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Interview with Simon Barry, Rachel Nichols and
Victor Webster of
"Continuum" on SYFY 1/9/13
I was on this call, but I didn't get a
chance to ask a question. I guess they had too many people
on the call. I was very disappointed, too, because I just
love Victor Webster. I have followed his career ever since
he was on "Days of Our Lives"! Also, I just love this show
and had watched some of the episodes before the interview.
Oh, well, those are the breaks. Hopefully I will get another
Moderator: Gary Morgenstein
January 9, 2013
1:20 pm CT
Gary Morgenstein: Welcome to the launch of Syfyís new series
Continuum which premieres Monday, January 14th at 8:00 pm.
Here to talk about the time traveling police drama are stars
Rachel Nichols and Victor Webster, and creator and Executive
Producer Simon Barry.
Jamie Ruby: There is obviously a lot of great technology on
this show. Thereís Kieraís suit, she can review her memory,
etc. If you could like take a real version of one of the
technologies from the show, what would it be and why?
Rachel Nichols: Thatís the best question for me because I
would take my Multi-tool. Itís small. It travels well. It
does legitimately anything I could possibly need it to do in
any situation. And I've started reading scripts for Season
2, and the Multi-tool does just a whole bunch of new and
different things pretty much every time we see it. So I
would definitely take my Multi-tool.
Victor Webster: I think I would have to take her super suit.
I donít want it tailored. I donít want anything. I just want
to hang it up on a wall and look at it.
Rachel Nichols: Oh, I thought you were going to wear it, but
okay. Good. I'm glad we cleared that up.
Victor Webster: Maybe every Tuesday. Maybe on a Tuesday
night, but thatís it.
Simon Barry: I would definitely take the CMR chip because I
have a terrible memory and I need as much help as I can get.
Jamie Ruby: Simon, how did you come up with the idea for
this series and how did the rest of you become involved?
Simon Barry: Well, the idea for me came out of a really
pragmatic approach to trying to get my love of Sci-Fi really
into a pipeline of television production that was feasible.
So time travel is a really great vehicle for that because
you can have a very large mythology in a big universe, but
still be set in the present day world, which obviously is
So it was a pragmatic decision at the beginning, but then
once the mythology and the characters starting coming
together, of course it grew beyond that into a much more
passionate process for me in terms of the many characters
that the show presents, and also just some of the bigger
themes that we are trying to explore in the show.
And then the first step was to find a Kiera, and we worked
very diligently to find the right person for this part. And
when Rachel presented herself as an option, we were thrilled
and jumped on the chance to work with her right away.
And once we had cast Rachel, we basically built the cast
around her, and Victor was a great fit and I canít really -
I'll let the guys tell you about it from their perspective,
but it was a very quick.
Rachel Nichols: My story is very long but yet very
interesting. One of my best friends in the entire world got
the script to me. She was the first person that reached out
with a script. She said, ďI have a friend and sheís got this
script that sheís casting and I hope I'm not stepping on
anyoneís toes, but I think you'd be great for it,Ē and she
sent it to me and I loved it. And - which is very
unorthodox. Usually you donít get a script from your best
friend thatís amazing that you immediately want to do.
And then my team was absolutely completely on board and they
loved the script, and they loved the fact that a friend of
mine had found it. We just went sort of full steam ahead,
and it happened very, very quickly just prior to the
holidays last year when we were closing the deal. Suddenly,
I was moving to Vancouver for five months on January 5th I
think it was last year. So, it was a very interesting
process for me. Unorthodox for me, but thrilling at the same
time. And very fast, so that was fun as well.
Victor Webster: Well I got a call on a Wednesday asking me
if I'd like to come to Vancouver to do a chemistry test with
Rachel, and I hadnít read the script yet. And I was a little
hesitant at first, and then I read the script and I was
Got on a plane for a chemistry test with Rachel on Friday
and then got a call I think that weekend that I would be
moving to Vancouver. And then, I think Monday I was on a
plane to Vancouver for six months. So, it all happened
really, really fast.
Kyle Nolan: The first season finished airing over six months
ago in Canada. Whatís it like for you guys now going into
this brand new audience that hasnít seen the show yet?
Rachel Nichols: I think that itís one of the most exciting
things because it came out in Canada. It started airing in
May and obviously did very, very well and then went to the
UK for Syfy and did very well. And then the mechanism of
Twitter is fascinating because it just - you have access to
all of these people who want to know what you're doing and
whatís going on.
And I've had such a response from people all over the world
from the show coming out, and especially people in the
States saying for so long, ďWhen is it going to be in the
States? When is it going to be in the States? We donít want
to steal it or burn it or, you know, take it off the
Internet. We really want to see it.Ē And now everybodyís
getting their wish, including my parents who didnít have
cable until a couple days ago when they realized they were
going to have to buy it in order to see me.
But, itís something thatís been well received and I
obviously think thatís going to happen here in the US. And
so, itís really - itís something very exciting to think
about. And finally, the fans that have wanted it for so long
are getting exactly what they want.
Kyle Nolan: Rachel, in all of your scenes with Victor you
guys are always in the same room, but all of your scenes, at
least that weíve seen so far with Erik are all separate from
each other. Can you talk about the differences in working
with your co-stars?
Rachel Nichols: Oh, absolutely. Yes. Victor and I are always
together. I mean, I've got to do my own sort of - and
sometimes Alec being in my head is also in those scenes with
Victor. I'm sure it wonít come as a shock to you that
working with an actor actually in the room with you in a
scene is easier than working with someone whose voice is
just in your head.
But as far as Erik Knudsen is concerned, I've never met an
actor who was more of a giver because I work every day, and
a lot of - and Alecís voice usually works every day and Erik
Knudsen on the days when he was not working would come to
set and read all of his lines off camera.
What was really important for both of us because then we can
hear how the other person is talking in those scenes, even
if we canít see them and itís not just you know a script
supervisor just reading the lines. Because you know, Erikís
character and my character are very, very connected on an
emotional level. Heís the only person really thatís a true
ally that knows my story and can understand it, and he is my
Carlos is another version of a best friend for me, but he is
someone that I'm technically lying to every day, and thatís
very, very difficult for me. That storyline progresses
throughout the season. By the end of Season 1, there are a
lot of questions about how I'm going to be able to navigate
that very tenuous situation in the next season.
Joshua Maloney: Rachel, a few minutes ago Simon said that
the cast was really built around you. What was that sort of
like for you as an actress? And, what can you say about this
Rachel Nichols: It was really exciting. I've never been the
first person hired on any job ever I donít think. And you
know, I loved the script and I loved all of the characters
from the very beginning, and they immediately started
I mean my deal was done just prior to the Christmas holiday
last year, so I was home in Maine and they were just going
full steam ahead in Vancouver casting Liber8 and the rest of
the police force, and Inspector Dillon, and Erik, and Carlos
- I met - I think you heard I met Victor for a chemistry
read on a Friday and I think Victor was completely moved
into Vancouver by Sunday so that he could work on Monday.
It was the first time I'd ever had the opportunity to do a
chemistry read with someone who would be playing my sort of
best friend, confidant, my leading man. And all the guys
that came in and read were great. Very, very different but
great, and Victor was my first choice, which he knows now so
I'm not talking out of turn at all.
We sort of sat down after I tested with everybody and he was
a clear runaway choice. And so then that piece you know was
Then I - you know, I knew who some of the Liber8 characters
were, but I didnít certainly do any chemistry reads with
them, so I just sort of showed up on set first day and met
everybody and thought, ďWow. Theyíve assembled such an
impressive cast of characters that thereís no way the show
isnít going to work. Itís going to have to because everybody
Itís probably - itís one of the more interesting sort of
groups of people I've ever seen cast all at once, so the
fact that it was a part of a show that I'm on was great.
Joshua Maloney: When I look at your career and I think of
shows like The Inside and Alias, and even with G.I. Joe,
you've played a lot of law enforcement types, and I've
enjoyed watching you play that role. Is there something
about law enforcement thatís particularly appealing to you
as an actress?
Rachel Nichols: You know what? I like to carry guns and kick
butt, and I get to do a lot of that when I'm a law
enforcement officer, whether from the present or the future.
I think thereís something really strong and sexy about those
female roles and there arenít necessarily a lot of those
Also, I consider myself very lucky to have been able to take
on so many of those roles and to now have a fan base that
finds me completely believable and interesting in those
powerful action-oriented roles because theyíre so much fun
to play. And, I would like to keep doing them for a long
time to come.
Heather McLatchie: Was there any kind of chemistry test as
well with Erik? Because as Rachel touched on, thatís a
really key relationship because he is the only one thatís
pretty much keeping Kiera from going completely out of her
mind when she lands in the present.
Simon Barry: Thatís a good question. We never really felt
that we needed to do a chemistry read with Erik and with
Rachel because when we cast Erik, we immediately recognized
how good he was. And, heís an amazing find and an amazing
actor and just a great individual. Has a great soul and a
And because there was a disconnect, I think we felt a little
bit more confident about them not reading together in that
sense because there is that disconnect and this
unfamiliarity that we really embraced in the first few
episodes because they hadnít met. So from that standpoint,
no. The chemistry read we didnít feel was really important.
For Rachel and Victor though, I think it was important on
many levels, not the least of which was just Rachelís
comfort of knowing that this is going to be someone she was
going to be working with hopefully for many years.
And also for our partners at the broadcaster and the studio
level who really wanted to sense that there was something
going on between the two of them that felt like a good mix.
And, thatís something that you can really tell right away in
those kinds of chemistry reads. And, it just made
decision-making a lot more efficient.
Heather McLatchie:Can you talk a little bit about making
the show in Canada and setting it in Canada, and being able
to use a lot of ďthe farm teamĒ at home in a show like that?
How was that different from shooting a show with Canadians
and then pretending you're in the States, and then it gets
released in the states? This was really kind of a home grown
Simon Barry: Yes. Thatís funny. The process of making the
show was interesting because I had originally developed the
idea for the American networks. Found an opportunity to do
it in Canada. And then to my surprise, was offered the
opportunity to keep it in Vancouver, which is where I live.
So I had a built in relationship with a lot of actors in
Vancouver having lived here for a long time, and so it was a
pleasure for me to really kind of wade into that pool of
talent having a familiarity and understanding where a lot of
the great actors were hiding.
And so itís been great. I mean, Vancouver, because of the
amount of work that comes here, has developed into a really
strong talent base on many levels, not just with regards to
actors but directors, writers, producers. And so there was -
knew that there was a much deeper reservoir than people
appreciated, and the fact that we could be set in Canada was
just a bonus really.
I never really felt that the setting was ever integral to
the show or the story, but it was a very nice bonus to be
able to embrace Vancouver for Vancouver and showcase this
city, which is a character unto itself.
And so I really couldnít be happier about all of these
things coming together. And you know, with Rachel and Victor
anchoring the show the way they do, they set the bar high.
And anyone who shows up on Continuum knows that they canít
sort of phone it in. These guys work harder than anyone else
I've ever worked with. And everyone who comes to work with
us by seeing their example usually shows up with their best
Heather McLatchie: Because of the time travel aspect, what
Carlos knows about technology is different from what Kiera
knows, and is different from what Alec knows. Is it hard to
keep track of what you're supposed to know and what you do
Rachel Nichols: For me, I get lucky because I am from the
year 2077, so as far as all the future stuff is concerned,
I, A, know what it does; B, know when to use it; and C, know
that I have to hide it from everybody.
I do love the scenes where it get the opportunity to be a
huge dork, like the Bluetooth scene where I think I'm
wearing the coolest thing ever and Carlos basically tells me
that I'm a nerd.
I love the opportunities for that, even in - thereís an
episode where I - it becomes obvious that I've never seen a
horse in real life before. I think thatís Episode 6. And for
those things, I need Simon to tell me, ďRemember. Youíve
never seen this before,Ē or, ďRemember, this is new, or this
is your only concept of this thing in the future. And
remember, thereís no real clean running water.Ē And, I
definitely rely on Simon for everyday stuff, for everything
thatís in 2012 that I have never experienced before in 2077.
But as far as the futuristic tools, thatís sort of the nice,
close knit relationship I have with Alec, because heís the
creator of awesome. So it is fun, though, the moments where
I have to play absolute fish out of water learning to drive
a car, having never done that before.
And yes; provided that I have Simon to be my guide, I'm
Simon Barry: Yes, I can - I can just say that it is tricky
to track a lot of this stuff. But you know, the great thing
is that Victor and Rachel, and Erik to that effect, will
always sort of check in and say, ďYou know, is this...Ē -
sometimes, theyíre ahead of me. Theyíll go, ďWait a minute.
I shouldnít know about this because of where I'm coming from
or what my perspective is.Ē And I love that they are so
invested in sort of their characterís understanding of where
they are and what theyíre doing.
But sometimes, theyíre really as on top of it as the writers
Victor Webster: And thatís one thing that is great about the
show. Itís such an open line of communication and it like a
family where we can come and bring anything up at any time,
whether it sounds ridiculous or whatever the discussion is.
Itís just bring everything to the table and Simonís always
got a very intellectual answer for us, gives us something to
think about, and itís really good for us to be able to
process all that information and have that sounding board.
Tim Holquinn: I saw on Twitter you went on a helicopter
Rachel Nichols: I did. I've always, always, always wanted to
see LA from a helicopter, and a really good friend of mine
surprised me. So we took a helicopter ride out of Van Nuys
yesterday. And I have to say I've deiced that - well, I just
need to get wealthy enough to have a helicopter and someone
to fly me everywhere because it only took us seven minutes
to get to Malibu from Van Nuys, and then I donít know, five
minutes to go down the coast. So I think thatís definitely
the way I should travel in the future.
Tim Holquinn: Forget the freeway.
Regarding Continuum, your aptitude and affinity for action
roles has become well established now, and a common facet of
that is having a recurring go to stunt double that follows
you to various projects. Can you share a little bit about
your working relationship with Monique Ganderton, who I
understand doubled you on Conan, and Continuum, and I
believe Raze as well.
Did you bring her on to the show?
Rachel Nichols: I've been very fortunate. Ever since I was
Alias I've worked with some incredible and very impressive
stunt women. Shauna Duggins doubled me in G.I. Joe. I've
worked with Zoe Bell in Raze, but then also when I was on
Alias. And I first met Monique - and this speaks to her
I first met Monique when I was already in Bulgaria shooting
Conan, and her boyfriend was one of the head stunt guys
shooting the movie. He played the double for Stephen Lang.
And production did not really want to pay for Monique. They
wanted to hire someone very inexpensively in Bulgaria. And I
hadnít met her, but she thought, ďI would be a good double
for Rachel,Ē and just - she flew herself to Bulgaria to stay
with Sam in hopes that once she was there they would hire
her, which I was just blown away by.
Tim Holquinn: Wow.
Rachel Nichols: It was so impressive.
And the fact that sheís such a great double for me - she got
there and worked her butt off, and I'm sure was paid way
less than she was used to. But I mean, that kind of show of
desire to do a job and to do it well, and to do whatever it
takes to make me look good and make the movie look good. I
just thought -I've got to take this girl with me everywhere
Then I went to Vancouver and I was speaking with our head
stunt coordinator, Kimani, and he said, ďYou know what? I
think - I'm thinking of this girl Mo Ganderton. I think
sheís going to be great.Ē And I just sent, ďYou got to be
kidding me? Sheís the best. Please bring her. Please?
She came and she was up in Van with us and sheís such a
great double for me. Because usually, doubles donít
necessarily always match my exact body type, but Monique is
taller than I am and slenderer than I am so I'm thrilled to
have her double me.
So sheís great. And, I'm hoping sheís coming back for Season
Tim Holquinn: It was lucky it worked out so well then just
Rachel Nichols: Oh, yes. It was - it worked out by
coincidence. And then even when we were doing Raze, and that
was my friend Josh Waller directing it, and Zoe Bell brought
Monique on. Itís nice to know that whenever I need a double,
even if I'm not putting the name in myself if I donít have
the opportunity to, thereís inevitably someone that says,
ďCan we get Monique?Ē So thatís great for me.
Tim Holquinn: Victor, in light of your martial arts
background, and staying on the subject of stunts, I'm
wondering about your working relationship with Kimani Ray
Smith, who I understand is your stunt coordinator on the
show. Does he let you do as much as you like? Choreograph to
your strengths and so on?
Victor Webster: Well, he is. One thing about Kimani is that
I know he has in-depth conversations with everybody and
Simon, and really wants to figure out what is right for this
particular scene. I mean if you let Kimani go, he will give
you four, five, and six in one scene. Heís incredible, you
know what I mean? Heís just - his choreography is so
interesting and he uses the surroundings around him.
But heís also the type that choreographs to your strengths
and he finds the things that you can do well, and he really,
really choreographs around that and makes you look really
I prefer to do everything I can. Rachel and I, we pretty
much do all of the stuff ourselves, and then sometimes the
doubles will come in a do a few things. The majority of the
fights that I've had with Rachel, itís been her and I. So
when you see the actors on camera doing the action, I think
it adds a lot of depth to the characters and really draws
you in more, rather than just seeing the back of somebodyís
Kimani is amazing and such a talented guy, and weíre really
lucky to have him.
Tim Holquinn: Yes. The first two episodes looked really
Rachel Nichols: Thank you.
Victor Webster: Yes. Then it just gets better from there.
Just hold on.
Simon Barry: Yes. We stopped writing action. We just
basically say, ďKimani, do your stuff here.Ē And then he
always shows up with an amazing, brilliant, inventive fight
that we could never have come up with technically. So, itís
wonderful having him as such a key part of the team.
Tim Holquinn: Simon, did you have any favorite scenes that
you felt just came together most perfectly from those first
two episodes that John Cassar directed?
Simon Barry: Thatís a really hard question to answer because
I have a lot of favorites. But, I do think that in those
first two episodes, one of my favorite scenes, and I think a
lot of people would agree with me, is the emotional scene at
the end of Episode 2, which is where Kiera is sort of
contemplating being stuck in the present and facing the
truth of her situation.
I think not only did John do a great job, but Rachel did a
great job playing that kind of awful situation of
So for me, I know that that was something that came together
really well, but itís really hard to pick one favorite
because thereís so many different dimensions to the show to
pick one scene that really captures what the show is is
really tricky. But, I know that when we watched Episodes 1
and 2, everybody felt like weíd really found something
special in not only the story that we sort of cobbled
together, but also in Rachelís performance of that beat in
Jamie Steinberg: Rachel and Victor, could you talk about if
there was anything to their characters that they added that
wasnít originally scripted?
Rachel Nichols: Initially, Kiera was Kyle, so you know I
brought some anatomy with me.
Thatís a really interesting question because I started
thinking, ďWow? Did I?Ē And then I starting thinking, ďWell,
I must have.Ē And then I thought, ďWell, everything is so
collaborative that I am not sure which sort of
characteristics belong to which creator.
There is a large element, and Simon and Victor can both
attest to this. Thereís a large part of me thatís very goofy
and kind of clumsy, and I think - I donít necessarily think
Kiera was supposed to be that way. But, I think that part of
my personality lends itself very well to the fish out of
water situation, given the fact that I'm from the future so
thereís a lot of stuff that I obviously donít know about
So, I'd like to think that my own awkwardness is a good
add-on. But, thatís sort of the first thing for me that
comes to mind anyways, is kind of the goofy aspect of my
Victor Webster: No, but I agree with Rachel. I think that
one thing that we had was the relationships were there. The
drama was there. Everything was there, and there were
definitely some funny moments written in. And I think the
only thing really on my end was just bringing up a little
bit of that self-depreciating side, like the scene in the
elevator when heís locked in there, theyíre so great about
letting you really jump into your character and seeing what
And, I think that thatís something that we all worked on as
a family, as a team, is bringing up a little more of the
comedy. Other than that, I think that was it. Everything was
on the page for my character anyway.
Simon Barry: I think Victorís underselling it, and I think
Rachel and he both put their finger on it. I think these
characters really did come out of a great collaboration. I
love that Victorís giving me credit, but the truth is that -
and the other writers.
But the truth is that we kind of found these characters I
think in a way together, and it was really fortuitous
because as much as we - the writers and I would love to
think that we laid it all out, Rachel and Victor absolutely
- and Erik to that effect as well - actually all the actors,
they really did bring a very special quality to everyone.
I think that because the process moved very quickly and
because we all wanted to aim high and succeed, that that
creativity really pushed everyone into bringing whatever
they could. And we as film makers were very open to it. We
wanted it to happen that way. It was very organic and it was
And the truth is Rachelís right. She does bring her
personality in ways to the character that we never wrote on
the page, but that really brings it to life. And Victor does
have a genuine sense of self-depreciation and humor, and
also a kindness and a straightforwardness that we really
appreciated him bringing because it - I donít think it was
as clear on the page.
And, they really have defined the characters now in a way
that in writing the show we think of - more about what they
bring to the table necessarily than what we as writers have
brought to the table. And, weíre embracing those things that
I think we love and I think hopefully the audience loves as
well or weíll love.
Jamie Steinberg: Could you talk about what do you think it
is about the show that will really capture viewers?
Simon Barry: I think thereís a lot of ideas in the show that
are relevant to today, but that weíve kind of repurposed
through the prism of someone from the future. We do see the
world, our world, through Rachelís characterís eyes, through
And I think thereís something interesting about someone who
has a perspective thatís different who knows whatís going to
happen. And seeing our world through those eyes can
sometimes be a fascinating way to relook at our world. So,
thatís one element that I think is definitely intriguing.
I think audiences will also like just the straight up
thriller aspect of the show and the character dynamics of
the show. Thereís a real intimacy between the good guys and
the bad guys on this show thatís very special. And because
the time travel component links everyone, there is this
awareness that all of the characters share regardless of
which side theyíre on that really helps keep the show kind
of connected within the varying factions.
Also, I think Rachel and Victor have a point of view about
Victor Webster: Well, the one thing that I personally - one
of the reasons that I would tune is I like a show that makes
you think. I like to make a show that after the show ends,
you could sit there with your friends and you can discuss
the possibilities and where a show could go, and what did
they mean by that? And you know what if this happened? And,
I think we explore a lot of those in this. We answer a lot
of questions as much as we leave a lot of questions for the
audience to ponder.
And of course, me coming from an action background and
growing up doing martial arts, I love the fact that this is
a fast-paced, action-driven show thatís relatable. Itís not
too far out there, even though it is a sci-fi show. All of
this is within the realm of possibility. And, itís
So itís got aspects from so many different genres compiled
together and mixed up that thereís a little bit of something
Rachel Nichols: Yes. I completely agree with Victor and with
Simon. You get everything you want. Thereís that procedural
element. Thereís the sci-fi element. Then itís a heavily
character-driven show, and that sort of trifecta is very
hard to come by.
Plus the sci-fi genre is fascinating and wonderful because
it allows us to do so many different things, whether itís
something like a social commentary like whether weíre
talking about corporations and governments and things like
that. Sci-fi really kind of lets us as storytellers get away
with a lot. And, the built in sci-fi audience that always
enjoys that will love Continuum.
But the audiences from other types of shows I think will
also find something that theyíre looking for as well, and
thatís hard to do. I think Continuum does it very well.
Tony Tellado: I think whatís really interesting is that both
characters - both Victorís and your character, Rachel, both
have family elements. Could you talk about that part of the
dynamic of these two and how you will use that going forward
in the series?
Rachel Nichols: Well for me, the complicated thing with the
fact that I have a family is that I canít really talk about
my family. If I'm in a scene with Carlos and heís talking
about his family, Kiera canít exactly say, ďI know. You
know, my husband and son in 2077, I really want to get back
to them.Ē I mean, thatís not something that I can ever say.
And so, thereís definitely an element of scenes when for
Kiera when she hears Carlos, or anybody for that matter,
talking about family, especially Alec with everything that
he dealt with with his family. Obviously, Alec knows that I
have a husband and son in the future, but Carlos or anyone
from the year 2012 whoís not Alec, hearing them talk about
their family is - itís very hard for Kiera.
I think itís also very important that family is a big
element to the show because I donít want Kiera to be
wallowed in sadness of missing her family every episode, but
sheís got to think about them at least once in every episode
because that is the driving force. She may have realized it
and started to understand that she is probably in 2012 for a
purpose, but that never for one second means that her number
one goal isnít getting home. Thatís what - thatís where she
wants to go.
So I think the family aspect is very important because it
allows us to get to know the other characters and it also
allows Kiera to reflect on what her goal is at the same
Tony Tellado: And for Victor?
Victor Webster: Well, we havenít touched a lot about my
family, but thereís definitely hints and thereís things that
I've had to deal with myself as Carlos from where I've been
from, where I came, and my family situation that obviously
plays a big role in the reason that I became a police
officer and the driving force behind a lot of decisions that
I make in my profession on the show.
But I think we deal with family a lot on the show. Liber8 is
kind of a dysfunctional family in itself. We have our own
little family at the precinct with Inspector Dillon and
Rachel, and with Betty. In a way, itís almost like a few
different aspects of the way that we all deal with each
other, the way we would deal with families, and it reflects
you know our relationships.
But definitely, I think one of the biggest things is
Rachelís quest to get back to her family. And, itís such a
driving force - yes.
Simon Barry: Well said, Victor.
John Soltes: Simon, could you give an idea of you know how
far ahead you've thought about the mythology and the
timeline for the series? For example in the development
stage, you probably were really focused on the first season,
but now you have the second season. Are you really keeping
track of everything so everything fits in line?
Simon Barry: Yes. Itís certainly a full-time job managing
just all of the many threads of the showís mythology
introduces. And thatís half the fun too, I got to say.
When we started the process on the first day of the writing
room, we as a group all made the decision that we needed to
know two things off the top. We needed to know the rules of
at least our version of time travel, which was important.
And also, we needed to know where the show was going to end.
Because of the nature of television, you canít really
pinpoint that to an X number of hours or years, but you can
certainly aim high. And I'm an optimistic person by nature,
so I certainly built in the possibility that there would be
many years worth of mythology elements set up at the
beginning that could play out. But you donít want to get
ahead of yourself too far.
So itís this fine balance of knowing that the universe and
the mythology and the stories that you have, have many, many
stories within them. And at the same time, you want to keep
it contained so that the focus is on one major component
that is manageable.
So certainly into Season 2ís announcement, we started
opening that up in a way, which I think makes the show
better. But weíre always trying to stay focused on our
central characterís goals and obstacles. And, thatís sort of
where we can I think feel like the show is in a very safe
place, but also you know, gives us permission to expand
John Soltes: Are there any sort of inspirations or some
sci-fi that you've enjoyed before you signed up for
Victor Webster: I'm a huge sci-fi fan. I love all of the
Star Wars movies. I've watched TV shows since I was a kid
like Manimal, dating back to when I was in my early teens.
I'm a big kid now and my imagination is very vivid, so I
love shows that let me explore that and let me go out and
see all of that.
So anything to deal with sci-fi, space, technological
gadgets, super powers, I'm in.
John Soltes: This vision of the future in 2077 is pretty
dystopian and a little bleak, with the corporations and
such. Kind of Orwellian almost. Do you think that thatís
kind of where weíre headed?
Rachel Nichols: I think thatís one of the really interesting
things about the show. And the fact that the sci-fi genre
allows you to go to these places and have this idea of the
future and people accept it, and then they do ask that
question, ďIs this where we are headed?Ē
I hope not because I happen to really enjoy food, and
running water, and live animals. The future looks pretty
bleak as far as I'm concerned.
But you know, thereís a lot to be said for some of the
different events and issues that we take on in the first ten
episodes of the show, and I'm sure in Season 2 weíll dive
into even more.
But yes. There definitely is that recurring question of, ď
is this really where we are headed?Ē And what could we
possibly do to prevent that from happening?
Barbara Barnett: Can you describe the dystopic world that
you've created politically, atmospherically, for the year
Simon Barry: I'll start by saying that you know I think that
dystopia is often a relative term, and so in trying to
create 2077, I didnít want to create something that was
abjectly - you know, kind of oppressive in an obvious way.
I think that if you were to ask Rachelís character if she
lived in an oppressive society, she would say no. And I
think thatís kind of the point. Our Liber8 freedom
fighters/terrorists, if you will, have a different opinion.
And I think one of the great things that weíre trying to
infuse the show with is that you can have a gray area in
almost anything in the world as far as opinions go. And that
perspective has a lot to do with how we make judgments.
So as much as itís easy to paint the future with one brush
of dystopia, I think that thereís also a point of view that
thereís a process of evolution with society that tends to
develop on its own way that we as a society either allow to
happen or donít allow to happen. And when you're living in
it, you donít necessarily see it for what it is.
I imagine if someone from 1930 were to come to 2013, they
might find our world quite dystopic in its own way as well.
Because in a weird way, weíve kind of gone backwards from
the freedoms of the days of the Ď30s and the flappers in
And thereís a funny thing about perspective that is always
fascinating to me. So weíve kind of tried to create at least
a future that has one foot in storytelling and one foot in a
potential reality, and I think thatís what SyFy tries to do
always is to make people consider their world and look at
their world through hopefully a different prism.
Barbara Barnett: Absolutely. Things get very incremental.
And when you're in the moment, it doesnít - when you add up
those moments, I get that. I like the...
You had mentioned, or someone had, that you guys cover a lot
of different themes. Can you touch on what some of those
things are? It sounds like itís a very thought-provoking
show. The little bits I've seen of it certainly do seem that
But for people whoíve not seen the show what are some of
those things that you explore in that first season?
Simon Barry: I'll start and then I'll pass it on to the guys
because I know they have good perspectives about this.
But I think we just try to look at the world that we live in
- on every level. I think that society, breaking it down
into things like politics on a macro level, on a larger
level when you talk about social rules, behavior of
expectation, even love - even relationships. Technology is
influenced on all of those things. Politics in general are
all covered in ways, but always through a character
perspective. Itís never about one point of view. Itís always
trying to look at both sides of the argument and itís a
And I'll let Rachel and Victor take it from here.
Rachel Nichols: Itís interesting because there are many
different themes and some of them - I've said it before;
itís why I love the sci-fi genre is because weíre allowed to
get away with a lot more than you are on a mainstream
political show or an action show. Itís the built-in audience
has this skill set for belief of things that we say might
happen. Like we say might happen in the future. And, they
donít judge us or say that weíre being completely political
Weíre allowed to get away with just making guesstimates
about what the future is to become and who the people are in
2012 versus who the people are in 2077. And you know like
Simon said, people that would be back 65 years prior to
2012, if they ended up in 2012, what would they think of our
And, I think the theme is obviously things are always
changing, and sometimes for better and sometimes for worse,
and sometimes for much worse. But, thereís this theme of
family. And, that also is important for me because itís a
big part of my character as well.
And, thatís something that doesnít change. My whole goal is
to get home. Is to get back where I'm from.
But - yes. I think Simon puts it best, but - Victor, do you
have anything else you'd like to add?
Victor Webster: So one key thing that Simon mentioned is
that we may bring something up thatís thought-provoking and
we give the audience an opportunity to have their own
opinion because we give both sides of the coin. Thatís one
of the things that I like most about the show.
And like I said earlier, that I can sit back afterwards and
discuss with my friends is thereís a pro and thereís a con
to everything that we kind of bring up, and thatís what I
Barbara Barnett: This organization Liber8, which are the
terrorists in 2077, why do they go back to 2012? What is
Liber8ís perspective? What are they trying to do?
Simon Barry: What we learn in the pilot is that Liber8 in
the future are a terrorist organization from the perspective
of the future, and theyíve been condemned to death. Itís an
execution actually that sort of opens the show.
And what Liber8 manages to do through a conspiracy is put
together a prison break, if you will, but itís not the kind
of prison break that goes through a wall or a tunnel. They
are given the kind of technology - experimental technology
that allows them to basically set off a bomb that creates a
wormhole - a time travel portal if you will.
And so their escape is on the one hand a planned event, but
they arenít supposed to end up in 2012. They were only
supposed to end up kind of at the tipping point of their
future revolution. So itís a bit of a mistake, but they
realize very quickly that they can still change history from
the perspective of 2012.
And Kiera, Rachelís character, is accidently thrown back
Rachel Nichols: Right.
Simon Barry: So she realizes that their goals - as much as
she wants to get back, her ability to get home is
inextricably tied to stopping this group of people from
executing their mission, which is to change history.
Barbara Barnett: In the first scene I noticed William B.
Davis, the cigarette smoking man - he will always be the
cigarette smoking man to me, with a little smile on his
face. What is his role in the show with his character?
Simon Barry: I'm going to pass on that question because it
is kind of a great reveal in the first episode and I donít
want to spoil it for anyone.
Read my review of Continuum
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