This is a big premiere month for Syfy. We had “Merlin” on Jan. 4, and this week has a bunch more, including the season premiere of “Face-Off” on Tuesday and the series premiere of “Ghost Mine” paired with the winter season premiere of “Ghost Hunters” (I miss Grant).
Tonight has three premieres: new “Continuum” and the returns of “Being Human” and “Lost Girl.” Let’s take a look at those.
“Continuum” (like “Lost Girl,” a Canadian import) launches the evening at 8. With all the hype for April’s “Defiance,” I hadn’t even heard of “Continuum” until I got my press screener a couple weeks ago. What a cool show — at least in the first two episodes they sent for screening.
Rachel Nichols stars as Kiera Cameron, a cop in the year 2077 who gets zapped back to 2012 during a terrorist group’s escape attempt at their execution. In her time, corporations have taken control of the government and suppressed rights to free speech and the like. It’s not some post-apocalyptic, everyone’s-miserable thing, but it’s not a free society.
So a terrorist group tries to shake things up by killing thousands of people. And when they’re about to be executed, they escape. They’re shooting for just a few years but wind up here and aren’t quite sure what to do — except ruthlessly kill people. There’s a nice bit of gray area — Kiera’s a cop, but for the corporate overlords, while the terrorists just want rights restored, but go to unsympathetically extreme measures, to say the least.
In 2012, Kiera’s comm system links her up with a young man named Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), who coincidentally just invented the technology. Lucky break. She also poses as a police officer to get in good with the local P.D., especially Det. Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster), and take down the terrorists before they can alter history (or maybe even get her home to her husband and son).
There’s also something brewing at Alec’s house involving his stepfather and stepbrother, but we don’t see much of that in the first two episodes.
So, lots going on but all managed extremely well. I had one “why don’t they just …” moment, but then they did it, so the show gets bonus points for that.
Nichols is great as Kiera, showing all the strength, intelligence and vulnerability she needs to. She adapts quickly to her new surroundings, but not too quickly to be unbelievable. Webster’s Carlos needs to be beefed up a bit, but I’m only two episodes in, so I’m not worried. Kiera and Alec are the main players that needed to be introduced. They build a nice rapport.
The tech is cool, too — not too crazy and just what you’d expect for being 65 years out. And where “Lost Girl” goes for camp, “Continuum” goes for serious sci-fi — and succeeds.
For those interested, the show is a Who’s Who of the Vancouver, British Columbia, sci-fi acting community. With so many shows filmed there, it’s not surprising. But you’ll recognize lots of alumni from the various “Stargate” shows, especially, along with “V,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Caprica” — to name a few. It’s like “Six Degrees of Richard Dean Anderson.”
This one is definitely getting a Season Pass on Tivo.
“Being Human” is back stronger than I was expecting. I really enjoyed the first season but was put-off by the extra darkness in the second. I kept going, though, and now I get tonight’s awesome premiere episode.
It’s in no way bright and shiny in subject matter (quite the opposite), but it has the lighter touch I liked from the first season — a bit of humor and acknowledgment of just how absurd the premise is: a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf share a Boston brownstone.
This season picks up 15 months after the end of the last. Aidan, the vampire (Sam Witwer), is still buried “alive” in a coffin. Josh, the werewolf (Sam Huntington), is still struggling with his curse along with his girlfriend Nora (Kristen Hager, promoted to regular). They’re trying to rescue Sally, the ghost (Meaghan Rath), from Limbo.
They finally find a witch, Donna (Amy Aquino), who can help them, but her price is awfully steep. And the results are … well, I won’t spoil it for you. But it’s pretty cool.
I never watched the British version, so I can’t tell you how closely they’re following the original storylines, though I hear the second season was quite divergent. All I can say is they went ways I was never expecting in this episode, and it’s great to be so pleasantly surprised by a returning show.
“Lost Girl,” well, I’m sorry to say I didn’t watch it. As I was getting ready to pop the DVD in the player, I remembered that I still haven’t watched the last four or five episodes from season two thanks to my Tivo not recording them on Season Pass. (I won’t get into that rant again.) I have the uncut Blu-rays recently released by Funimation, but watching those episodes was one of the things on my holiday-staycation to-do list that didn’t get done (along with all the episodes of “Revolution” that did get recorded).
But it’s a show I certainly enjoy watching. It’s not as “good” as “Continuum,” but it has its copious campy charms and an appealing cast of characters. So I’ll be getting caught up ASAP so I don’t get too far behind.