|Rachel Nichols with creator Barry on the set of Continuum|
Continuum, the new Showcase drama which premieres tonight, starts off in the near future–the year 2077. When I met creator/executive producer Simon Barry in March on the Vancouver set of the series, however, we wound up talking more about the past.
|Cassar (between Nichols and Victor Webster) shamelessly
sports Leafs garb on the Vancouver set of Continuum
For Continuum, Barry wrote three of the ten scripts with Jeff King (Due South, E.N.G., Shattered) brought in to set the table and get the series on its feet. “I got very lucky that Jeff King came on board,” says Barry, who knew networks would be very reluctant to let a rookie producer run his own show. King acted as both original showrunner and mentor, handing the series over to Barry when he had to move on to other projects.
The series is developed and produced by Reunion Pictures in association with Shaw Media. Instead of a pilot, Shaw went ahead and ordered 10 first season episodes.
Casting the right woman for the lead was key, they all agreed. Cassar, King and Barry had to move fast when Showcase put a hurry up on the series. To play a cop from the future who is sent back to 2012 along with a gang of terrorists, the producers knew they needed a very specific type. “We went through the top female actors in the world who might be capable of pulling this off,” says Barry.
Rachel Nichols auditioned for the part in New York. Barry admits he was really only familiar with her feature work in Star Trek and G.I. Joe art the time. He and the others went back and watched her on Criminal Minds and Alias. “We realized she was a great talent who could hit all the numbers we were looking for,” he says. “Once we had her on place, we could cast everyone.”