In our Weekly Digital Disc Picks, Alex notes that the best thing to watch this week would be the Olympics. They featured an awesome opening ceremony that careened from sublime to ridiculous, sometimes on purpose, and made a few nodes to SF and Fantasy.1 The games, as always, have been sensational.
Of course, some of us still want our hit of digital genre, and that brings us to this week’s episode of Continuum.
Title: “Family Time”
Cast and Crew
Director: William Waring
Writer: Floyd Kane
Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron
Victor Webster as Carlos Fonnegra
Erik Kundson as Alec Sadler
Richard Harmon as Julian Randol
Michael Rogers as Roland Randol
Janet Kidder as Ann Sadler
Stephen Lobo as Matthew Kellog
Brian Markinson as Dillon
Tony Amendola as Edouard Kagame
Lexa Doig as Sonya
Full cast and crew information may be found here.
Kiera and Carlos trace a suspicious delivery to Roland Randol’s farm, where a standoff ensues between the police and Julian’s radicalized friends.
We also learn more about Kiera’s past connection to Kellog, with hints that they may have a more problematic future together.
We also learn this stand-off connects to Edouard Kagame’s past and future.
I like the way the story plays with its moral ambiguities. To what degree will we end up siding with Liber8, despite their willingness to commit criminal acts and sacrifice innocent people?
The episode, while not the strongest, raises a number of other interesting questions, listed below.
I found the somewhat moving “My name is Kiera Cameron” monologue undercut by the musical selection—the vocal track in particular.
Other issues I address under “Story.”
Originality: 4/6 We’ve seen police stand-offs before, but this featured some original elements, including the use of future tech. It’s unclear how paradoxes and other “timy-whimy” stuff plays, since we have only hints about Kagame’s connection to these events.
Story: 4/6 The story shows potential, as it brings together (without too much stretching of plausibility) two largely disconnected parts of the cast. The script features a good deal of forced writing, however, from the sudden extreme radicalization of Julian’s friends and some strange actions by the SWAT Team (Why did they leave the storage unattended?)
Acting: 4/6 This who has a trend of combining some strong performances with some rushed work, often by the extras.
Emotional Response: 4/6
Overall: 4/6 The show begins with an examination of moral grey areas (who are the good guys here?) and events such as the Waco Siege (when do an individual or community’s actions become the concern of the state?). Once Kiera Cameron gets her enhanced suit back, she’s in full superhero mode. The show never quite resolves the shifts and conflicts of tone.
In total, “Family Time” receives 29/42
1. What is Kagame’s connection to the Randol Farm Standoff?
2. These events apparently happened in the timeline Kagame remembers. Does only one time-line exist? The show has suggested as much, but it has dangled the possibility of changing the, uh, time-continuum.
3. How much of the Liber8 online video is true? Are we hearing entirely accurate future history, or history blended with the propaganda beloved by all political organizations and the conspiracy theories so popular with disenchanted radicals?
1. If you missed it, the opening ceremony began with a pastoral village and ran through British culture historically, from Shakespeare to contemporary pop and social networking (complete with appearances by Sir Paul McCartney and Tim Berners-Lee). Along the way, we passed many SF/Fantasy oriented posts, including The Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Mary Poppins, J.K. Rowlings, and—if you listened very carefully—a brief sample of the Tardis materialization noise in the soundtrack.