One of my favourite interviews last year was with Continuum‘s Victor Webster, so I was thrilled to chat with him again about the new season. Here are some highlights from our conversation, including the exciting direction the story has taken, the dynamic between Carlos and Kiera as she takes on more of a vigilante role, and seeing more of a character that we met last season who is not only connected to Carlos, but appears to be playing a large role in what’s to come.
Victor, it’s so great to chat with you again. Now, that Season 2 premiere was quite impressive.
I loved it so much. I feel like we’ve just taken it to a whole other new level.
I think I was trembling by the end of it because it was such an intense ride.
It poses so many more questions than it answers. It’s taken the characters in a whole new direction. Everybody’s on a different journey right now and we’ve introduced some new characters.
Someone who was a guest star last season – Tahmoh Penikett – is back for an interesting arc. I have to say that was an unexpected surprise. Production and the cast did a really good job of keeping things quiet about what was coming up in the second season.
Everybody that’s been on the show and that’s been involved with the show is really good about being tight-lipped.
And that just works to the benefit of a series like this and how the viewers experience it.
That’s one of the things that a little concerning about not being simulcast all at the same time in the UK and the US. Especially in the US where there’s so much hype about the show and so many people talking about it and how many surprises there were. They’re just going to download the show rather than watch it on TV which is really unfortunate because if you want the TV show to be successful, you want to watch it on TV. You want [the network] to see the numbers – the higher numbers, the longer the longevity of the show. If you like a show, you should watch it on TV because otherwise, it won’t stay around. Not our show in particular because it’s doing so well, but in general.
Kiera seems to have taken on more of a vigilante role. How is that going to affect her partnership with Carlos, and will it cause a lot of extra work for him both covering for her and keeping her in check?
Well, she’s always been like that to a certain extent. She’s just now gone to an extreme with it. Carlos is going to have to try and rein her in somehow, and I don’t know if that’s possible, so it has the potential to create a lot of conflict between Kiera and Carlos.
Why do you think it is that Carlos trusts Kiera and has so much faith in her abilities and judgement when so many inexplicable things have taken place since she entered the picture?
It’s because what Kiera is doing is for the greater good, and Carlos knows that. He doesn’t necessarily agree with her tactics, but why she’s doing what she’s doing, it resonates with him. Plus, he’s told to give her free rein through the mandate of Section 6 and the inter-agency work relationship. It’s also interesting that Kiera may not do the right things, but it’s for the right reasons, and that almost mirrors Liber8. In essence, they’re both fighting for the greater good, they’re just not going about it in the ‘proper’ way.
I find that despite the contrast between the grey areas in the present day on the series and the future that Kiera has come from having such a strong definition of right and wrong, that Carlos in a lot of ways shares her strong morals.
They’re really good about writing the characters so differently and giving everybody such an interesting perspective. These characters are not interchangeable. I feel like on some shows, you could give one person another person’s dialogue and you wouldn’t really know the difference. On our show, you can’t because it wouldn’t sound like the character, they don’t share the same mentality. [The writers] have to write for everyone individually and they all have a very unique voice.
A lot of people are curious to see how much Carlos is going to learn about Kiera, or if he’ll discover her secret this season. I think it would be fascinating to see what would happen if Carlos was to learn who Kiera is, what she’s doing, and where she’s from. Would he still be able to work with her, and how would it change that relationship?
That’s certainly an interesting question. If Carlos was to figure it out, I don’t think he would believe it at first. He would probably think that she’s commitable – that she should be sent to the looney bin – because Carlos is a facts guy. When you put something in front of him that he can hold in his hands, then yes, it’s real. If you tell him that you’re from 65 years in the future, and unless she was to pull out all of her gadgets and show him her tech, he’d still have a hard time believing her. Let’s say he does believe her after a period of questioning, I think it would explain a lot of things to him as much as it would raise that many more questions. I think it would be a Catch-22 situation.
It’s probably better that he doesn’t know at this point in time.
It would definitely create a very interesting dynamic.
Do you hope that there might be some time travel in future episodes for Carlos?
I don’t know if his mind could handle it. [Laughs] It might blow his mind. You’d see Carlos slobbering in the corner, sucking his thumb. I think it would definitely be an eye opener [for him] to see where our society has gone, and I don’t think he’d like the state of affairs in 2077, the corporate dictatorship, the police state where a lot of our personal rights and freedoms have been taken away and everything is controlled more. I don’t think Carlos would enjoy that at all. I think if that was to be shown to him, he’d have a whole different outlook on 2013.
This season, there’s political corruption coming into play with the assassination of the mayor and with Jim Martin (Penikett) seemingly working with Liber8 to become the new leader of this city. Just how involved will Carlos be with that storyline as this investigation unfolds?
Carlos and Jim are so intertwined. They were raised together. They were best friends for years. I think there has to be some sort of involvement between them, especially with Liber8 basically using Jim as a pawn and kind of pulling him into way deeper water than he had planned to get into. [Jim’s thinking] yeah, I’d like someone to help me out, maybe with some campaign contributions, but it leads to [taking] the life of one person in the first season, and the life of the mayor in the second season. Where is this going to go? How far is Jim going to get involved? And is he willing to take that ride the whole way, or at some point is he going to realize, ‘Oh shit, I’m in over my head. What am I going to do? Who’s the only person that can help me?’ I don’t know where that goes. Carlos has to be involved at some point. We’re not done shooting this season and I don’t have the answers to all of those questions but I know some stuff definitely happens.
Given how we met Jim last season and the trouble he got into, I have to wonder if Carlos even trusts him any longer as he once did … he doesn’t see him quite the same way.
Absolutely not. I think that trust is gone. I think that when we leave Episode 7 in the first season, [Carlos is] standing at the board and trying to figure things out. There’s definitely way too many question marks for that trust to be there in its entirety. I think a lot of it has eroded away. Carlos is a smart guy and he knows that there’s definitely something fishy going on. He’s going to have to figure it out.
When we chatted last year, I know you mentioned that there is still so much more to learn about Carlos and that you were looking forward to that. Jim is obviously a big aspect of that. How much more are we going to learn about Carlos this season?
We learn a little bit more, but the thing about the show is that they’re not planning on doing only two seasons. They’re planning on many seasons, and they don’t want to give everything to everybody right away, so they let things trickle in, as they would naturally in life. As you get to know somebody, they don’t sit down and tell you their entire life story in one conversation. And sometimes you get to know more about them through their actions than their words. You definitely get to learn more about Carlos this season, and fingers crossed we get more seasons. You’ll actually get to know more about everybody in this second season. We learn about Liber8, about Alec, Kiera, Inspector Dillon. You get a little window into everyone’s story in Season 2.
It must be neat for you to see how they take your work and add in visual effects.
For me, I have so much faith in Artifex and Adam Stern. They do such a good job. The effects further the show along. They’re not trying to be greedy with the effects and make it all about this world of digital imagery. It’s become almost seamlessly integrated into the show so that you don’t even notice that it’s an effect. It looks so good, and especially on a TV show. The stuff they’re doing is feature film worthy. We did a little screening party and watched it on a big screen in an actual theatre and the effects hold up and fill the entire room.
Now that the series has gone beyond Canada, what type of feedback have you gotten from the international audience?
The great thing about Twitter is that it’s global, so you get feedback from all over the world. Our show’s in something like 50 countries now. It’s this little Canadian show that just blew up. I’m so proud of everybody involved. Everybody’s done such a great job, and Simon Barry created this gem of a show that’s so smart and well done. I’m so thankful that people out there are appreciating it. And the feedback – one of the biggest things that I get is how smart the show is, that you actually have to sit and think about it. It’s not mindless entertainment. You can think about it, you can have conversations with your friends, two people can watch an episode and come away with two different takes on what happened. It’s intriguing and thought-provoking, and the subject matter makes you think a lot about where we’re going as a society and what’s happening to us. It’s also visually stimulating with a lot of action and satisfies so many desires in a wide range of people.
It’s highly rewatchable. I typically watch each episode at least twice and I always catch something else that I missed.
That’s the same thing for me. The first time I watch the show, I watch it on my computer. The second time I watch it, it’s on a 60 inch TV, and it’s amazing the things that you miss when you watch it on a little computer versus watching it at home on TV. Also, as you go through the series, and then you go back and watch it again, so many little clues pop up and you realize that you completely missed [them], and it totally makes sense. We plant things, like the cans of Torsion on Alec’s desk that come into play in the episode when Kiera goes crazy because somebody hijacked her brain. Like three episodes before, we plant these little easter eggs all over the place, characters and dialogue and set decoration, so to go back it’s almost fun to revisit the show afterwards with what you know after seeing the whole season, and actually see what you missed.
Canadian fans – more Continuum is coming your way tonight on Showcase at 9pm ET/PT. Don’t forget to tune in! And you can follow Victor on Twitter at @webstervictor.
Photo Courtesy of Showcase