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Erik Knudsen Talks Alec’s Arc and Winding Down Continuum [Exclusive Interview] 

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/Reunion Pictures/Syfy
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/Reunion Pictures/Syfy

Continuum wrapped up for our Canadian friends tonight, but in the U.S., we have one more week to get right with the reality that the series is concluding after four seasons. In tonight’s U.S. episode, “The Desperate Hours,” Alec was put through the wringer by Brad, and his quest to send Kiera home was seriously jeopardized. I had the chance to chat one on one yesterday with Erik Knudsen about Alec’s journey and the evolution of the show.

When Knudsen signed on for the series, he had no idea how large Alec’s story would become. “When I read the pilot, the show was called Out of Time, and I thought it was a role kind of like CSI [and I would be] the guy behind the computer who gives all the facts,” he recalls. “Fortunately, the writers are amazing and wrote this amazing character for me, more than one character for me. It’s fun to play the [computer stuff] but I was really lucky they got me out [into the field, too].”

Last season, Knudsen played two Alecs, and he says differentiating the characters was a mix of path and perspective. “We talked about it before we shot it. Simon [Barry] wanted to be able to tell the difference between both Alecs just by looking at them. We didn’t want to have an ‘Evil Alec’ and a ‘Good Alec,'” he explains. “We wanted the audience to root for both and see what comes out of it. We see what happens with two different choices. One Alec got greedy, selfish and just wanted to focus on himself and thought he was bettering the future by continuing Piron. The other Alec knew better…he saw the future.”

Photo Credit: Chris Helcermanas-Benge/Reunion Pictures/Syfy
Photo Credit: Chris Helcermanas-Benge/Reunion Pictures/Syfy

“It was very confusing because we had to go between [setting up] each character seven times throughout the day. It’s the same character, who has experienced different things One has seen the death of his girlfriend and wants her back desperately and the other one has just moved on and wants to shape Piron and make a better future. It was never [good vs. evil], it was just different opportunities that they’d been presented with.”

In the season three finale, we had the fatal showdown on the roof. Knudsen laughs that there were multiple Alecs for that. “That took two days in total. There were four versions of me. There were four stunt guys,” he says. “We shot that all on the roof, the whole fight sequence. Those guys actually went for it….rolling around the edge was the guys. The rest was us.”

Photo Credit: Showcase
Photo Credit: Showcase

“That was a very important scene. Kiera and Alec were kind of having a fight, and he says ‘this is all for you.’ They connect again and hug at the end. That was  a crazy emotional scene for us. It was different filming that season because Rachel [Nichols] and I weren’t filming a lot together [because of the characters’ estrangement]. I didn’t get to work with Rachel for while and then all of a sudden she came back on the set for that scene and it was nice.”

Earlier this season, we had a “last supper” of almost all the major characters, and Knudsen enjoyed that blurring of the lines between the sides as the series progressed. “When Kiera [first] gets sent back, we don’t even really know why or what she’s supposed to do. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do,” he says. “Everybody is fighting for a better future but nobody knows [what that is]. They all have their own motives, and battles.”

“[Finally], they realize that the future they want to shape is kind of mutual. Kiera wants to have her son in a better environment. Liber8 doesn’t want to be terrorists. They wants to live in a good, corporate-free word. We realize everyone is fighting…the same battle…and they team up and fight the proper thing that’s actually tearing down the future.”

Check back next week for part two of our chat, where Knudsen talks about working with Ian Tracey and William B. Davis, what to expect from the finale, and where you can watch him next.

Continuum finale airs next Friday at 11/10c on Syfy. You can catch repeats of tonight’s episode throughout the week.

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