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Continuum: Season One(TV) (2012)
It's the year 2077, when a radical group of criminals evade the death-penalty through time-travel back to 2012 they inadvertently bring back police-officer Kiera Cameron with them. The Protector finds she has an ally in the unlikeliest form, a young computer expert that may have links to her past and his future.
For more about Continuum: Season One and the Continuum: Season One Blu-ray release, see Continuum: Season One Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on April 1, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen, Stephen Lobo, Tony Amendola (I), Lexa Doig
» See full cast & crew
Continuum: Season One Blu-ray Review
No fate but what we make. Or already made. Or might make. It gets confusing...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, April 1, 2013
With a rash of pretenders to the genre throne rushing to fill the sci-fi power vacuum on American TV -- Revolution, Falling Skies, Touch and plenty more on the way -- how is it that an obscure little Canadian time-stream series with a shoestring budget puts most others to shame? (The ever-reliable Doctor Who being one of the few exceptions.) More to the point, is Continuum really one of the next great genre hits? Or are the pickings so slim at the moment that any science fiction startup with a pulse and a premise can whip up a respectable fanbase all too willing to support it for half-a-dozen seasons and a movie? A bit of this, a bit of that, truth be told. Had Continuum arrived just five years ago on a broadcast or cable network in the States, with Lost, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica and the like duking it out for sci-fi dominance, it's hard to imagine the series lasting more than a season. It isn't that mind-blowing. That action-packed. That different. It is surprisingly good, though, and good goes a long way these days.
Dystopian Vancouver, 2077. The government has collapsed. Law and order is stretched and strained. The middle class is no more. A Big Brother-esque surveillance network limits the freedom and opportunity of the citizenry. Its in this corporate-managed chaos that we meet highly trained Protector Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Conan the Barbarian), a specialized, cybernetically enhanced Central Protection Service field agent (sporting a near-invulnerable biosuit, a cloaking device and other fantastic future toys) working to thwart the plans of a dangerous band of rebels dubbed Liber8.
But when a group of convicted Liber8 leaders escape execution by triggering a time travel device smuggled into the prison, Kiera inadvertently finds herself stuck in 2012 right along with her greatest enemies. First order of business: prevent the terrorists from altering the past and controlling the future. Joining forces with local VPD detectives Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster, Surrogates, Mutant X) and Betty Robertson (Jennifer Spence, Stargate Universe, The Core), teaming up with a young tech whiz named Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Youth in Revolt) and desperately searching for a way home, Kiera quickly discovers that -- brace for series tagline -- the future is in her hands.
I had no idea I'd actually end up enjoying Continuum. I hadn't read reviews, heard an ounce of buzz or talked with anyway who had even heard of the show, much less watched it. So it's appearance on my doorstep was accompanied by a fair amount of dread. Who knew? By the end of the first episode I was intrigued. By the end of the second I was locked in. By the end of the third? You might say I was hooked based on the speed at which I tore through the remaining episodes. Oh, I had complaints. Formula reigns, even when everyone involved goes to great lengths to cap its power. The supporting cast is touch and go for the first half of the season. The Vancouver police are really, really bad with background checks. Future weapons have yet to eliminate the inevitability of Mexican standoffs. 2077 and its social and political dystopia is barely mapped out before we're hurtled back to 2012. Minor plot holes aren't entirely uncommon and... I could go on, and fans of solid shows on networks like The CW and SyFy would nod their heads and offer a sympathetic mm-hmm.
To rattle off the series' problems risks minimizing everything it gets right, though, which is quite a lot. Nichols' character. Her action-figure ready supersuit and its endless exposition accelerators... ahem, gadgetry. Future tech unleashed on criminals and investigations in the past. The show's blend of action and more cerebral pursuits. The fun the showrunners have with time travel, time streams and time loops. The questions that arise, the answers offered, the further questions raised. It all comes together nicely, early season growing pains or no. Creator Simon Barry and co-executive producer/director Pat Williams have a vision, the ideas to back it up, and a sharp sense of exactly what sets Continuum apart. It's a creative trifecta, and one that pays out time and time again. At the very least, the show is worth a try. Chances are you'll be pleasantly surprised yourself.
Continuum: Season One Episode Guide. Warning - mild spoilers ahead:
Continuum: Season One Blu-ray, Video Quality
Continuum's digital video source fares well in its 1080p/VC-1 encoded Blu-ray debut, even if it comes saddled with a certain unwelcome sheen and some unsightly intermittent noise. Colors are strong (despite the presence of the requisite dystopian dreariness), skintones are naturally saturated, black levels are decently deep (minus slight muting during nighttime scenes), and contrast is consistent. Detail doesn't disappoint either. Edges are crisp and clean, textures are nicely resolved and delineation is revealing. A handful of VFX shots appear to have been rendered at a lower resolution, as they're quite soft, but such inherent eyesores are few and far between. Ultimately, all is as it should be. Fans will be most pleased.
Continuum: Season One Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Unfortunately, Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is all over the place. Flat and front-heavy, the soundfield isn't immersive or engaging. One minute the rear speakers are suspiciously quiet, the next they're more on point. And it's tough to predict when -- or rather if -- ambient and directional effects will show up to play. LFE output is more notable, but not always as aggressive or weighty as it could have been (or perhaps deserves to be). Otherwise, it's serviceable. Dialogue is clear, intelligible and smartly prioritized, dynamics are capable and the soundscape is proficiently realized. If anything, the series' sound design could use some work before Season Two makes its way to Blu-ray.
Continuum: Season One Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Continuum: Season One only includes a single extra: "Meet the Makers, Protectors and Terrorists" (SD, 19 minutes), a by-the-numbers overview of the series and its production with creator Simon Barry and actors Rachel Nichols, Erik Knudsen, Tony Amendola and Victor Webster. Decent but far from filling.
Continuum: Season One Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Don't be so quick to dismiss The Little Canadian Series That Could. Continuum is more than competent sci-fi, it has serious potential, and might just develop into a must-see show in coming years. For now, it amounts to a nice surprise that will leave most skeptics with only a few addressable issues. Season Two premieres on Showcase in April, so time will tell whether Continuum remains one to watch or one that quickly fades from memory. Sadly, Continuum's Blu-ray release is more unwieldy. While its video presentation is spot on, its front-heavy DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is underwhelming and its supplemental package leaves a lot to be desired.
Continuum: Other Seasons
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Continuum: Season One Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Continuum: Season One Blu-ray - January 23, 2013
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced and detailed the Blu-ray release of Continuum: Season One, which collects the first ten episodes of the Canadian series, broadcast in the U.S. by SyFy. The 2-disc Blu-ray release of the time-travel saga's first ...
Continuum: Season One Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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