Mania Grade: B+
6 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
- TV Series: Continuum (Season 2)
- Starring: Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen, Stephen Lobo, Roger Cross, Lexia Doig
- Written By: Various
- Directed By: Various
- Distributor: Universal
- Studio: Reunion Pictures
Continuum Season 2 Blu-ray Review
Just in time for season 3
By Chuck Francisco
April 03, 2014
SyFy's hit time travel parable Continuum returns to television and mobile device screens this week, resuming from the point of departure in what is likely to be a very Back to the Future 2 style interweaving of convergence. In a release perfectly timed to catch viewers up, Continuum's full second season hit retail shelves this past week, and I'm delighted to say that it includes more substantial extras than the first season showcase.
The central focus of Continuum dials in upon Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), a protector (or future police officer) from the year 2077, who is thrown back to our present time with a group of Liber8 terrorists sentenced to die. The future she originates from is a corporate totalitarian dictatorship, but since she is a part of that system (born and raised), she fights to somehow return to it (where her husband and son await). In the here and now, Kiera enlists the assistance of the young man who will one day put the fascist systems into play and rule the world, Alec (played by Erik Knudsen). Meanwhile the Liber8 members are sowing various seeds of chaos in an attempt to avert the future they originated from. This juxtaposition of moral hand wringing is what makes this show so powerful. Who is right and who is wrong? That isn't a question answered in absolutes by Continuum, and the runners leverage that ambiguity to explore complex contemporary problems in the way all great science fiction does.
Maniacs who have been following the show know that I've covered the first two seasons worth of episodes here for the site, and that the second season is solidly stronger than the first. If you're just catching up with the home release, I urge you to read my episode companion pieces after each installment, and check out the fun speculation we engage in below in the comments section. I've listed links at the bottom to each episode's entry.
The richest harvest of bonus features on the set show themselves as a wealth of audio commentaries. Of the thirteen adventures, only two aren't accompanied by inside chatter. What's superb about the discussions included are that the participants are varied up tremendously. The methodology to this is sound, as the actors or creative team members included are specific to whichever episode they've been brought in to discuss. So for instance creator Simon Barry, episode director Pat Williams, and show star Rachel Nichols are featured on the first and last episode commentaries, since these offer pivotal moments in the shows's continuum. Meanwhile, an episode heavily invested in fisticuffs such as Split Second features stunt coordinator Kimani Ray Smith and actor Victor Webster (playing Carlos, Kiera's present day partner), who waded into the thick of it here. Stargate fans will love Amanda Tapping's commentary on the episode she directed, Second Last, and Continuum fans will be delighted in general with the bevy of series regulars who participated.
The other feature included is a beefy behind the scenes production which deftly whips aside the curtain, giving fans superb access to the inner workings. Indeed this seventy minute collection of footage and interviews, when coupled with the audio commentaries, perfectly serves to amp the excitement levels of fans, and sate their lust for insider access.
With regard to the visual presentation, the digital picture is crisp and clear, though it doesn't stand out enough to bowl me over. It's also interesting to see these episodes without the early commercial break structure problem (structured for Canadian commercial schedules, early episodes had severely inopportune breaks when first broadcast on SyFy).
Continuum is a thoughtful, rich science fiction series, one which rewards viewers taking repeat rides through the twists and turns. You can snag Continuum Season Two on Blu Ray now, available from Universal- just in time for the kick off of Season three (also available on DVD).
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.