EXCLUSIVE: CONTINUUM Creator Simon Barry on Tonight's Finale & Season Two Preview
Tonight at 8PM Eastern, the first season of Syfy's Continuum comes to an end, and in this exclusive interview, series creator Simon Barry discusses where things will leave the audience and previews the show's second season.
Interview Conducted by and Copyright Edward Gross
From Syfy: "What if time could be turned back to stop a horrific terrorist attack? How far would you go to protect the future you have come to know? Those are the stakes in the first season finale of Continuum. The time traveling police drama's premiere season comes to a shocking conclusion when Kiera (Rachel Nichols) fights a ticking clock to prevent a cataclysmic act of terrorism, while the place in history of Alec (Erik Knudsen) and Julian (guest star Richard Harmon) becomes defined by the success - or failure - of the tragic event."
In the show, Kiera Cameron is a cop from the future who finds herself trapped in the present day. When a group of fanatical terrorists escapes their planned execution in 2077 by vaulting back in time to 2012, they inadvertently sweep along Kiera, a dedicated City Protective Services officer. With unexpected assistance from teen tech genius Alec Sadler, Kiera infiltrates the local police department and forms an uneasy alliance with her new partner, Detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster). Though desperate to get back to her husband and son, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they change the course of history.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: Where would you say that tonight's season finale leaves us as a storyline?
SIMON BARRY: In Episode 10, things are really building to a point where Liber8 reveals not only one of their larger goals for the present, but also a lot of the loose threads that were introduced throughout the season are drawn together. We also explain a lot of relationships and connection between characters, and in doing so set up season two in quite a good way to exploring those characters and dynamics. We also introduced a couple of new characters who become linked to the mythology.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: The season definitely has something of a downer of an ending; a sense of despair hanging in the air.
SIMON BARRY: In a way it is. The bad guys, if you will, manage to pull off what they intended. On the one hand you can look at that as a downer, and then on the other hand there are revelations regarding Alec and his connection to his future self that come to realization that affects Kiera in a big way. Certainly we wanted it to be complex and we wanted it to reflect that there's a lot of gray in the show.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: When we were setting up this interview, you said you could talk thematically and philosophically about season two. When you say that, what comes to mind?
SIMON BARRY: There are so many characters in this show that have an investment in controlling destiny, controlling the lives of others, controlling their own lives, that we get to look at things from the point of view of many of our characters as they get to explore their relationship with power and control and how knowledge, whether it be of themselves or the future, can be manifested in a way that allows them to control their own destiny or even affect the destiny of others. In a way, because we've established these characters and their relationships with each other, there's an interesting political balance between them all and all of these characters, Alec in particular, all have the potential to control the future in their own way. It may be a selfish reason or an altruistic reason, but they're all given this potential and Kiera is in the middle of all of that. So I love the idea that via their relationships we can explore that game of control and power, and that knowledge of the future is sort of the weapon of that.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: Which goes beyond the idea of just killing someone in the present to theoretically alter the future, as one character attempts to do in season one but then finds that there is seemingly no impact.
SIMON BARRY: We're trying to explore how that kind of power can affect the way a society turns out or the way a country can rise or fall, or the way destiny will be fulfilled for millions, as opposed to the simple, "If I kill someone's grandmother, then they die." That I feel are low stakes, and we're dealing with much larger stakes. The direction of history is really what's at play.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: Since time travel is a component of the show, will there be any sort of opportunity to explore alternate futures dictated by changes in current events?
SIMON BARRY: We aren't the kind of show that does a lot of time travel; we're not playing that card as our dramatic hook. We're not sending people back and forth and changing things and seeing the affect of the changes. We're focusing on this one group that is in this one time period and the time travel is the mechanism by which they got there and how they see the future unfolding, because they have a perspective of it. Obviously there's a goal for Kiera to get back to her family and her son, and to do so obviously the technology has to be made available and work. But you're asking me a question that would indicate the show's drama is rooted in those effects of time travel, the side effects, but we never really set out to do that. We always tried to focus on the here and the now and keep the perspective of the future alive as opposed to seeing how the future is affected by events of the present. I think because we don't know, and because I and the writers have chosen not to do that, we're keeping what impact may or may not be happening part of the mystery that Kiera is also experiencing, which is that as soon as she has feedback of her actions, she can essentially control her destiny. But the truth is that none of us can control our destiny. We'd like to think that we know what's going to happen or how it's going to affect the future, but we don't. In that way it's kind of a microcosmic exploration of everyone's future and what they can or cannot do with it.
SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: Is there a sense of dread regarding the characters' every move in terms of fear of screwing things up? My kids once asked me if I had the chance, knowing everything I know now, would I want to go back and meet their mom then and try to do everything right. I told them I would be terrified, because what if I made a misstep, or didn't remember to do exactly the same thing? Maybe I'd change my entire future life.
SIMON BARRY: And that's a fluid thing. You may start thinking that one day and you can use movies as an example, which is appropriate in that the stakes for that 90 minutes or 100 minutes was that decision, but as a series we get to explore the shading of that. You may start off thinking that, but after a few months, you may have changed your point of view on how you live your life. You may decide, "Screw it, if I'm here, I'm going to live and future be damned I'm going to enjoy the reality that I exist in instead of protecting the one that hasn't even been created yet." For a television show, I think we get to explore that transition of those two distinct feelings instead of being locked into one. We're going to try to explore that this season as well; look at that change in perspective for all of our characters and how they relate to the power that they have; that that is not a static thing, it's a fluid thing.
Season two of Continuum debuts on Canada's Showcase April 21st. One assumes it will eventually air on Syfy as well. Check out the season one finale of the show tonight on Syfy at 8PM Eastern
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