Days of Change

Continuum Continues | June 14, 2014

In 2012, Canadian television premiered a science fiction time travel series called “Continuum.” I watched it a few months later when it made its way to the US. In essence, the world’s governments became bankrupt and ceded most of their power to large multinational corporations. A group of terrorists who seemed to be the descendants of the Occupy movement were sentenced to death, only to travel back 65 years to 2012 Vancouver.

I watched the show out of my interest in scifi and my love of time travel stories in general. The group called Liber8 was generally portrayed as violent and unprincipled in the first season. In the second, they were shown as an alternative to the restrictive, invasive presence of companies who wanted to control everyone. By this season, there was real conflict about how bad the corporations in the future were vs. how much Liber8 just wanted everyone to be free.

In the realm of conservative vs. liberal, Continuum walks a fine line. made this observation back in Season 1. This week, we learned that while Liber8’s goals may be worthy by the standards of many of the characters, that new future is worse than the original one the terrorists came from. While corporate influence, personal debt and the possibility of rewiring one’s brain exist, the new future (as revealed by a more recent time traveler) is one where the corporations and the anti-corporate crusaders fought each other to an apocalyptic wasteland where people are starving to death and time travel became the only solution.

With Season 3 near the end, Continuum has moved back into the column that the original future the characters came from is better than the alternative. Whether that remains the case is up in the air, but we do know that hating on corporations does not fix society. Then again, I suppose we knew that since Karl Marx made that claim.


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