Continuum’s Rachel Nichols Chats Season 3, New Stakes and More

Continuum returned last weekend in Canada for its third season and Rachel Nichols chatted with the press following an exciting weekend at Toronto Comic-Con. In our interview, we discussed the new dimension introduced in the Season 3 premiere, namely other timelines and Freelancers who maintain the timeline. We also touched on unlikely new alliances, how Kiera’s stakes have changed since the series debuted, and how death doesn’t keep some characters from returning. Read the full interview below, but please be aware that there are some spoilers, especially if you haven’t seen the Season 3 premiere as of yet.

At the end of Season 2, we were all wondering how the story was going to move forward and how the stakes would be raised. The Season 3 premiere, “Minute by Minute,” just brings it to an entirely new level.

“I’m Freelancer Kiera. I’m amazed my Freelancer dots aren’t still on from work on Friday,” Rachel joked. She went on to say, “If you wonder how they’re going to up it, they certainly up it. There two of me, there’s two Alecs, there’s the idea that eventually I’m going to have to tell someone about the fact that there’s a dead body lying around that’s me.”

The premiere really gets into what the Freelancers are and how their intentions were initially misinterpreted, and how Kiera has now joined with them in an attempt to restore order.

“I love the idea of the Freelancers because nobody really knew who they were at the end of Season 2, and you now learn that they’re not really time travellers – they try to avoid time travel – they’re protectors of the timeline essentially. So when Alec sends himself back in Season 2, that’s a glitch in the timeline and they have to send someone back to get rid of him. Kiera sends herself back in Season 2 so someone’s going to have to take care of one of her, too. It’s definitely something to wrap your head around. You can’t be multitasking while you watch the show because you’re going to miss what’s going on.”

I was a bit surprised by Kiera working with Garza in the premiere, and asked Rachel about these alliances.

“Kiera and Garza, that’s an interesting — not alliance but understanding — that’s peppered throughout the season. Carlos and Alec kind of become very chummy, certainly much more chummy than we’ve ever seen them before. Then you’ve got Steven Lobo still playing Kellog and working his way with both Alecs. Kellog, the snake oil, used car salesman, is working his black magic on several levels.”

Alec’s actions at the end of Season 2 cause a lot of trouble and a separate timeline, which means some new faces. Rachel teased, “We introduce a new character who comes from a totally different time in the future, a time where Alec Sadler doesn’t exist.”

This sparked a conversation about the tone and underlying themes of Season 3, and how the upcoming episodes are unlike any that’s we’ve seen so far. Rachel summed it all up perfectly:

“Season 3 is different than any other season. The first one was really ‘get me home.’ The second one was understanding the responsibility of if you do something in the present day, it’s going to affect the future, and taking that responsibility, whether you’re a Liber8 member, or you’re Kiera Cameron, or you’re Alec Sadler for that matter. Anybody who knows about the future or is a time traveler knows that any choice they make — could be as simple as Raisin Bran or Cheerios for breakfast — is going to enact change in the future.

“Season 3 I’ve termed ‘For the Greater Good.’ Up until now, Kiera has been trying to preserve that relatively crappy future that she left. The world is not a great place. She’s been trying to conserve that future for two people, for her son and her husband, and the knowledge that she’s going to get back to them. Season 3 is ‘are you going to preserve the future for two people, or are you going to try to change the future to make a better future for all of humanity.’ That choice just to preserve the future for her husband and son is quite selfish. She’s not trying to get home as actively as she was in the first two seasons, and she realizes that there’s a reason why she’s here and she has the opportunity to change the world, change the future, make the world a better place.”

With these different timelines, not only is it possible that Kiera could run into another version of herself — and is warned against this by the Freelancers — but this is an issue for some of the other characters as well. This poses challenges for the characters in terms of the story, but for the actors as well.

“We have ‘Scar Alec’ and ‘Regular Alec,’ and I’ve shot scenes where both of them are present. I had to play dead a bunch, but Eric [Knudsen] had to play two different Alecs often in scenes together. I don’t know how this turns out, but one of the big things at the beginning is Katherine (Rachel Crawford) — who Kiera is introduced to and is the lead of the Freelancers — basically tells Kiera that she’s going to have to choose which Alec to keep alive. There are two of them. Who goes, who stays? I still don’t know the answer.”

Although some of these characters have died in previous seasons, we’ve very quickly learned that dead doesn’t always mean dead in the world of Continuum, and Rachel talked a bit about that:

“That’s one of the amazing things about the show. I killed Travis Verta, played by Roger Cross, at the end of last season. Well, you go back to before Emily was killed, and Travis is still alive and well. I even have a line where I tell him something like ‘I killed your ass good and I’d be happy to do it again’ because he’s back. That’s one of the great things about the genre and the time travel and future tech — that nobody’s ever really dead.”

The entire story exists in an ever increasing grey area, and goes far beyond our protagonists being up against a “big bad,” which is something that Rachel loves about the series.

“It’s not good versus bad. The audience is kind of on the same learning curve as Kiera, which is when she arrived, she was good, they were bad, end of story. The amount of time that she’s spent understanding, learning, remembering what the future is that she came from, experiencing the present day, she acknowledges that Liber8’s tactics aren’t in the right place, but maybe their end game is, maybe their goals actually mean something, maybe the future that they want is a better future. And so she takes that trip with the audience, and it is very blurry. I have people on Twitter and everything saying, ‘Is Kiera going to join Liber8?’ and I’m thinking it could happen, especially because [Inspector] Dillon has really gone sideways this season and is not the public protector any more, he seems to be very much in the pocket of the corporations.”

That brought up a very interesting question — in the grand scheme of things, does Liber8 even matter any more? Rachel responded, “Therein lies the question. There you’ve got your other alliances. Kellog is a force to be reckoned with. Sonya and Travis have reconciled. Lucas seems to not be crazy any more but he still might have that crazy chip. Garza’s always a loose cannon, you never know what’s going to end up with her. So as a group, it’s keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer. There are a lot of trust issues this season — who to trust, when to trust, and why.”

Continuum’s wild Season 3 ride continues with tonight’s “Minute Man,” airing tonight at 9pm on Showcase in Canada. The season begins on Syfy in the US starting next month.

Photo Courtesy of Showcase

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