The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a genuine surprise in the 2007 TV line-up, being both innovative and intriguing while operating within the tight constraints of a previously pre-defined timeline.
I initially watched it out of curiosity as to how they’d make this interesting, based on the fact that the third Terminator movie tell us that John Connor doesn’t die, and does go on to lead mankind in a future war against the Skynet and its Terminators.
But soon I’d forgotten these were even issues, as the TV show began to take its own track, somewhat different from Terminator lore.
The events portrayed here happen between the second and third movies, when Sarah and John move around the USA pursued by cyborgs from the future sent to destroy mankind’s only hope. They’re aided in their survival by Cameron, a female terminator sent to protect John by his future self, and better able to blend into society than the difficult-to-ignore Arnold Schwarzenegger T-800 model.
For those that didn’t catch it, here’s your chance with the three-disc DVD release of this (writers’) strike- truncated season, with just nine episodes. Given the chance to see them again the progression of this series is impressive. It starts a little clunky, but soon it’s gets its hyperalloy combat chassis up to speed, and by episode nine, it genuinely rocks.
There are excellent performances by British Actress Lena Headey as Sarah and Summer Glau as the implausibly svelte female Terminator Cameron, and these serve as a solid anchor for plot development. But I actually think Chronicles‘ real strength lie with the less profiled rolls, especially Richard T. Jones as FBI Agent James Ellison and Brian Austin Green as ‘Derek Reese’, brother of Kyle – the future freedom fighter sent back in time in the original Terminator movie, who is also John’s father.
If you’ve seen the show, what’s extra in here for you? Very little, to be honest. The first disc has four deleted scenes: three from the pilot and another on the second disc. The third discs contain nothing more. Disappointingly there are no documentaries or commentary tracks at all, zilch. In this respect the collection is a good purchase for those geeks that missed the show, but presents little excitement for existing fans.
We now have to wait till season two to find out if Chronicles can deliver on the promises it’s made, but I’m optimistic. How it might, or not, relate to Terminator: Salvation, the McG movie, is anyone’s guess. Perhaps not at all…?
As Cameron might say, The Sarah Connor Chronicles is ‘tight’, and certainly worth seeing if you like the Terminator universe. Even if they couldn’t be bothered to find any supporting material other than four deleted scenes to flesh out this metal endoskeleton.
This three disc collection has an RRP of £29.99, but can be found much cheaper I’m sure.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles is released on the 11th of August.