Vancouver, BC, has been many things in the movies, but seldom itself. Many movies have been shot there, pretending to be some other location, usually in the USA. Here is a television series that makes no bones about it. It’s Canadian, it’s set in Vancouver in 2012 and 2077, and I like that. It’s a lovely city, one of my favorites.
The premise is that in the future, traditional elected governments have collapsed and governance has been taken over by huge corporations. Nothing new in that; we’ve seen that scenario many times. There is a resistance movement, Liber8. Like so many revolutionaries, over time they have morphed into something that is just about as bad as what they are fighting. They are willing to blow up a huge building full of innocent people in order to get at the corporation. The ringleaders are caught and are about to be executed, when they pull a rabbit out of a hat in the form of time travel. Seven of them and a cop named Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) are sent back sixty-five years, arriving with a bang that knocks down a freeway overpass.
As the story progresses the main interest, for me, is her increasing ambivalence about Liber8 and the cops and the future. After all, she can see the roots of the oppressive system she works for in 2012 Vancouver, where things are already beginning to get violent. I myself support the political fight against the monster corporations, and against the 1% of the wealthy who are getting richer as the 99% get poorer. But I’m not ready to support blowing up stuff. Stopping acts of terrorism was Kiera’s main objective in 2077, too. She hadn’t really given a lot of thought to the folks she was protecting, the powerful scum who controlled everything.
The chief source of her angst is the fact that she has a young son in the future, so all her efforts are turned toward finding a time machine that will return her to him. She has a lot of physical and perceptual enhancements that enable her to get in contact with a young genius, Alec Sadler (Erik Knudsen), who, ironically, is one of the people who will become a corporate leader in the future. She manages to get herself into an anti-terrorism task force with the VPD by claiming to be a member of a super-secret force called Section 6, which she can more or less back up with hacked computer records. But the story is wearing thin, as some in the force are beginning to doubt her story. She is partnered with a handsome hunk, Carlos Fonnegra (Victor Webster), who is basically clueless as to how she does the unlikely things she does, until the middle of the second season, when she has to reveal her origins.
So there are a lot of things going on. Her search for a way home. Her relationship with the teen genius. The machinations and atrocities committed by the Liber8 killers from the future. The suspicions of a federal agent, and a mole within the police department. It has all developed quite well, and the only thing I don’t like about it is something one just has to put up with these days. Most episodes include a massive gunfight where no one can hit anything, no matter how many bullets they fire from automatic weapons. I just ho-hum my way through these until the story resumes again.