After a mind-bending, exhilarating and truly fantastic first season, the Syfy series CONTINUUM is roaring towards its jaw-dropping finale. In a recent press conference call, stars Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster and executive producer Simon Barry talked about the ramifications of all the secrets, shifting alliances and the effects of Liber8’s activities on the timeline and Kiera’s future.
Even though he’s only known her maybe a month, Carlos knows that Kiera lies to him at times. What do you think it is about her that makes Carlos trust her?
VICTOR: She gets the job done. She may not be completely truthful, but I believe that she’s doing it for confidentiality reasons and she’s not allowed to disclose information to me through Section 6 and what she says she’s going to do she does. I may not agree with the means by which she does them but her results speak for themselves. So I have no reason but to not trust her because she makes stuff happen.
Because Carlos is always being lied to by Kiera, do you think the period of time he’s lied will influence or matter in whether or not he forgives her?
VICTOR: Yes, I also think it depends if he knows he’s being lied to. I think a lot of Kiera’s lies maybe he doesn’t know. He might suspect things but for him to be able to ascertain whether those are lies is not — he would have to get a lot of information for that. I think definitely the more water that passes under the bridge, I think it would be more difficult. But if Carlos was to ever find out what was happening, I think it would be such a event for him. It would be completely mind blowing that I don’t know how we’d feel about that. I guess we would have to cross that bridge when Simon writes that and see when that happens but I think definitely under normal circumstances the more lies in what is told, the harder it is to forgive, but it’s definitely not an ordinary show.
SIMON: Yes, I mean I like to think that when this happens, if it happens, it’ll be driven by all the forces that we can bring to bare in this show. It won’t just be random. It’ll be driven by hopefully character, emotion, plot, circumstance, necessity, I mean I think that’s really kind of owe it to do it the right way. I think that will be driven by the necessity. I think more than anything it would be a complex emotional moment, but I think that it’ll be operating on many levels not just one emotion, probably complex feelings.
Will Carlos eventually find anything about Kiera’s secrets?
RACHEL: I don’t know what I’m allowed to say ever.
SIMON: Yes, we obviously want to get to a point at some point where we’ve mined him not knowing and sort of dealing with their relationship based on trust and faith to the point where it makes sense and then to move on from that point. I can’t tell you exactly when that’s going to happen, but I think that we’re all in agreement that it’s best for their relationship to evolve at a certain point, we’re just not locked into when that’s going to happen.
Is there a goal at some point to thrust Liber8 to 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?
SIMON: It’s an interesting question. I think that because we’re keeping perspective alive in this show about 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 to bring two sides of every argument to bear, if we can. 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. I think 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. And I’ll try and stay out of the way of that if I can.
We’ve gotten a sense that Kellog’s romantic advancements are starting to break through. That was kind of a brave choice to perhaps taint kind of the image of Kiera, the hero, because we’ve at this point went along with her for the whole ride and yet now we start to question kind of what’s going through her head.
SIMON: Yes, I know that Rachel has a point of view on this and I’d love her to kind of comment before I do.
RACHEL: It’s an interesting thing: the relationship between Kiera and Kellog. There’s the safety and the security and the comfortability 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. And there’s also the ambiguity there, which you’ll find out a little bit more about in the next 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,” and 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 the cliffhanger in episode nine is met with an interesting response in me in the finale episode and it leaves a lot up to interpretation. There is the idea that Kiera is married in the future, but how long is she going to be here and what does that mean. 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, I think 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.
SIMON: 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 think that I just 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.
Are we going to see more about how Kellog became more a part of the Liber8 group?
SIMON: I think the assumption was that there was a lot of guilt by association in that scene that if he was caught. That his sister was warning him that if he had been caught with her with those detonators that would have been the equivalent of — I’m sure it looked back either way. I think we will get into Kellog’s point of view about the future and things like that as we move forward, but if you’re asking specifically about how he was sort of lumped in with everybody criminally, I think that that sort of ends with him being caught red-handed with something that he shouldn’t have been carrying around and linked to his sister who was clearly working with Liber8. But we’ll always learn more about who Kellog is and his backstory. Maybe not specifically as it relates to how he got to jail though.
There’s a theme of loneliness for all the major characters. Could you talk about what the different approaches are to that, especially for Alec. Can you talk about the loneliness theme?
SIMON: Yes. I think you’re taping something that’s actually very predominant and 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 also is stranded and abandoned and cut-off and all those things that someone who would be 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. Certainly in Season 2 we’re going to delve a little bit more into that. It’s finding your place in the universe, finding your place in destiny, finding your place 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. We are sort of looking at 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 that, 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.
RACHEL: I love the question actually. It’s different. I’ve never been asked that question, although not for the first time I’ve thought of a response to it. So thank you. But there is that lone-wolf loneliness. I mean it’s something that inhabits her obviously for sort of the superficial where she’s in 2012 and she is alone, but the idea of she’s separated from everything that she knows and everything that she’s familiar with and she’s thrown into this new environment and it’s really sink or swim — and there are very few people, I mean Alec and then clearly Kellogg, they’re sort of becoming friends at the end of the season — but there are very few people that really know who she 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 even if Kiera’s surrounded by people, she still feels completely alone because there’s no one there really that knows who she is. To lie to your best friend and someone that you truly respect and admire and appreciate on a daily basis, it is excruciating and it’s very, very lonely and she feels like she’s a one-woman army very frequently. And 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 and I think that’s really important for the show about the idea that you can be surrounded by people and feel completely alone. To work conversely completely alone and yet feel like you’re that you’re not. I think she 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.
What inspired you to take away Kiera’s suit for as long as you did? Was it budgetary considerations or a creative move to prevent it from becoming a crutch?
SIMON: I think we were very conscious in Season One that the suit could easily be a get-out-of-jail-free card in a lot situations and that, in the interest of having Kiera kind of adapt to her new surroundings and deal with the realities of being 65 years in the past, it was a better from a character perspective to have her have to deal with certain things head on and then get her hands dirty as opposed to finding a way around things. So that was absolutely a conscious choice. But we also liked the idea in damaging the suit we could also create kind of that paradoxical connection to Alec being able to fix it and also learn things about the future that may actually play into who he becomes. So, in a way, it served many purposes to not have her in the suit. It also created that opportunity to have the suit come back into play, which is always a nice moment too. So we knew early on in the breaking of Season One that the suit was an opportunity but also a liability and we have to sort of balance that and that’s kind of what our solution was.
What is up with Kiera’s husband? Are we going to find out if something more is going on with him?
SIMON: Well, there’s something going on with him all right. I have no idea what it is, but I don’t trust the guy as far as I can throw him.
RACHEL: I don’t know what it is because I’m on a need-to-know basis here and I have no idea what’s going to happen with my husband. This is why I look forward to Simon answering this question.
SIMON: No we’re definitely going to resolve more details about Kiera’s husband Greg and his involvement with Alec Sadler in Season 2. That’s something to look forward to.
What’s been the most challenging, so far, working on the show?
RACHEL: I know for me it’s this interesting balance because Kiera Cameron is from the year 2077 and she knows everything about the year 2077. It’s the world in which she lived and she comes back to the year 2013 about which she knows nothing and has to be completely sort of reprogrammed and re-educated at 65 years in the past. Me, Rachel, clearly I have no idea what 2077 will look like and it’s certainly not where I’m from and I am from 2013. So it’s this very interesting balance between this “fish out of water” character when we’re here in 2013 because Kiera has to feel often times, although she’s a fast learner like as though this is a completely new scenario for her — even though I exist in 2013 and for me when we go to the future — it’s living in a different world that I’m supposed to know like the back of my hand. So that balance has been complicated and in the most interesting way and thankfully I have Simon to help me out with my barometer, new things, old things, strange things, funny things, key phrases I don’t understand. In Episode 3: “rock, paper, scissors” is a game apparently we don’t play that game in 2077. So it’s been a challenge and a really interesting challenge.
VICTOR: I think the hardest thing for me is just playing that balance of trusting Kiera, knowing that she is a good partner and then not acting on a lot of these signals and signs and just kind of collecting all this data to eventually like Simon said maybe we will figure that out in the future to where we do, it’s trying to balance that. I trust her and I’m working with her, but there’s so many things about her that I don’t trust so keeping that interesting and without making Carlos look like an idiot, so to speak. I think a lot of that is in the writing and I think they’ve done such a good job with it, so even though that is the most difficult thing to me they need to do it.
SIMON: The hardest thing for me is not having anyone incompetent to blame anything on because we have Victor and Rachel are so good and this crew is so amazing and everyone is so skilled that I really end up taking responsibility for all the mistakes myself, which is really tough. No, what’s the hardest thing? The hardest thing is — I don’t know what the hardest thing is. Everything’s hard because we work really hard every day and we kind of give our whole lives over to making the show but we do it because we love it and so I guess it’s hard in that we don’t have a lot of other time to do fun stuff and sleep and eat normal hours and things that people take for granted. But I would look like an idiot if I had anything to complain about. So I’m the luckiest guy in the world, so I’m not going to say anything.
Do any of you have any music you use to help prepare or focus for particular types of scenes?
VICTOR: That one’s definitely applicable to Rachel.
RACHEL: Yes, I’m very musically-oriented and music means a lot to me and different kinds of songs bring up different emotion. Whether it’s a sad scene, whether it’s a love lost scene, I have every song that I listen to has a very specific meaning and very specific triggers and emotionality that works. Then there are even aggressive scenes or right before fight scenes to get pumped up and stuff like that but I never tell anybody what they are. Nobody knows what I listen to. I like to keep it very private because in those moments especially — we had some this week on set, I had a very emotional week on set — and in those moments right before they yell “Action” for me, they’re very private and I’m really getting into a place that at times can be very painful and very dark, so I don’t like to put out there what actually gets me to that place. It’s sort of something that I keep secret.
VICTOR: As far as me, I always have some sort of drumbeat in my head. I can’t figure out where it’s coming from. It goes along with the voices that talk to me.
CONTINUUM seems to be part science fiction and part police procedural. How do you balance those different aspects and still keep it interesting?
SIMON: It’s actually handy to have both because they both drive each other. The sci-fi mythology is kind of part of the fabric of all the characters connection to each other and then sets up a lot of the dynamics. The police world allows for a structure to build certain stories around and so I actually think it’s a really great balance of supporting the episodic in the serialized in the same hour. And having Kiera integrate with the police department makes sense, it’s not like she is a time traveler working out trying to solve a huge insurmountable problem on her own. She did the smart thing, which was to integrate with local law enforcement and to use them – and by the way they would have vested interest in these guys being brought down anyway — so I think that what we got out of that was an ability to justify how Kiera can have an impact using her relationship with Carlos and the police department and also allow for the structure of storytelling to be a little bit more in the domain of police cases, which brings up kind of that familiar structure of crime stories and police shows. But we try weave in as much of our serialized and mythology components into those crimes so that they’re not outside our universe. We’re trying to make everything inside the universe. I think it works well.
The show has a lot of accidents. Do you guys do your own stunts? And how do you prepare for that sort of physicality in your roles?
RACHEL: It’s interesting there’s this beautiful thing called muscle-memory and for me it’s fortunate because I’ve done I’ve done a lot of action stuff whether it was “G.I. Joe” or ALIAS or even “Conan.” To some degree, I’ve had the good fortune of being able to do a lot of action stuff, so learning a fight sequence and doing a physical scene, it’s a lot like learning a dance. You learn the individual moves, you string them all together and then there’s a fluidity that comes after practicing it and going through it. So I don’t do anything special necessarily to prepare aside from asking Kamani, our unbelievable stunt coordinator, what looks best and will this punch sell and what angle do I need to swing at and stuff like that. I mean I stay in good shape throughout the season, but I rely a lot on my past experiences to help me sort of get through a day. The most important thing for me is I have to stay in good shape because if you do those kicks over and over and over and over and over and you can actually get really burnt out and exhausted. So, provided that my stamina is up, I’m usually okay on the day.
VICTOR: For me, I come from another world, I used to teach martial arts. I’ve competed in martial arts. I still compete in martial arts now as a hobby and train quite regularly and for me it’s a passion so stunt days, action days for me I’m like a kid in the candy store, I get to play. And working with very, very talented stunt people that I get to do the action with that help make me look good and Kamani makes me look great and everything sitting with this storyline that we have. And our show’s not a Matrix-style with everything is really perfect type of fighting. Our show’s very dirty using things around. It’s using our surroundings. So it all just combines very well with our natural talents, being athletic and like myself, having been on many shows like Rachel and movies where I’ve had to do a lot of action. It becomes second nature. It’s something that you learn to do and they show you these moves, and you remember these moves and you do them. Now, if weren’t coordinated and hadn’t been doing things like this in our lives before this show then that would prove very difficult, but fortunately we have experience and they make us look good in the editing room as well.
SIMON: Yes. It’s a combination of a lot of elements that goes into it but it does help that Victor and Rachel are kind of really committed to the physical part of their performances and that overlaps well into the fight and action sequences, which makes our lives a lot easier because we don’t have to hide who they are, we don’t have to use stunt doubles a lot of the time, we can rely on Rachel and Victor to be there in the dirt and being thrown around and it really adds to the relation of the show.
Carlos ends up being saved a lot by Kiera. Can you talk about that role-reversal and how that element that makes this show so unique?
VICTOR: I think one of the things about this show is 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?” So I really like being able to play that. 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 and it’s fun to play those moments and so it just makes it really enjoyable when they do this to us.
Do you have any particular favorite moments from this past season that you would like to talk about?
RACHEL: I like this question because it almost changes every time I answer because I’ve either seen an episode recently, or I remembered something that I forgot. The end of Episode 2 is one of my favorite and Jon Cassar directed that episode. I’m in the precinct and I’ve been jailed and I watch Dr. Fraser reunite with his wife. I think the ending of Episode 2 is one of my favorite chunks of the first season. But everything from meeting my grandmother. played by Katie Findlay, in Episode 5 or Episode 8 when I kind of go robo-Kiera, those three moments that I chose are very different but they’re all favorite moments just because they really stand out in my memory.
SIMON: I know what Victor’s favorite moment is.
RACHEL: The shower.
SIMON: Getting attacked in the shower in Episode 7.
VICTOR: (Laughs) I liked the behind-the-scenes version of that one better. So many things stand out about the show, like Rachel said. I watched a lot of it my computer the first time and then when you watch it on a big screen television you see so many things that you notice all of a sudden. I love the moments between Rachel and I when I’m dying in the last episode and I’ve been shot, great emotional moments. Then Episode 7, when we were out on the balcony of the police precinct and having this heart-to-heart conversation about trust and partnership. Those are some great scenes. Obviously Kimani has done some great fight scenes; I’m a very physical guy, so I love that. Those are some things that stand out to me.
SIMON: I think my favorite moment from Season 1 is probably — I don’t know actually. It’s hard to pick one because we spend so much time trying to make them all good. I guess I’d have to say its in Episode 10, which I don’t want to ruin, because the audience hasn’t seen it yet. So I’ll just say it’s in Episode 10 and you’ll have to tune in to see what I’m talking about.
Will Season 2 pick up right where Season 1 ends?
SIMON: Yes. We’ve actually already shot it and I can tell you this: Season 2 picks up very shortly after Season 1. There is a bit of time but it’s not a lot and it’s certainly not enough that anything has been reset. The stakes are still the stakes but it’s shortly after and I think it would be cruel and inhuman of me to let the audience wait very long to find out what the message was about so we’re not going to make the audience wait.
Is there anything from the next season that you guys can talk about or tease?
SIMON: I can certainly say that in Season 2 we get to play with a lot of the relationships of the characters out in a way that we didn’t get to do in Season 1 and there’s a lot of dynamics. As you know, everyone now has stakes in this game and as those stakes become chips that can be played. Everyone has a point of view about how they can best take care of themselves and also control their own destiny. Actually that covers almost every character. Information comes to light, people make alliances, people split up and break connections. So a lot of the positioning of these characters comes down to how they’re going to control not only their lives in the present, but also in the future. And so control, power and those themes run heavily through Season 2.
VICTOR: Hearing you say that Simon really makes me think how right you are after the stuff that we’ve done. Wow.
Nick Lea that was in the finale. Is he going to be back at all do you know to cause more problems?
RACHEL: Yes, Nick Lea’s back. He’s going to return.
SIMON: Yes, we definitely put Nick in that final episode to tee up a process that will continue into Season 2.
What do you think about the possibility of Alec and Kiera ever getting together on the show?
RACHEL: That’s an interesting question. Erik Knudsen and I do a lot of live tweeting together and people seem to be really, really interested in that, which Erik and I are both fascinated by. I personally don’t think it’s going to happen, just because that would complicate — the catch phrase of the first season is “It’s complicated” — and Kiera and Erik together would be really extremely complicated. Not to mention the fact that he’s got to be more than ten years 15 years younger than Kiera or something, so I don’t know. I like that the fans are into that though. It’s something that Erik and I talk a lot about. So unless Simon is going to surprise me and tell me that I end up with Alec Sadler from some period in time that I visit, I would say: no.
SIMON: I’m going to say: no comment.
Do you think Kiera will make it back to the future and, if so, will it be her future she returns to?
RACHEL: If Kiera makes it back to the future, the show it kind of over — unless she decides to be a time traveler and she figures out how to go back and forth and change things. That’s in Simon’s head. That’s not for me to say. I’m busy enough worry about Kiera in the present day. I think if she gets back to the future, and I’m not speaking with any knowledge of any future scripts or seasons of the show, I would like to believe for her own sake and for me playing the character that she wants to do everything while she’s here to ensure that what she’s going back to is going to be the future that she left. So I believe that she will return to the future that she left because if I didn’t believe that and Kiera didn’t believe that then it would be much more of a hurdle being here in 2013. So I would like to think that she will eventually return home and Sam will be the exact same age that he was when she left and it will be like she wasn’t gone at all.
At some point, will we also be seeing how things are changing in the future because of what Kiera is doing in 2012 and 2013?
SIMON: At some point. That would be the operative caveat, at some point. Yes, at some point. That could be in two months or two years or 20, I don’t know when but, yes.
To see the startling 1st season finale of CONTINUUM, be sure to tune in on Monday, March 18th at 8PM on Syfy.