Continuum is a Canadian science fiction series created by Simon Barry and produced by Reunion Pictures Inc., Boy Meets Girl Film Company, and GK-TV.
The series centers on the conflict between a group of rebels from the year 2077 who time-travel to Vancouver, BC, in 2012, and a police officer who accidentally accompanies them. In spite of being many years early, the rebel group decides to continue its violent campaign to stop corporations of the future from replacing governments, while the police officer endeavours to stop them without revealing to anyone that she and the rebels are from the future.
The show premiered on Showcase on May 27, 2012. The first season has 10 episodes. On August 25, 2012, Showcase renewed Continuum for a second season of 13 episodes which premiered on April 21, 2013 (Showcase) in Canada, May 23, 2013 (Syfy) in the UK and on June 7, 2013 (Syfy) in the US. On June 5, 2013, Continuum was officially renewed for a third season which premiered on March 16, 2014 on Showcase in Canada and April 4, 2014 on Syfy in the US.
During an interview in May 2014, Simon Barry revealed that he has 7 to 10 seasons in mind for Continuum while Rachel Nichols also hinted at a "completely different Kiera", Simon Barry said in an interview that information about Season 4 will be announced by Shaw Media in July. On July 16, 2014, Barry stated that Shaw would release renewal or cancellation news in early August. However no announcement had been made by November although Denis McGarth stated on August 23, 2014 that news would arrive soon. On September 26, Syfy confirmed that they were unlikely to save Continuum should Showcase choose to cancel it. On November 13, 2014, Barry hinted that a decision will finally be made by the end of November, tweeting "November is the new August...". However, no annoncement was made by December 2014.
Episodes from seasons 1 and 2 begin with the plot of the show narrated by a voiceover from the point of view of Kiera Cameron.
2077. My time, my city, my family. When terrorists killed thousands of innocents, they were condemned to die. They had other plans. A time travel device sent us all back 65 years. I want to get home, but I can't be sure what I will return to if history is changed. Their plan: to corrupt and control the present, in order to win the future. What they didn't plan on was me.
In Season 3, the narration was replaced by a new sequence that contains a CGI version of the time travel device, scenes from previous seasons, and cast credits, before finishing with Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) holding the device, followed by the title card.
City Protective Services (CPS) law enforcement officer Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) lives a quiet, normal life with her husband and son in 2077-era Vancouver. Under the corporatocratic and oligarchicdystopia of the North American Union and its "Corporate Congress", life goes on in apparent freedom under a technologically-advanced high-surveillance police state.
When a group of self-proclaimed freedom fighters known as "Liber8" escape execution by fleeing to the year 2012, Kiera is involuntarily transported with them into the past. Joining with Detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster) and the Vancouver Police Department, and enlisting the help of teen computer genius Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), Kiera works to track down and thwart Edouard Kagame (Tony Amendola) and his followers in the present day while concealing her identity as a time-traveler from the future.
Kagame and the members of Liber8 plot to alter the past to avert the rise of what they see as a dictatorial and Orwellian corporate regime to be stopped at all costs. Meanwhile, Kiera knows that Alec Sadler will become the future corporate mogul and head of SadTech, one of the mega-corporations that dominate the world in 2077.
Fighting to return home to her family, Kiera finds that her presence in 2012, and that of the members of Liber8, may be no accident at all.
Throughout the series, multiple theories are suggested as to the nature of time travel and its effect on the timeline of events leading from 2012 to 2077.
In discussion with Kiera, Alec posits that his future self recalled his interactions with Kiera in the past, potentially inspiring the creation of his own cybernetic technology from her futuristic implants and equipment and leading to a "time loop" whereby conditions in 2077 cannot be altered. Otherwise, Alec and Kiera consider that Kiera and Liber8's presence in the past may have already altered the timeline and created a separate chain of events, and thus the state of the world in 2077 is no longer certain.
Evidence for each possibility is presented over the course of the series. Ultimately, the first season finale, "Endtimes", reveals that the elderly Alec Sadler orchestrated the time jump that sent Kiera and the members of Liber8 back in time and that he knew precisely what was to occur in 2012. At the start of the second season, the contents of a message sent from the 2077-era Alec to his younger self reveal that his apparent goal is to avert the corporate-dominated future that his actions and inventions created. It is, however, unclear whether this is possible and what implications it may have for the unfolding timeline; it is presently unclear if future-Alec has any memory of the events of 2013 since Kiera went to the past, although the fact that he appears to have been aware that Kiera would be in a position to meet himself—implanting certain codes and messages in her suit and CMR—along with his knowledge of the freelance time travelers that Kiera learned about during her time in the past, suggests that at least some version of the time-travel happened before.
Series creator and executive producer Simon Barry has confirmed that the creative staff have established a set of "rules" for the version of time travel depicted, which will be further explored as the series progresses.
Kiera came through the portal with her standard City Protection Service equipment: Suit, enabling enhanced strength, bulletproof protection, complete invisibility with color-changing camouflage, an electric taser system, capable of emitting an energy shield bubble and advanced computer processing capabilities with built-in screens for data access in her wrists. Kiera is cybernetically enhanced with Cybernetic visual implants with functions that include biorhythm detection, heat detection and telescopic vision. When Kiera's suit is in proximity, she gains additional functionality, including complete personnel information on targets, and forensic data processing and computing. Kiera also has an electronic Multi-tool: a hand-held device that features wireless frequency generation (capable of matching current model wireless car door locks and other devices), a fingerprint duster that is electronically linked to her visual implants, a magnetic field generator, and a medical injector for various drugs from truth serum to stimulants.
Rachel Nichols as City Protective Services (CPS) Protector Kiera Cameron, a law enforcement agent from 2077-era Vancouver who was sent back into the past with the members of Liber8 during their escape attempt at their execution. Cut off from her time period, she joins the Vancouver Police Department to pursue Liber8 and thwart their plans to alter the timeline using her new position in the police department and the technology that she brought with her.
Victor Webster as Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Detective Carlos Fonnegra, Kiera's partner with the present-day police; he learns the truth about her time-traveler status in the second season episode "Second Truths". Throughout the course of the second season, Fonnegra becomes disillusioned with the VPD's changing police procedures and is seen shaking hands with and joining Julian (Theseus) at the conclusion of the episode "Second Time" with colleague Betty Robertson.
Erik Knudsen as the young Alec Sadler. As a teenager, before he went on to found SadTech, Alec is reclusive and prefers to spend time in his computer lab; there, he is able to communicate with Kiera through her cybernetic implants, which he discovers to be based on his own inventions.
Stephen Lobo as Matthew Kellog, a former member of Liber8. Kellog deserts from the group in Season One and hopes to build a new and wealthy life for himself in the past using his knowledge of the future.
Roger Cross as Travis Verta, a member of Liber8 and super-soldier, Kagame's right-hand man and lover of Sonya Valentine. After Kagame's death, he was opposed to Valentine, Kagame's designated successor, seeking more violent methods and recruiting criminals into his version of Liber8. The two eventually reconciled. Travis was killed in a fight with Kiera in "Second Time". But since the timeline was later altered, his death was undone.
Lexa Doig as Sonya Valentine, a member of Liber8 and lover of Travis Verta who is designated Kagame's official successor as leader after his death, and now seeking to reform the world through ideas rather than violence, and recruiting middle and working class people into her version of Liber8. She commits suicide in "The Dying Minute" while attempting to kill Dillon. (Regular Season 1–3)
Tony Amendola as Edouard Kagame, the leader and spokesman of Liber8; he sacrificed himself in the first season finale as part of a larger plan. (Regular Season 1, recurring afterward)
Omari Newton as Lucas Ingram, a member of Liber8 and former SadTech engineer who was forced to defect to Liber8's cause. He is not a soldier, but his technical skills remain crucial to his colleagues in Liber8. He sided with Sonya during the Liber8 civil war. His mental status is questionable in recent developments of the conflict, and has been committed to a psychiatric ward, although he later escaped.
Luvia Petersen as Jasmine Garza, a soldier and member of Liber8. Garza is physically strong, agile and lethal, but mentally damaged from corporate imprisonment. She sided with Travis during the Liber8 civil war, and claimed to become Travis's current lover. Garza also has a connection with elderly Alec: apparently she intended to serve as his "insurance policy" if his younger self seems to deviate from his plans, although as with everyone else, she doesn't know if the purpose is to change Alec's path or ensure it.
Jennifer Spence as Vancouver Police Department Detective Betty Robertson, a colleague of Detective Fonnegra, who generally handles the computer side of their cases; recent evidence has suggested that she has begun to sympathize with Liber8's motives to the point of providing them with information for which she is arrested and placed in ankle monitor surveillance when her connection to Liber8 is revealed. She is later killed by a mercenary working for Greypoint Security when she was close to discovering their illegal operations. (Regular Season 1–3)
Brian Markinson as Vancouver Police Department Inspector Jack Dillon, Carlos and Betty's superior officer; he respects Kiera's insights despite the mysteries of her past. The red tape and politics of police work, that see him joining Piron board of directors, disillusion him and set him down a dark path that alienates Carlos and Betty and even surprises Kiera. He was critically injured in an attempted murder-suicide by Sonya in "The Dying Minute".
Richard Harmon as Julian Randol, Alec's stepbrother in 2012. Later in his life, he will be known as Theseus, the founder of Liber8 and mentor to Edouard Kagame. He is hired by Alec in "Revolutions per Minute" to act as an advisor for public affairs.
Terry Chen as Curtis Chen, a member of Liber8. He is killed by Kiera's handgun's safeguard system but is later revived by the Freelancers. Once resurrected he became devoted to the Freelancer Cause. He was cast as the shooter who killed Green Kiera in the episode "Minute by Minute" and was then imprisoned by the Freelancers in "Waning Minute" but later escapes in the same episode. in "3 Minutes to Midnight", it is revealed that he was not responsible for Green Kiera's death but was working alongside someone who was.
Magda Apanowicz as Emily/Maya Hartwell, Alec's girlfriend. It is revealed in the second season episode "Second Degree" that she is working for Escher. She was killed by the Freelancers in pursuit of the time travel device in "Second Last". In the episode "Second Time", it is revealed that Alec likely plans to stop her death when he says "I have to save her" before time traveling to one week prior. In the modified timeline first revealed in "Minute by Minute", she murdered Escher.
Ian Tracey as Jason Sadler, an alleged former employee of the same prison where Liber8 escaped from, thrown back in time to 1992 rather than 2012. His sanity isn't quite intact from his prolonged time alone; he has hinted that he has learned that there are other time travelers, capable of going back and forth through time that are present in their current era, known as "Freelancers", but considering his mental state this information is regarded with questionable accuracy. In the third episode of the second season, "Second Thoughts", it is hinted that he is Marc Sadler. It is revealed in "Second Time" that he is Alec's son in 2077 instead and that he played a major role in sending Liber8 back in time. Starting in "Revolutions per Minute" he becomes a beta tester for Alec's "Halo" project and he recovers lucidity, but his mental health begins to deteriorate and in "3 Minutes to Midnight" he is responsible for attacking a random jogger and later he tries to kill Julian because of what he knows he will become.
Janet Kidder as Ann Sadler, Alec's mother and Julian's stepmother.
John Reardon as Greg Cameron, Kiera's husband. He is a SadTech project leader, and Alec Sadler is his boss. He is primarily seen in Kiera's flashbacks to her life in 2077.
Adrian Holmes as Warren, one of the freelancers. He was sent back in time along with Jason from 2077. He was killed in "The Dying Minute".
Zak Santiago as Miller, one of the freelancers. He was killed in "The Dying Minute".
William B. Davis as the elderly Alec Sadler in 2077. In the future, Alec founded SadTech in the later twenty-first century. He has risen to head one of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world, as its owner and CEO, his influence and technology dominate the North American Union. He was also a founding father of the Global Corporate Congress, and is currently Chairman of Superior Council. Alec is responsible for the presence of both Kiera and Liber8 in 2012; in season 2 it is suggested that he regrets having founded the corporate future world, due to all that has been lost to create it, and has set a plan in motion, with Kiera at the center, to change it – or perhaps ensure it.
Nicholas Lea as Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Agent Gardiner. He believes that Kiera is feeding information to Liber8 due to her anomalous background, although Kiera and Carlos have mistakenly speculated that he may be the mole himself. Later he and Kiera find a middle road when she asks him to help investigate the Freelancers. Gardiner is killed by the Freelancers for his efforts.
Sean Michael Kyer as Sam Cameron, Kiera's young son. Kiera's abrupt separation from him causing her a degree of psychological anxiety. He is primarily seen in Kiera's flashbacks to her life in 2077.
Rachael Crawford as Catherine, the leader of the freelancers. She was killed by Curtis in "The Dying Minute".
Hugh Dillon as Mr. Escher/Marc Sadler, ex-freelancer, CEO and chairman of Piron, Alec's father, and a shadowy figure with powerful connections, who appears to know something about Liber8 and Kiera's true origin. He has protected Kiera and seeks to form an alliance with her, however his true motives are as yet unclear. In "Second Time", he revealed himself to be Alec's father. In the modified timeline first revealed in "Minute by Minute", he is murdered by Emily.
Michael Rogers as Roland Randol, Julian's father and Alec's stepfather. Like his son, he is firmly against corporate leadership, but does not advocate violence to achieve Liber8's goals. He is killed in a police raid, when a sniper mistakes him for a hostile and shoots him.
Mike Dopud as Stefan Jaworski, a member of Liber8. He was the first of the Liber8 members to die in 2012 during a confrontation with Kiera Cameron and her partner Carlos Fonnegra.
Tahmoh Penikett as Jim Martin, politician and Carlos's friend. He is secretly working with Liber8 in his quest to become Mayor of Vancouver. He commits suicide in "Minute Men".
Ryan Robbins as Brad Tonkin, a time traveler from an alternate timeline in 2039 where the Corporate Congress does not exist. He fires the fatal shot which kills Green Kiera with the help of Chen, after which he is hit by a van and wakes up in the hospital only remembering the name "Kiera Cameron". He recovers his memories thanks to a pharmaceutical treatment for Alzheimer's based on the future narcotic "Flash". He is later captured with Kiera by Liber8 and reveals the future that is created by the actions of Liber8.
Caitlin Cromwell as Elena, Kiera's Protector partner in 2077. She is revealed to have traveled back in time to the year 1975. She and Kiera briefly reunited in 2012 only to see Elena die shortly after from old age, leaving Kiera deeply distraught.
Series creator Simon Barry explains how the show was picked up by Showcase:
I had developed the idea for US networks (where I had been selling for several years, but not getting picked up) and before I got a chance to take Continuum out and pitch it, I was hired by CBS to write a different pilot. In the middle of that job, my director friend Pat Williams took a meeting at Showcase Network in Canada and called me in a panic because he didn't have anything to pitch. I gave him the idea for Continuum to pass on to the executives there. They immediately saw the potential and hired me to write a pilot script. Because it was first set up with Showcase, there was much more of an appetite for Sci-Fi and genre bending concepts. Showcase really understood what the show could be from day one.
The series premiered in the UK on September 27, 2012 on Syfy (UK), with season 2 returning on May 23, 2013. The third season was rights for UK airings were again given to Syfy in November 2014.
The series premiered in the U.S. on January 14, 2013 on Syfy, with season 2 returning June 7, 2013, and season 3 on April 4, 2014.
The series premiered in Australia on SF on February 21, 2013, and returned for season 2 on October 3, 2013. Season 3 premiered on Syfy (Australia) (the replacement to the now defunct SF) on May 5, 2014.
In Canada, the series debut in Canadian French on addikTV on November 6, 2013.
Reviewer Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times described the series as "slick" and highlighted its attention to detail. Reviewer David Hinckley of the New York Daily News compared Continuum positively to Life on Mars, another series with a time travelling police officer, and gave the show three stars out of five. According to Hinckley, the series has potential to do well, and if it "doesn't aim to soar, it executes the basics well".
The series connected with Canada's television arts organizations. On January 15, 2013, the day after the U.S. launch, the Canadian Screen Awards (now one group after the merger of the Genie and Gemini Awards) nominated Continuum for 5 Screenies: Best Drama Series, Writing, Direction, Music and Visual Effects. It won in the latter category.
On February 20, 2013, Continuum was cited by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (Saturn Awards) for Best Television Presentation. This category represents the best TV show of 10 or fewer episodes. There was a special circumstance as the Saturns' eligibility period is based on a calendar year (from January 1 to December 31). Since Continuum didn't debut in the U.S. until 2 weeks afterwards, an exception was made to include it in the TV Presentation lineup. It eventually lost, however, to Breaking Bad.
The show was showered with an all-time record 16 Leo Award nominations. The awards were handed out June 6 and 7 of 2013, competing against titles such as The CW's Arrow and CBC's Arctic Air. Continuum's nominations included:
Best Dramatic Series (Winner)
Best Direction: William Waring, "Family Time" (Winner)
Best Direction: Patrick Williams, "Endtimes"
Best Screenwriting: Simon Barry, "Endtimes" (Winner)
Best Cinematography: David Pelletier, "Endtimes"
Best Editing: Allison Grace, "Family Time" (Winner)
Best Editing: Allan Lee, "Endtimes"
Best Production Design: Chris August, "Endtimes"
Best Costume Design: Maya Mani, "A Stitch in Time" (Winner)
Best Stunt Coordination: Kimani Ray Smith, "Wasting Time"
Best Male Guest Performance: Jesse Moss, "Matter of Time"
Best Male Guest Performance: Ian Tracey, "Endtimes" (Winner)
Best Supporting Actor: Richard Harmon, "Family Time" (Winner)
Best Supporting Actor: Brian Markinson, "Endtimes"
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Spence, "Playtime"
Best Supporting Actress: Lexa Doig, "Endtimes"
For 2014, the Leo Award Nominations included:
Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Series: Jamie Alain (Winner)
Best Dramatic Series (Winner)
Best Screenwriting: Simon Barry (Winner)
Best Cinematography: Michael Wale (Winner)
Best Make-Up in a Dramatic Series: Jennifer Kipps (Winner)
Best Stunt Coordination in a Dramatic Series: Kimani Ray Smith (Winner)
Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series: Lexa Doig (Winner) for episode "Split Second".
Best Direction in a Dramatic Series: William Waring
Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series: Roger R. Cross
Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series: Jennifer Spence for episode "Second Opinion".
On March 9, 2013 the Constellation Awards announced their nominations; Continuum was cited in four categories. Ultimately, on June 22, it won three: Best Sci-Fi TV Series, Best Sci-Fi Film or TV Script, and the first-ever acting award of any kind for Rachel Nichols (Best Female Performance in a Sci-Fi TV Episode).
In 2014, the show was nominated for 2 Canadian Screen Awards (Supporting Actress, Luvia Petersen and visual effects, again winning the latter), 3 Saturn Award nominations: Best Cable Series; Best Actress-Rachel Nichols; and Best Supporting Actor-Erik Knudsen. The Constellation Awards on March 10 nominated Continuum for the same three awards it won last year. On April 24, the show received a record 21 Leo Award nominations, tied for the fourth largest nomination haul by a comedy or drama series...in North American television history. The Leos will be handed out May 30-June 1 in Vancouver, the Saturns on June 26 in Burbank, CA and the Constellations on July 5 in Toronto.
The game site also includes a Comics section, featuring Continuum: The War Files, which is an eight part graphic novel that tells of the war going on in 2065, between the Corporations and Liber8. For now, the comic is available only in Canada.
Rittenhouse released a trading card set based on the show in June 2014.