We’re losing another strong science fiction show before too long, as Continuum is going the way of the buffalo. The embattled series, which is produced by Canada’s Showcase but airs in the U.S. on Syfy, was recently picked up for a fourth season, though it will be shorter than the previous three, and it has already been announced as the last one. But, because we live in a magical time with new platforms popping up all the time, and everyone scrambling for content, nothing is ever quite as dead as it used to be, and according to one of the show’s stars, this might not be the end.
2014 may be in the rearview, but all around it was a damn good year for science fiction. We got fantastic movies big and small, new and interesting additions to the literary side of the genre, and we’ve even got three, soon to be four, Doctor Who comic books. There was also a ton of great stuff to watch from the comfort of our very own couch and tune into week after week on ye olde boob tube. There are some definite gaps in my viewing for the year, but here are some of my favorite sci-fi shows of the past 12 months. In retrospect, this is actually kind of a sad list, as multiple entries have already been cancelled or are definitively on their way out.
Well this sucks. Unfortunately it isn’t ever entirely unexpected when a fantastic sci-fi show is cancelled prematurely, but that doesn’t make it sting any less when it actually happens. We could run down the list of genre shows that were taken from us well before there time, but that would take too way long, and now it is one name longer, as Continuum has been cut off. The one bit of silver lining here is that it will get a final, albeit truncated season.
Deadline reports that the embattled time travel police procedural has finally been officially renewed for a fourth season, though it will only run for six episodes and be the last in the series. This isn’t an ideal situation, of course, but it’s better than having no resolution at all. In a statement, star Rachel Nichols says, “All great stories deserve an end.” Canadian channel Showcase will continue to produce the series, and Syfy will still handle the U.S. side of things, with the final episodes airing sometime next year.
Over the course of three seasons, Continuum has quietly become one of best science fiction shows on your TV. Season three left the series on a big time cliffhanger, but since then we’ve heard almost nothing. This is primarily due to an announcement about the renewal, or lack thereof, for the series that has become long, long overdue. To point that people are starting to worry about the future of the time travel series and it becoming yet another in a long line of fantastic sci-fi shows that leave fans far before their time.
Though the show airs on Syfy in the U.S., but it airs on and is produced by Showcase in Canada. Filmed in Vancouver, BC, which is kind of like a gray, overcast, more polite Hollywood of the north, part of the reason for this delay is the shifting landscape in the Canadian film business. A show like Continuum, with a decent amount of special effects and big set pieces, is an expensive proposition, and according to producers the show is “in limbo” while they try to find a “financial formula” that will allow the show to remain economically viable. If that sounds worrisome, that’s because it is.
After an up and down first season, Continuum spent the next two quietly becoming one of the best science fiction shows on television. It has everything you need: time travel, futuristic technology, conspiracies, and a heroine who kicks a lot of ass. The Canadian-produced show airs on Showcase in the Great White North, but in the US, Syfy has the honor of airing new episodes every Friday night, and we have a new sneak peek at this week’s installment, entitled “Minute of Silence.”
The network’s official synopsis for “Minute of Silence” is very, very brief. “These criminals are practically invisible. How will Kiera solve this crime?” Told you so. That doesn’t really tell you much about the episode, except that protagonist Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) will have a particularly difficult time apprehending these outlaws. And who can blame her, this clip is really like watching parkour video. These guys aren’t using your usual avenues to break into places. They’re willing to climb walls like acrobatic monkeys, balance precariously on thin ledges, and jump across large gaps to get into the buildings that they target. You can bet there it going to be a chase scene where these felons make a unique getaway.
Even though Syfy has been doing its best to reform their tarnished image by greenlighting tons of promising new science fiction programming, they have had one ace in the hole for a while now: the time travel drama Continuum. Syfy’s been importing Continuum for American audiences since 2012, and even better, it’s a show that, by most accounts, has improved dramatically over that time. With Continuum currently eight episodes into its third season on Syfy, GFR’s Joelle Renstrom got the chance to talk to actor Victor Webster, who plays time traveling cop Kiera Cameron’s (Rachel Nichols) modern-day police partner, Carlos Fonnegra.
Are you a sci-fi fan? Were you one growing up?
Absolutely. I grew up devouring as much science fiction as I could. I watched Star Wars, Star Trek, other random, obscure shows. I think even now I’ve got a 12-year-old kid trapped in my brain who loves the thought of an alternate reality. I loved Avatar and am looking forward to the new Star Wars. Anything that takes me out of reality is fantastic, especially if it’s done well. I love all the gadgets and technologies of the future, to see where people think we can go.