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THE TV COLUMN

Time-travel thriller Continuum back for Season 3

By Michael Storey

This article was published April 3, 2014 at 3:08 a.m.

syfys-continuum-stars-rachel-nichols-as-kiera-cameron-and-erik-knudsen-as-alec-sadler-the-series-returns-at-9-pm-friday

Syfy’s Continuum stars Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron and Erik Knudsen as Alec Sadler. The series returns at 9 p.m. Friday.

I’ve been fond of time-traveling science fiction shows ever since The Terminator dropped a buck-naked Arnold Schwarzenegger among us 30 years ago.

There’s something irresistibly fascinating about folks from the future coming back to present day.

Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles lasted only two seasons (2008-2009) despite the advantage of starring the talented Lena Headley (now playing Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones), cult darling Summer Glau (Firefly), and Raising Hope’s Garret Dillahunt.

Continuum, Syfy’s Canadian import, takes some of the sci-fi premise of Terminator (including a Headley-esque star) and incorporates it into its own police procedural adventure that’s more than satisfying for fans of both genres.

Continuum returns for Season 3 at 9 p.m. Friday. There will be 13 episodes, so settle back and enjoy.

Continuum stars Rachel Nichols (Criminal Minds, Alias) as Kiera Cameron, a detective from the year 2077 who finds herself trapped in the present day and struggling to find a way back home.

How’d she get here? First assume time travel is feasible and go with it. The series’ former opening monologue sums things up succinctly:

“2077. My time, my city, my family. When terrorists killed thousands of innocents, they were condemned to die. They had other plans.

“A time travel device sent us all back 65 years. I want to get home but I can’t be sure what I will return to if history is changed.

“Their plan: to corrupt and control the present in order to win the future. What they didn’t plan on was me!”

Did you follow that? When a group of terrorists (known as the Liber8) escape their execution by beaming back in time to 2012 and Vancouver, British Columbia, they inadvertently sweep along Kiera, a highly trained and competent City Protective Services officer.

Kiera is on the case. She’s the terrorists’ worst enemy.

Kiera meets up with geeky young tech genius Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen, Jericho), who helps her adjust and infiltrate the local police department.

She gets hired on with the Vancouver PD and forms an uneasy alliance with her new partner, Detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster, Castle, Melrose Place).

Kiera may be desperate to get back to the future and her husband and son, but she realizes her top priority is bringing down the terrorists before they change the course of history.

At the end of Season 2, Alec made the agonizing decision to hijack Kiera’s chance to get home, in order to save the girl he loves from certain death.

Alec’s act of desperation condemned Kiera to being held by the Freelancers, who are “collecting” time travelers to protect history. As Season 3 unfolds, Kiera must face the consequences of Alec’s betrayal, keep him from altering history and somehow escape the Freelancers.

Cable’s influence. The broadcast networks are increasingly using the successful cable model of programming new series all year long instead of the traditional September to May offerings with lots of repeats.

The downside is many viewers are having a hard time adjusting to the new deal. Every day I get emails from readers wondering what happened to (fill in the blank)? Chances are the season simply ended, or went on extended hiatus.

I can’t remind you enough of forthcoming series. Make a programming note on a calendar and adjust your DVRs. Here are reminders of some more of the new and returning programs premiering in the coming days and weeks.

Sunday: Silicon Valley (9 p.m., HBO). Young geeks in the early days of the personal computer.

Game of Thrones (8 p.m., HBO); Veep (9:30 p.m., HBO).

April 13: Nurse Jackie (8 p.m., Showtime); Californication (8:30 p.m., Showtime).

Mad Men (9 p.m., AMC). Part 1 of the final season kicks off.

April 14: Warehouse 13 (8p.m., Syfy). The final season.

April 15: The Address (8 p.m., AETN). Not a series, but this Ken Burns special on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is not to be missed. Mark it down. Followed at 9:30 by the special, Lincoln@Gettysburg.

April 19: Orphan Black (8 p.m., BBC America). Season 2 of the cult hit clone conspiracy thriller.

April 20: Signed Sealed Delivered (7 p.m., Hallmark). Dead letter mail detectives bring folks together.

Devious Maids (9 p.m., Lifetime). Season 2 for the Hispanic domestics of Beverly Hills and their soap opera lives.

April 29: Playing House (9 p.m., USA). Comedy about two childhood best friends reuniting amid wrecked marriages, pregnancy and old flames.

May 20: Gang Related (8 p.m., Fox). Terry O’Quinn (Lost) heads a Los Angeles anti-gang task force.

Mountain Monsters. Season 2 of the monster hunting series premieres at 9 p.m. Friday on Destination America. First up: the Kentucky Hellhound. Watch it with the lights on.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email: mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 30 on 04/03/2014

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