Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles

I’ve been a fan of the Terminator franchise since I first saw T2: Judgement Day back in 1991.  It pretty much dominated my attention for several years.  I read the comics, watched the movies repeatedly, drew dozens of Terminators in my high school notebooks- I was hooked.

Then came T3.  Anyhow, Fox has brought about Terminator – TSCC.  After watching the pilot, I must say this show displays outstanding potential.  Maybe it could even be the next Smallville.  Lets not get ahead of ourselves tho.

For starters, the effects are quality, the acting is satisfactory, and thus far the plot is rushed but true to the Terminator universe.  Sarah?  I can understand they needed to play down the borderline psychotic she was in T2, but I think they turned the dial a little too far from 11.  When she’s on – she’s ice cold focused.  Lena Heady plays the role perfect.  When she’s conflicted, she’s almost too conflicted.  She’s not the SC of T2, she’s more like the SC of the original Terminator – at this point I think that part of her personality needs to be throttled, if not buried.

John, good job.  Thomas Dekker successfully continues and improves upon his counterpart in T2.  He’s a little older, a little wiser, but he’s still a teenager.  I think some of the scrapper of T2’s JC has been lost, but hopefully that will come back as the series progresses.

Cameron?  The affectionately named Terminator and protector of John played by Summer Glau?  Well, she’s a Terminator.  She’s playing a robot.  Now technically speaking, the T-800 and T-1000 of T2 were logical progressions of the character – they had a bit more ‘personality’ for lack of a better word.  Any future ‘interceptor’ or ‘hunter/killer’ should do also be a logical progression.  I just hope that she doesn’t get too loose – we need to be reminded that she’s not human, she’s a reprogrammed killing machine, and as Skynet keeps sending these back they’ll become more convincing but not quite right.  Personally, I like Glau, I enjoyed her performance in Firefly, Serenity and The 4400 – and if anyone can pull off a performance that respects the Terminator universe and the character, she’s it.

I can’t see them keeping the amount of action as frenetic as the pilot, but most good series develop a steady pace to keep things interesting as well as avoid redundancy.  There are infinite angles to explore here besides just running from Terminators, and I am elated that they’re using ideas from the comics – sending back teams of resistance fighters, hiding weapons beneath the flesh, etc…  If I see a Terminator rip a gun from a resistance fighter’s abdomen, I might just stain the couch.

Overall, I like the idea of this show.  After the steaming pile of crap that was T3, the franchise needed some redemption and this is it.  It has a few quirks, but nothing catastrophic.  I feel if this show can be allowed to grow and develop, it could be a modern sci-fi classic.  That is, if Fox doesn’t fuck it up first.

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