Imagine you are a police officer in the year 2077, assigned as extra security during the execution of a handful of ‘terrorists’ that killed thousands of people in an attempt to assassinate the heads of major corporations that now run North America. You see something hinky going on as the condemned are being prepared to meet their end, so you run in to investigate and in a blinding flash of light you wake up in a decidedly different looking cityscape. Years of training kick in as you see one of the terrorists fleeing the strange scene you find yourself in.
In short order you capture him and learn you have been transported back in time 65 years. You are the only person alive who knows what these people are capable of. Killing thousands was nothing for them in the future where their opposition was prepared for them. Now they face an unsuspecting and ill prepared timeline where you are the only one with the knowledge and training to take them on.
Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Did SyFy’s latest offering, Continuum, do enough to be added to our list of must see shows?
Sadly, I do not feel the introductory episode of Continuum delivered on its excellent premise, but I haven’t thrown in the towel yet. I’m going to avoid details that weren’t shown in the previews, so you can DVR it when SyFy replays the first episode Monday if the story peaks your interest.
Even when it is done wrong, time travel is one of my favorite story elements so I am willing to ease up on my usual nitpicky nature. Despite that, there were still a few too many moments that didn’t ring quite true. They did the necessary set up to give you all the character and plot backgrounds, but it seemed a little too rushed. Almost like they took a two hour pilot and trimmed it down to an hour. Of course a two hour premier may have made it too long and plodding, but I definitely felt like some storytelling got left behind.
That said, I do see a lot of promise with the show. The Sci-Fi elements are top notch. Kiera Cameron, the lead character and “protector” described at the top of this review has an iron man suit, only without the iron, for the fashionable public servant. It has a ton of abilities and her weapon even has a holographic heads up display that makes her gunplay videogame like.
Kiera does get some help from an unexpected source in the ‘present’ time, but I’ll keep that spoiler free. There is plenty of potential for compelling story lines. Time travel stories often overflow with plot, but there is also the possibility for quite an interesting mystery. Oh, did I mention Cigarette Smoking Man from The X Files is back! Alright, I’m sure he’s not the same character, but that guy is just plain creepy.
Despite my general “Meh” feeling on the first episode, I am giving the series a couple more episodes than normal to get going. I am doing so for one, potentially painful, reason. It is definitely worth another episode or two, but since the show originally premiered on a Canadian channel last year it has already been picked up for a second season that will be airing there soon. That gives me two important bits of information. First, it probably gets pretty good if it was granted a second season. Secondly, if I do end up loving it it’s not going to be yanked away from me prematurely (don’t you do it SyFy, our northern neighbors can’t be that wrong!)
Remember, you can catch a replay of the first episode Monday at 8am or 7pm and decide for yourself.
P.S. Bonus points if you can (without googling) figure out why that one article tag that doesn’t seem to belong is on this review.