The first season of Continuum concludes tonight on Syfy, but before we see how it ends, we caught up with creator and executive producer Simon Barry and stars Rachel Nichols (Kiera Cameron) and Victor Webster (Carlos Fonnegra) to speak about tonight’s finale, themes and developments in Season 1 and what they’ll mean going forward into Season 2.
BuzzFocus: My first question is for Victor, when you first took on this role, maybe you thought it’s a leading man and then you find out that your character’s the one that’s kind of being saved a lot by Kiera, talk about maybe that role reversal element that makes this Continuum so unique.
Victor Webster: We kind of take all the stereotypes that have been played out in other TV shows and we kind of flip them right on their ear. So whereas the male character might be the leading man saving the woman, we come in and we switch that around, she’s come to my aid many, many times and I’ve had her back as well. So it’s a very symbolic relationship in that sense but what I’ve noticed so far is Simon does such a great job and the other writers do such a great job of is once you think you know what’s going to happen in this show, they pull the rug right out from underneath you, they throw you a curve ball and you’re left going, ‘what the heck just happened?’ I really like being able to play that, you know, but Carlos is a very strong, proud, Latin male character and to have that kind of character be where he just has this beautiful woman save his life and it’s his partner–it’s fun to play those moments and it’s really enjoyable when they do this to us.
BF: Is there a goal at some point to thrust Liber8 into the front and become hero-like figures with Kiera being the obstacle in their way? Based off of what we know about corporations and our desires about not wanting that dystopian future, will they become the heroes at some point?
Rachel Nichols: I’m going to let Simon take that one.
Simon Barry: Yes it’s an interesting question. I think that because we’re keeping perspective alive in this show, that really I’m not editorializing necessarily what anyone should think about these guys and their direction and their purpose, although we are certainly telling the story predominately through the eyes of Kiera, and Kiera’s experience, which is what grounds the show and I think makes the show relatable, we’re always trying to tackle arguments from different points of view and we’re trying to be intelligent about our neutrality instead of just being lazy about it. So we try and bring two sides of every argument to bear if we can.
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I think that at a certain point I may not be the person who decides that, it may be the audience who decides that that’s happening because they may just be tapped into that and be focused on that and that’s what they’ll see, whereas other audience members may not. That’s kind of the goal of the show is to allow for people to take sides and see the truth and the meaning that is relevant to them. I’ll try and stay out of the way of that if I can.
BF: In the penultimate episode, we get this sense that Kellog’s (Stephen Lobo) advancements are starting to break through, albeit with a little bit of alcohol involved… [Laughs]
VW: That always helps. [Laughs]
BF: That was a brave choice to taint the image of Kiera, because up to this point we’ve went along with her for the whole ride, seeing her long for her family in the future and now we get a real first kind of bump in the road where we start to question kind of what’s going through her head and the decision she’s about to make.
SB: I know that Rachel has a point of view on this and I’d love her to kind of comment before I do.
RN: Oh I’m going to go first? Okay. It’s an interesting thing the relationship between Kiera and Kellog. There’s the safety and the security and the comfort in the idea of the fact that he knows who she is and he knows what she’s fighting and he knows who he is and he knows Liber8. There’s also the ambiguity there, which you’ll find out a little bit more about in tonight’s episode because it’s the, ‘did they or didn’t they’ and there are many, many, many different options and thoughts and theories about did they or didn’t they; what is this relationship going to be? Is he winning her over? Is she using him to get what she wants?
It’s extremely complicated and that last sort of cliffhanger in episode nine is met with an interesting response in me in the finale episode and it leaves a lot up to interpretation. And there is the idea, well, Kiera is married in the future but how long is she going to be here and what does that mean and the things that we learn about her and her life in the future as the show progresses and her dating–however that ends up working out–the Kellog mechanism is important because there’s a level of security there and also the level of ‘I don’t trust him as far I can kick him and I still need him to do things for me like he needs me to do things for him.’ So it’s a very complicated relationship with no finite definition.
SB: Yes I would agree with what Rachel said and add that the great thing I think that Kellog presents Kiera is a way to be bad in a way without compromising her goals. She can be flawed, she can be human, she can vulnerable in a way that really her pursuit of Liber8 and her pursuit of returning home doesn’t often allow her to be kind of complicated in a way that is human.
I wanted to make sure before the season ended that the audience understood that Kiera was like anybody else. She had doubts, had complicated feelings about things and that in essence, Kellog was someone who really did understand her and there was an attachment there that may not have been intellectual, it might just have been convenient and comforting in a way, but it’s much more like real life than the movie version or the TV version of a relationship and we were trying to just at least open the door to that.
BF: That segues nicely into my next question, there’s a theme of loneliness on all the major characters, could you talk about maybe what the different approaches of that theme? How that loneliness leads to their actions?
SB: I think you’re taping something that’s actually very predominant and you’re right, we always talked about the idea that there was a certain amount of a castaway vibe for Kiera, as well as it being a mission-driven thing for her. She is stranded and abandoned and cut-off and all those things that someone who would be, you know, a castaway on a desert island would go through and it opened up a lot of possibilities to look at isolation and to look at those characters.
In Season 2 we’re going to delve a little bit more into that but you’re right, it’s finding your place in the universe, finding your place in destiny, finding your place in, you know, the time – in the time Continuum. Or what is destiny, what is fate, what you can control, what you can’t control often attaches itself to a sense of self and isolation and sometimes beyond.
So I’m glad you’re picking up on it. We are sort of looking at people – characters who are sort of examining themselves in ways that are unusual and mainly because they’re not making those normal connections and we’re going to have those connections develop in Season 2 in a way that I think we can have some fun with what we set up in Season 1 and see where it goes in Season 2 because we know these characters so well on their own, it’ll be something to see how they relate when they’re not but I think Rachel is going to chime in too, so go ahead.
RN: Yes. I love the question actually. I’ve never been asked that question, although this is not the first time I’ve thought of a response to it. So thank you! There is that lone wolf loneliness; it’s something that inhabits Kiera obviously for sort of the superficial, where she’s in 2012 and she is alone but she’s separated from everything that she knows and everything that she’s familiar with and is thrown into this new environment and it’s really sink or swim.
At first with Alec and then clearly with Kellog–they’re sort of becoming friends at the end of the season but there are very few people that really know who Kiera is, where she’s from and why she’s there, how she got there. And there’s a real loneliness in not being able to be honest with people like Carlos. I mean the even if Kiera’s surrounded by people, she still feels completely alone because there’s no one there really that knows who she is.
And to lie to your best friend, someone that you truly respect and admire and appreciate on a daily basis, it is excruciating and it’s very, very lonely and it’s, you know, she feels like she’s a one woman army very frequently.
BF: And what about Alec, Rachel, who seems to be a little self-sufficient in his kind of computer lab, could you talk about the loneliness theme with him?
RN: You’re right, Alec is very self-sufficient in what he does and how he exists in Season 1. We’re letting him blossom a little bit more in Season 2 but I think that’s why Alec and Kiera get along so well because they know the truth about each other and they both know what it’s like to be completely alone and feel completely alone. I think Kiera finds great comfort in the fact that she has him as a friend.
The idea that you can be surrounded by people and feel completely alone, work conversely completely alone and yet feel like you’re not–that’s really important for the show! Kiera does some of that knowing that Alec is in her head and a part of her. And at the end of the day, she relies heavily on him for her own sanity.
By Ernie Estrella