terrorist revolutionaries who intend to disrupt the timeline to stop the corporate government from taking hold. They intend to go back 10 years, but they end up going back to 2012. Make do with what you've got, right?

Where the show gets fun is with the science the characters bring back from the future. Keira has tech in her head that helps her communicate, as does her bodysuit. Alec, the nerdy techy kid, somehow has access to it, and they communicate with each other constantly, with Alec effectively being the hacker who gets her information quickly. Her tech is ridiculously advanced, probably scientifically impossible, but who cares? It's television!

The bad guys are somewhat interesting, but mostly typical bad guys. There's the muscle, the tech guy, the get the idea. The show so far has done a good job of showcasing many of them individually, and I expect to see a lot more of it as time goes on. The interesting issue it faces is how time travel works in its universe. It can be difficult to do properly, and so far it seems to be pulling it off, but we'll see in the long term how it works.

The most recent episode that aired in the United States is by far the best yet in a show that hasn't really missed a step for me. There's a danger in this show that I didn't expect, and it's being played really well. Throughout the run, the show could have gone full camp and has resisted that opportunity. It's to its credit, and yet still retains the fun of The 4400 (which knew how campy it was) while offering up the ridiculous fringe science we learned to love from Walter Bishop and company.

There are two episodes left in the American airing, and the second season is ready to air in Canada in a month. Now's the time to catch up and support the best sci-fi show going on television currently.

No comments:

Post a Comment