Lunchtable TV Talk: Continuum


Again I ran out of things to watch and decided to watch sci-fi, time-travel cop show, Continuum. I did not expect much but have been fairly entertained (just more than halfway through the series now). All sci-fi isn’t good, and shows with time travel at the heart of their premise rarely capitalize on the good idea.

But Continuum isn’t too bad – and doesn’t suffer at all from what I lovingly refer to as “Canadian production values”. Older Canadian tv used to feel like it was a decade behind the United States in how it was produced, what it looked like – even in what the characters wore. I don’t really know why this was the case. Despite living for a good chunk of my life near the Canadian border (British Columbia rules!), and watching a lot of CBC, I could never quite wrap my head around why those kids from Degrassi Junior High (the original, which my junior high science teacher made us watch?!) looked like they were striving or 1983 while the rest of us were firmly in 1988. Haha. (And some Canadian classics, such as The Littlest Hobo, which apparently was a great hit in Scotland, never made it to us in the States at all.)

This is not really about Continuum but instead about the progress and quality of Canadian tv shows. We know American shows have been filming in BC for years and years, but perhaps this industry influence has rubbed off on the quality of the tv they make for themselves. (Motive and Continuum are a good bit better than The Bridge (and would anyone even remember that, considering our Bron/The Bridge/The Tunnel series that came later?), and even if it was something of a contemporary of these shows, it felt more like an older Canadian show with a lot less idea of what it hoped to do with itself). The boom in Canadian productions also, of course, means that we get to see a lot of familiar faces – often. BSG’s Tahmoh Penikett and Alessandro Juliani have already made appearances in Continuum (and in Motive for that matter). And there will probably be other BSG alums. Ian Tracey is a staple of Canadian tv guest arcs (have not seen him be a regular since I happened to catch DaVinci’s Inquest on late-night Icelandic tv; another Canadian cop show that featured loads of people who would, at that time, go on to BSG stardom).

All of this to say that Continuum is good enough for me. I will continue watching and enjoying – and most of all, supporting Canada’s original programming. In part because I love Canada.

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