Continuum Review: “Thirty Minutes to Air”

This Continuum review comes so late, it almost qualifies as a Weekend Review—except in the U.S., where the episode won’t be shown until next week. A new episode airs tonight.

Title: “30 Minutes to Air”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Pat Williams
Written by Simon Barry

Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron
Victor Webster as Carlos Fonnegra
Erik Kundson as Alec Sadler
Brian Markinson as Inspector Dillon
Roger Cross as Travis Verta
Jennifer Spence as Betty Robertson
Stephen Lobo as Matthew Kellog
Omari Newton as Lucas Ingram
Magda Apanowicz as Emily
Luvia Petersen as Jasmine Garza
Laci J. Mailey as Christine Dillon
Jenn MacLean-Angus as Nicole Dillon
Michelle Harrison as Diana Bolton
Manoj Sood as Benedict
Rowland Pidlubny as Brenner

Full cast and crew information may be found at the imdb


The episode begins with a brief but effective look at Travis Verta’s backstory—and police state procedures.

In the present, Dillon goes on a television news program after his daughter gets arrested for pro-Liber8 activities. Liber8 takes the studio hostage, but the police cannot determine the plan’s endgame.

Meanwhile, both versions of Alec continue with their conflicting lives.

High Point

I like the unpredictability here. Christine’s role, like Liber8’s plan, only gradually makes sense, and the outcome remains uncertain. We also see contextual frames that make either the police or Liber8 the protagonists, depending on one’s personal leanings.

It seems pretty clear that one Alec will become the architect of the future. Does he change his mind as an adult, or does he get replaced, years later, by the other Alec?

Low Point

Continuum may get points for demonstrating that their transition to corporate fascism will occur slowly, over the course of years, but they’ve unrealistically rushed the changes to the two versions of Alec. They are nearly identical in age and relatively so in experience. I cannot imagine them becoming so different in so little time.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6

Effects: 5/6 This episode features few effects, mostly of the serviceable, low-level action movie sort.

Story: 5/6 Liber8’s high-risk plan has a plausible goal, in the end.
So does a certain other development that only reveals its true meaning at the show’s conclusion.

Acting: 5/6 Kudos to guest stars Rowland Pidlubny, for being entirely creepy without being unrealistic, and Michelle Harrison, for being glib without becoming a parody.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Do we have any speculation regarding the episode’s brief scenes between Kiera and the Freelancers?

In total, “30 Minutes to Air” receives 34/42

Small Points

The station’s logo looks a little like the old CBC logo—a mild reference, on a show that named one of its evil corporations “Sanmonto.”

Verta touches a few nerves, including his indictment of television news as lacking any kind of thoughtful analysis.