A law enforcement agent in corporate-dominated 2077, Kiera was unexpectedly dragged back to 2012 when the radical freedom fighters Liber8 fled to the past in order to alter the future. Ever since, she's struggled to uncover a way back home while also tracking down Liber8 and keeping them from influencing the timeline. Right now, that ruthless and fanatical group has the upper hand on Kiera.
It's a crisp mid-March morning, and the "Continuum" cast and crew are currently filming their 11th episode. They're on location today, with the top floor of a downtown Vancouver building serving as the interior of a semi-demolished warehouse. The place is in shambles with debris on the floor, damaged walls and a thick layer of dust coating the surfaces. The scene currently being shot involves Kiera, members of Liber8 and a mysterious stranger. Beyond that, the details and dialogue are considered major spoiler territory. Indeed, there's a big bombshell that gets dropped, so nothing else can -- or will -- be disclosed.
But in between takes and rehearsals, Nichols, along with co-stars Omari Newton and Luvia Petersen, spoke to HuffPost Canada TV about the show's time anomalies and their characters' motivations and uneasy alliances.
When viewers last saw Kiera, things were pretty dire. After snatching the time traveling device which Kiera intended on using for herself, Alec (Eric Knudsen) disappeared into the past. To make matters worse, Kiera, Kellog (Stephen Lobo) and Liber8 were then imprisoned in glass cells by the enigmatic Freelancers. The Season 3 opener finds Kiera breaking out of her unique confinement, but the question remains: how?
"Do I escape? Am I let out?' That I'm not going to tell you," says Nichols. "But, rest assured, Season 3 starts pretty much with Kiera finding her way to the same timeline that Alec went to save Emily (Magda Apanowicz). For a while, there are two Kiera Camerons and two Alec Sadlers in the same timeline. Sadly, one of the Kieras ends up dead."
In a separate interview, Petersen elaborated on the drastic measures required to get free.
"We pick up Season 3 where Alec has taken things into his own hands and there's some time shifts," explains Petersen. "What ends up happening is Kiera and Garza have to put aside their differences in order to work together to get out of the Freelancers' cell. It's an interesting relationship, which is peppered throughout the season."
While uneasy alliances are forged, Kiera's other friendships begin to crumble. Alec manipulated and betrayed her. Kiera's tunnel-vision and extreme measures put her on thin ice with Detective Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster). When the three of them finally reunite, those trust issues aren't easily forgotten.
"It's very difficult," agrees Nichols. "It's a very fine line to walk. In the beginning of the season, Kiera's basically told she's going to have to choose which Alec Sadler lives and which Alec Sadler dies, because there can't be two Alec Sadlers in one timeline. Would she have had to come to that own conclusion about herself and the other Kiera had they both been alive in the same timeline? Yes. There can't be two of the same people in the same timeline.
"So, her struggle is, 'Well, there's the Alec who betrayed me, that went back in time. Then there's the Alec who hasn't gone back in time,'" says Nichols. "It's a big battle for her. Does she trust the one who betrayed her? Or, does she trust the guy who hasn't gone back in time yet and betrayed her? A decision is made relatively quickly. Is it the right decision? There will be one less Alec at the end of Season 3, I believe.
"As for Carlos, everything seems to be fine and then Kiera, believe it or not, has to do something that's harder than telling him that she's from the future," she continues. "She has to show him her dead body. She can't dispose of it on her own. That is so much harder for him to deal with than being from the future. That puts a huge wedge between them because he's like, 'I don't trust you. You're not the original. That's the original.' He ends up forging a bond with Alex over that. Kiera is even more of a lone wolf cause now Carlos and Alex are being buddy-buddy. She's very much alone."
"Continuum" has successfully further expanded its mythology with the introduction of the Freelancers. These mystifying regulators monitor the timeline and punish those who dare tamper with it. Lately, their sight has been set on Kiera and Liber8.
"Even I didn't know who they were at the end of Season 2," admits Nichols. "I was like, 'Who are these guys? Are they time travellers? Are they bad? Are they good?' We find out more about the mythology through them. They maintain the timeline. They fix the glitches. They get sent back to fix having two Alecs in our timeline.
"The other interesting thing you learn is the futures they come from are not 2077," Nichols says. "Some of them are before that. Some are later. All of them have a different future they live in. It opens up this idea of, 'Well, then who is enacting change?' If they are coming from 2032, and if they have a completely different future than what we remember from our history lessons from 2077, is that because of what we're doing here and now? It makes you really think. It makes you wonder.
"In the explanation I get from one of the Freelancers, it starts to make sense," adds Nichols. "There is an alliance there, although Kiera's trust issue comes from, 'Well, which future are you preserving, you Freelancers? Do you know which one you're preserving or do you not know? And is it the future I want? Is it a better future? Or is it the same crappy future that I came from?' You have to trust them in certain situations, but after Alec betrayed her, Kiera's back is up. She's not going to trust anyone. It's her against the world sometimes."
"We're [Liber8] no longer the 'bad guys,'" offers Newton about the Freelancers' presence. "There are new players, these new kids on the playground. We don't know who the hell they are or what side they are playing. It's a new element of danger, but also Liber8's leashes have been loosened a little bit because we know that Kiera has to deal with these new players. It allows us to do things, or get away with things, because we're not the main focus."
The creative team enjoys incorporating a yearly theme. Season 1 was all about getting home. Season 2 emphasized responsibility, actions and reactions, and how it affects the future. Nichols feels the theme for Kiera this year revolves around "For the greater good."
"There's this realization Kiera's trying to preserve the 2077 that she left, just for her husband and son, and that's quite selfish," explains Nichols. "The 2077 she left, she's learned being here, is a pretty crappy future. If she's trying to preserve it for two people, rather than try to affect change here to make the future better for all of humanity, it's a selfish move. Is it still impossible and very difficult for her to say, 'OK, I'm going to stop trying to get home right now and make things better here?' Of course. Is she saying she's never going to get back? No. But it is for the greater good. She has decided that she needs to stay here and try to work towards a better future, which may or may not have her actually work with Liber8."
Newton has his own thoughts on what is driving Season 3's arc.
"This season definitely deals with the idea of destiny, or pre-destination," Newton says. "They really explore the conundrum that comes up. 'Is there one future thread or alternate ones?' This season really asks those questions about what happens to the time continuum if you start messing with the mast. What directions can it go in?"
"Continuum" will continue with its winning combination of science-fiction, character development and action. It's too early in the season to get into specific plot points, but before heading back to set, Nichols teased about what "Continuum" is building towards over the next 13 episodes.
"I do think the season is building towards one Alec Sadler," concludes Nichols. "I haven't actually read episodes 12 and 13, because I only read one episode at a time. I hope that it builds towards Kiera, and whichever Alec remains, becoming friends again. And Kiera and Carlos becoming friends again. And definitely Dillon (Brian Markinson), who used to be for the public, who used to be for the common good and now seems very much in the pockets of the corporations ... I think he's going to be at odds with not only Kiera, Carlos and Alec, but Liber8. It will be a very polarizing end, with a clear line drawn in the sand."
You can watch "Continuum" Season 3 on Showcase on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.