Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Continuum, Season One, Episode One: A Stitch in Time

Continuum has one of the most interesting premises that have seen on television in a long time. It begins in 2077 with a terrorist bombing which killed 38,000 people to kill 20. In the year 2057, corporations bailed out the failed government and society is now run by corporations. It's meant a loss of representation, free speech and assembly.  Instead of having a distinction Canada and America, there is one united North American Union.

The group responsible is due for execution and so Kiera Cameron a police detective is called in.  She is married with a child and seems to work out of Vancouver District Prison.  At the execution, gestures between the prisoners lead Kiera to believe that something untoward is about to happen and so reaches out and touches one of the captives, only to be transported with them back to the year 2012.

At first Kiera doesn't even realize she has left her own time and goes chasing after the suspects, while asking for help using a chip that has been implanted in her brain. Instead of reaching the authorities, she reaches Alec Sadler, who at first believes that she has hacked his computer systems.  Kiera manages to catch up with Lucas who tells her that they have shifted in time. It seems that they had only intended to go back 6 years in time and instead traveled 60 years.  Lucas tells her that they cannot get in and that they have to become ghosts and blend in. Kiera hides when the police show up, leaving Lucas to get arrested.. 

Alec has been listening to the entire exchange and then tells her that the tech that they have been using has not been circulated and again asks again how she has the tech.  The other time shifters are confused and worried that Lucas is who is the only one who knows what happened is not with them.  Kiera asks what's going on and tells Alec that she is from the year 2077 and he still believes that this is an elaborate ruse until using the implant from her brain, she shows him images from the previous day. When she logs off for the night, Alec goes back through her memories and spies a logo for his company.

The next day Kiera watches the news and hears about a gangland slaying in Portland. She then returns to the scene of their arrival in 2012 where the police are investigating what look like an explosion to them.  Seeing on the scene, det. Carlos Fonnegra approaches her and assumed that she is a cop and when pressured, Kiera like and claims to be Det. Linda Williams of Portland PD.   This makes her clearly outside of the jurisdiction.  When she tells him that there is a gang that will cause problems, he puts her in a room with Lucas. At this point, you have to suspend belief because for whatever reason Carlos didn't think to ask her for I.D. or even call the precinct that she is supposedly from to verify that she is who she says he is.  He then compounds the issue by leaving the room when she asks, and not returning after she interrupts the surveillance.

Lucas tells her that she should stay out of the way and make some quick money in the stock market because she cannot go back.  Alec is listening in and picks up on the hint that she wants some information on Lucas' background and she suggests to him that if he does not cooperate that she will kill is mother to stop him from being born.  Kiera is pulled into the lieutenants office and he wants answers. As she is telling him that he can expect violent, well coordinated attacks with unorthodox tactics the others strike and not only kill two police officers, they strip the car of all of it weapons.   When he asks for her direct supervisor, Kiera is stumped until he gets a call about the murders.  Things escalate when they get multiple bank alarms going off.  Kiera tells them that despite all of the alarms that only one bank is being robbed.

Carlos then takes Kiera to the scene.  When they arrive she demands a weapon, he says no. This btw is the first sensible thing that he has done thus far.  Being Kiera the spunky, she runs into the building even though the suspects are shooting and she is not armed.  In the middle of the fight, Kiera contacts Alec and tells him that no matter what happens to her, that he will promise to tell everyone that the people she is chasing are determined to start a war. When he says that people will not believe him, she tells him that she has proof in her room. Carlos shows up in time to stop Kierra from being stabbed. When they head back to the station they discover that Lucas was broken out of prison and in the process several cops were killed. The lieutenant tells Kierra to talk to her command and arrange to stay there because they need her expertise. Once again, note that her credentials have still not been checked out.  Kiera thanks Carlos for his help today and leaves.

Alec asks Kiera what happens to him and she tells him that she is not sure that she should. When she hesitates, he says, "never mind, people shouldn't know to much about where they are headed." The scene then shifts to the future but its still a flash back for Kiera.  We see a much older Alexander meeting Kiera for the first time.

This was an attention grabbing first episode but I found myself having more sympathy for the so-called terrorists than for Kiera.  We have already seen the horror that corporations like Monsanto have unleashed on the world and that is with some form of government regulation. I cannot imagine what it would be like without it. It seems to me that these people have legitimate complaints, even if their methods are highly problematic.

The futuristic technology was pretty damn awesome and added legitimacy to the story. Though this show is filmed and staged in Vancouver, we only saw one Asian person in the background, which is ridiculous given the Asian population in the city.  All the people of colour were cast as the so-called terrorists to Kiera's White female hero role. Kiera has the potential of being a spunky agent and it will be a tight line for the writers to walk.  I find that I am far more interested in the social organization of the future than I am of Kiera's attempt to arrest the terrorists.  

I think this first episode was well worth the watch, we'll just have to see how the story develops.