CONTINUUM is a police drama that speculates on the relationship between tyranny and terrorism, using time travel to bring what is presumed to be the logical outcome of present social policies into the present to demonstrate how an unpleasant future might come about.
SEASON ONE – EPISODE ONE — SPOILERS
Imagine a near-future society in which corporations are allowed to usurp the power of elected governments. A figurative Rise of the Machines, if you will. There is at least one small group fighting for the restoration of civil liberties and representative government. They blow up something called the Corporate Congress, are labelled terrorists, and sentenced to death.
The cigarette-smoking man from the X-Files (William B. Davis) presides over the execution of the 8 apprehended terrorists, but at the last moment they contrive to vanish into the past, dragging with them one of the cops guarding them.
All 9 of them arrive in 2012 in an apparent explosion that knocks out an overpass. Just why there should be an explosion, and why said explosion does not kill them, is left to the imagination. Best I can come up with is that they arrive contained in a sphere of 2077 stuff that is transported into the past, and it simply displaces an equivalent volume of stuff from 2012 a bit like a bowling ball being dropped into a swimming pool. It looks like an explosion, but isn’t.
The cop who has been dragged along for the ride is called Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) and she has some performance-enhancing implants that make her Borg-like, except that none of the technology added to her is visible, so she can pass as a regular person. She quickly embarks on a mission to terminate (or at least capture) the eight escapees.
Is the parallel to The Terminator becoming clear? (It is an inexact parallel. For one thing, the time travellers in CONTINUUM arrive in the past fully clothed.)
Cameron meets the younger version of cigarette-smoking guy (Erik Knudsen) immediately upon arrival because he is in the process of developing the technology her implants are using in the future to communicate, and he intercepts her attempts to phone home. There is an hilarious moment, probably the best in the episode, when Cameron, in her underwear in a hotel bathroom, realizes that little brother is watching.
Now these 8 bad guys from the future have plenty of time to intelligently plot the modification of the future. What they should do, logically, is quietly disappear into 2012 society and bide their time. Of course they instead draw as much attention to themselves as possible by robbing banks and shooting up a police station to rescue one of their number. (This is entirely unnecessary, since the cops had nothing on which to hold the guy for any length of time.)
Further, when Cameron is sitting in the interrogation room with the captured bad guy and the cop, all the prisoner had to do was pretend to be innocent and accuse Cameron publicly of not being a cop at all. (In 2012 that is true.) He would have been provided a lawyer and Cameron would have had some explaining to do. If you are going to time travel, do your research.
NOTE: Rachel Nichols was Gaila, the Orion cadet who is Uhura’s roommate in the last STAR TREK film.
CONTINUUM airs Mondays at 8pm Eastern on SyFy.