CONTINUUM:THE TIME OF HER LIFE (TV SHOW)

I have just spent the last few days catching up with the last few episodes of the third series of this time-travel science fiction series. The final series will be heading our way soon, even after it tried to keep the figures up and has had some very good strong writing and casting over the first three series.

This great show from Canada (the one one in recent times being Lost Girl) has confidently been a show giving us a near future tale set in 2077, where a female patrol officer Kiera gets sent back in time to our present 2015 (or 2012 when the show began) along with a group of fugitive radical criminals who she has to track down in order to return to her family in the future.

With some episodes set in the dystopian future where there are hi-tech police but sinister crime groups, and then mostly the series follows Kiera in our present time as she meets up with tech-genius Alec Sadler when he is still a teenager, and they attempt to trace the radical group in our time.

It has often been a surprisingly good show, and had many moments when it has drawn upon current topical themes and modern events in politics, news and relating to terrorism, the internet, evolving new technology and more. One of the strong points has been the successful use of a well written and well acted female lead character, one who is very intelligent, emotional when needed, and also does kick real ass at times.

One of the other very good elements of the show has been how it has on a number of occasions when they have shown that both the supposed ‘good guy’ characters-Kiera, the present day police force and detectives and news media may at times be doing bad things, and even some of the previously established ‘bad’ characters can do things which then show them to be good people in some ways, which has been intended to reflect our real world and how at times the media can portray figures as simply ‘bad’ or ‘good’ with no other sides to the stories.

So we recently did learn that the show, like many other sci-fi or fantasy shows, is soon to be axed but has after obvious strong audience support been granted a final mini series to close up the story. This is really frustrating as I personally have viewed it as possibly one of the most challenging and engaging current genre shows, brave and confident to sometimes ask viewers to question our world, our lives, how we see the things around us in our present times, and how our views may even possibly greatly affect our future.

While I am still watching the third series (which I believe has finished over in the U.S. now) and it is possibly nearly half way through, it has shown to be continually or even more challenging more than a month in. This could actually be one real reason why the show was dropped-some viewers may have been highly confused with the extreme time jumping and alternate versions of characters from various time-lines suddenly entering the series-which was actually really great and could have happened sooner I now think. Beyong this, it is still pushing the audience, flipping back and forth in time, just when I thought that had all settled down, and there are still mysteries around, various characters waiting to change the rules and get control of the present, tomorrow or both.

It now is reminding me a little of the last Joss Whedon series Dollhouse, which again was cancelled early but regularly challenged the audience and eventually used the early ending date to really twist the tale around and go out with a defiant head held high. As one of the very most topical, provocative and interesting sci-fi shows in recent times, I hope that Continuum can have similar end unless it does find some way to keep going for a while.

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ASCENSION-TV SERIES: SPACE RACE MYSTERY…

I have recently finally watched all three feature length episodes of this short new science fiction tv mini series, and now I am looking back over it again. Now there are currently a good number of various science fiction, fantasy and comic-book inspired new television series running, all competing for our attention and viewing figures.
Other series are still running for the usual twelve to twenty or so episodes, but this new bold series was suprisingly set for just three feature length parts. This I only learned late, but actually did add a strong structure and dramatic pace to the show.

The show focuses on a secret unknown space mission which took place in the late 50’s, with all of America never learning about it in any way. The crew and passengers on board this spaceship spent around fifty years there, moving through space with the intention of learning more and seeing more. With a mysterious death at the start of the first episode, the peaceful community of passengers onboard begin encounter dangers they have never seen in all of their time in space.

As the show progresses, there are more mysteries and revelations as we learn more about the reasons for the space mission and just what is taking place onboard. The visual style, direction and budget all impress and give us a very unique modern science fiction show unlike most others in recent times.
The show does start off fairly slow and like a detective mystery in space, but gradually a number of other characters and events show us more, with layers of secrets and lies, tensions and fears challenging all on the spaceship Ascension.
I assume that being a very short mini series, it allowed the makers to hold a larger budget, giving the show a visual style which looks very much like a Hollywood sci-fi movie. It moves along much like a good science fiction novel, with a largely interesting collection of characters and drama. I think it seems to have not really gained the ratings figures that it may have hoped for, but I do think that it has a good number of well written elements, even though some of it may be flawed or needing of editing in parts. By the end of the series, it reminds us in some ways of shows such as The X-Files, Dark Skies, Defiance and others which some topical themes of government cover-ups, corruption, class tensions added into the story. This series may not be what many expected from the early adverts and poster publicity, but it is worth seeing. Could there be another series to follow it up? It may not happen, I hope that we do see where the story could continue.