Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles “Pilot” Episode Review
Being a huge fan of all three Terminator movies, I was excited and worried about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I kept on wondering since the announcement as to how the big screen adaptation would be translated to TV. At the same time, I kept on thinking to myself how can any of these characters even live up to the legacy that Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and even Edward Furlong have bestowed upon this series. To take this further, I kept on thinking well how many Terminators would be coming after John and Sarah on a weekly basis? Would there be a Terminator that was sent back in time like Arnold was in the movies to help John, but also a Terminator that would try to take him out? To further answer these questions, read on.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles takes place 1.5 years after T2 where Skynet has been destroyed. So for those following the timeline, this is between the events of T2 and T3. This is not an else worlds tale or just a branching of the main Terminator story, this series continues the story of T1 and T2 with a deeper background on the characters. From all the marketing and previews, even the special effects are going to be of top quality production. With top production values, and story-driven episodes, the production team is very serious about where they want to take this series. I will tell you that judging this show based off of two episodes, you’re not giving this a chance, and I see it evolving into something bigger overtime. The Pilot episode is being used as a way to educate non-Terminator fans about the Terminator mythology.
We have Summer Glau (Firefly and Serenity), Lena Heady (300), Thomas Dekker (Heroes), and Owain Yeoman (The Nine) as the main stars of TSCC. The main problem that many that aren’t open minded will have is having these characters portray their movie counterparts which is a real shame because all 4 of these actors/actresses are talented. Having 2 very beautiful women on this show doesn’t hurt either; Lena is a personal favorite of mine. For this to work, the cast has to make the character they’re playing their own. If they don’t create their own persona’s and just copy the big screen portrayals, this is a recipe for disaster. I think last night for the most part, as the show kept on rolling Lena and Thomas was slowly making these characters their own.
Now Heady may not appear as the kick your ass Linda Hamilton, but she is in between with persona. She shares emotions as a mother, and will do what is needed to save her son. If the writers can play on the mother aspect, they will have something that works here. A lot of this shows success I think rests on her shoulders, it comes down to what she makes of Sarah Connor that will impact all the characters/cast around her. I am glad that Dekker was chosen as John, he to me is further away from the Ed Furlong whiney character and much closer to Nick Stahl’s representation of the character. Summer Glau doesn’t have anyone to be compared too in terms of character, but damn did she play her role well. The possibilities with her character are endless which is going to make things very fun watching this show. I also like that we get her “Firefly” like persona with the dead looks on her face.
Only person that I still have my verdict out on is Yeoman as the Terminator. The first half of the show he didn’t look right as the Terminator, but then the second half it was toned down a bit giving him some emotions in the process. I wonder if their taking T3 into consideration with this too (Arnold became very emotional for a “machine” in the warehouse with John Connor). Maybe we will get some kind of evolution of the machines over time of this series.
TSCC starts off very explosive that turns into a dream sequence. I like the approach that is being taken here as it’s the Connors on the run as their always being chased by the Terminators from the future. In the films it was different; the Terminators would strike every few years. This not only gives Heady paranoia to work with which she has so far done well with, but also that they’re always on the look out for trouble making them smarter than the average person. Then throw in the F.B.I. agent trying to go after Sarah for the destruction of Skynet from T2.
I am looking at TSCC as more of a TV show that is going to build up characters and offer the depth that none of the other Terminator movies were able to offer in just 2 hour run times. By no means is this show a disaster like some are implying, it is a show that will mature with time as we get to know the characters. I think that one way that FOX can really help this show is by hooking in their viewers in from the beginning and then leaving them with some crazy cliffhanger like Prison Break that will make people want to tune into next week.