For ten years actor Tony Amendola embodied one of Stargate‘s most heroic, most noble, and most memorable characters: the Jaffa Master Bra’tac, mentor to Teal’c and full of one-hundred-thirty-odd years of experience serving, and then fighting, the Goa’uld.
Today he plays a very different sort of character. Amendola is co-starring on the new Showcase science fiction series Continuum, now in its third week airing in Canada. There, he plays Edouard Kagame — the cunning leader of a terrorist group responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents.
“My character is the intellectual and spiritual leader of this movement called Liberate, which is a rebellion of a corporate takeover of the government,” Amendola said in an interview with SciFiAndTvTalk‘s Steve Eramo. “As always, the dilemma is when is killing justified or is there ever any justification to killing. Without getting into spoiler territory, some of the things Kagame does are quite extreme, and yet there is a sort of logic to it and a sense of trying to create, because I also see him as an architect or visionary for a better society.”
In the show’s opener, Kagame leads a group of eight convicts in the year 2077 to travel back in time to 2012 — the year of his own birth. Only a police officer named Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) may be able to stop their plans.
“In many ways my character is all about social change, and the thing is that I, Tony, can’t picture Kagame as an evil man, nor do I think he’s an evil man,” Amendola said. “However, given some of the things he does, he’s quite violent and operates from his own world or morality.”
The role also provided Amendola with a serendipitous connection to his many years on Stargate.
Images courtesy Showcase/Shaw Media
“I met [executive producer] Jeff King, who wrote the first episode of Continuum and, in fact, the script for the first episode of Stargate SG-1 ['Bloodlines'] that I was in way back in the first season of the show.”
“I have to tell you that Simon [Barry, executive producer] has created a truly mind-bending TV series. There are a lot of surprises, and just when you think you know who the bad guys are or who’s manipulating who, you find out that there’s this whole other level. Simon is very careful, too, about what information he gives you so that you aren’t ahead of your character. That makes for a very tricky deal and a strange kind of trust as well. It’s sort of a wonderful opportunity not to know too much so you don’t end up even unconsciously playing something out that you shouldn’t, if you know what I mean.”
New episodes of Continuum air Sundays at 9 p.m. E/P on Showcase in Canada. The series is off to a good start in Canada, with its premiere drawing 1.7 million viewers over two airings, making it the network’s top scripted specialty drama episode this year in several demographics.
We’re still waiting for word on a U.S. network that may pick up the rights to air the series. Stay tuned!
Be sure to read the full interview now at SciFiAndTvTalk! Tony Amendola will be featured in the June 17 episode, the series’ fourth installment.