Take 5 With Continuum’s Rachel Nichols

Are you ready to return to the world of Continuum? After a hiatus that felt like decades (at least to me), the series is back tonight in Canada with the premiere of its mind-bending second season. To get you up to speed, we have a new edition of “Take 5” featuring star Rachel Nichols! Check out these highlights from a recent press call that we took part in!

  • We’ll continue to see Kiera question the definition of right and wrong, moving away from the black and white world she came from in 2077. Nichols shared, “In 2077 she knows who she is. She knows what she’s doing. She knows that she’s on the right side of the law. She’s the good fighting the bad. It’s very cut and dry. She comes back in time and in 2013, over the first season, there’s a blatant recognition of the idea of the grey area so it’s not so black and white.” She added, “Yes, Kiera still wants to get home. It’s a primary goal, nothing has changed there. Season 2 is very much about responsibility. [At] the end of Season 1, Kagame gives a speech and we used some of his speech as sort of a tagline for Season 2, which is you know if you drop a pebble in the ocean on one side of the world does it become a tsunami on the other? So Season 2 is very much about the things that Kiera is doing well here in this time. Her acknowledgement of the responsibility that she holds and so does everybody else, how they affect the future and how they affect where she’s from and how maybe the decisions she’s making here in this time are actively sacrificing the future that she’s so trying desperately to get home to and because she’s here fighting the good fight and doing what she was doing in 2077 anyway. Is she actually jeopardizing her family, her husband, her son? Could she possibly do something that can cause her to never be born, in the future? And so yes, the black and white is not so cut and dry this season and there are a lot of questions she has to ask herself. At the end of last season, if she had prevented that building from blowing up, what would that have meant for the future? And these are questions that are very prevalent in Season 2.”
  • In the first season, Kiera struggled with balancing her different roles: being a cop, a protector, and a mother, as well as between her present and future self. These aspects of Kiera will continue to be at odds in Season 2. “They clash more because the more prevalent idea in the second season is everything Kiera does in the present is potentially costing her something in the future. She is a cop here, a protector in the future. She’s a mother in the future. She has a son and a husband that she wants to get home to. But while she’s here in this time period, she wants to do everything she can to uphold the law and do what’s right by the people. The longer Kiera spends in the present, the more quickly the future starts slipping away and it’s a risk that she kind of doesn’t really have a choice. It’s not as though she’s going to say, ‘All right, well then I’m done fighting crime in 2013 and I’m just going to go home and knit for a while until someone gets me on a time travel machine back to the future.’ It’s not really an option, so she has to interact with the people of today. She has to make decisions. She has to be proactive. She causes change. And she knows she’s causing change but it’s a very difficult choice for her because of the fact that she is very aware of the idea that changing things in the present day may be potentially deleting her family from the future – or maybe even her herself. Maybe some of the stuff she’s doing in 2013 is going to prevent her from ever being born. The pull is still there and it’s even stronger because it’s a reality that she may be sacrificing everything that she’s fighting to get back for by fighting for the common good in this time.”
  • The tech that is such an integral part of who Kiera is and her role in protecting the best interests of her world will continue to be both a blessing and a curse. It is also the limitations on the tech that keep her human. Nichols remarked, “The tech is kind of a double-edged sword because it’s very powerful and useful and it does help her solve crimes and get where she needs to be. We have to be careful about the amount of tech that we use on the show and obviously her suit’s still with her. Alec fixed it in the first season. She’s got her multi tool. She’s got her gun but she also needs to be human and I think the writers do a very good job of keeping her human by limiting the amount of power that the tech has. At one point in Season 1, Carlos says, ‘You know, you have to rely on your instincts.’ And in Season 1 when we did the flash forward to the future, she is told, ‘Don’t rely on your instincts. Trust the tech. The tech will never let you down.’ Kiera has to really adapt to 2013 and yes she’s got to use her instincts and rely on things other than the tech because that’s how it works in this period of time. So there is the ongoing debate. In Season 2, she’s definitely learning how to operate without them.”
  • Kiera was hesitant to form any strong bonds with her present day allies – Carlos and Alec – in Season 1, but this is set to change in the second season. “In Season 2, Alec is Kiera’s lifeline. He is her best friend. He knows everything. He’s also her eye in the sky. He’s the guy in her head. Their relationship is – and this is just me talking – the most important relationship on the show and she relies very heavily on him. At the end of Season 1, Alec receives a message from his future self and he’s really not sure if he likes who he becomes. And so there’s the idea for Alec of changing his own path, and Kiera needs him on a certain level to become who he becomes because she wants to get home. So their relationship is very strained. She’s very much a lone wolf at the beginning of Season 2. Her relationship with Carlos goes through an extraordinary change, happening through Season 2 and she’s kind of relegated to the fact that she’s here for a purpose. She’s got to make the best of it and these are her two dearest friends and those relationships need to be respected and protected. She does what she can but it’s increasingly difficult in Season 2.”
  • Science Fiction has always been a way to question and comment on what is happening in real life without ruffling too many feathers. Recent sci-fi has definitely taken on a darker tone, perhaps reflecting the global mood at this time. Continuumproved that it was one of those vehicles for discussion in its first season, and Nichols commented on that aspect of the series. “The sci-fi genre is enchanting and sci-fi fans are also equally enchanting. I love the genre because you can get away with being a little bit political, maybe having a bit of special commentary, all of these things that were very prevalent in the first season and you can get away with them on a certain level where your show is not a political show, it’s a sci-fi show, but you have these aspects to it. It’s definitely prevalent and we have a lot of that in the show, where we talk about corporations in 2077 own and run the government. They own and run the police forces. There’s no crime in 2077. There’s all this technology. It’s painting a picture of what might become reality – and painting a not so great picture of what might become reality – and then in effect obviously invite change in the present. But yes, there’s a fascination with the darker underbelly of what may come and we obviously did this a lot on our show. Sci-fi is a great genre to do that, to speculate about the future. The best outcome of that is when fans, whether it’s on Twitter or any other medium, start to participate and ask questions and want to have this dialogue about this dark future that may happen. That’s ideally what we want – people who continue to be fascinated with it and I think our show handles it very well.”

The world broadcast premiere of Continuum‘s Season 2 premiere, “Second Chances”, is tonight at 9pm ET/PT on Showcase in Canada. US fans will have to wait a bit longer – it premieres on Syfy June 7 at 10/9c.

Photo Courtesy of Showcase

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