Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 1 Blu-ray 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. Even the special effects are 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. The Pilot episode is was 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), Brian Austin Green (Derek Reese), 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 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 fills that role very well. Heady has the motherly emotions as well as the badass Linda Hamilton character, and will do what is needed to save her son. The writers have also played on the motherly aspect. A lot of this shows success has rested on Heady’s shoulders, and she has made this new version of Sarah Connor her own. 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 can be compared to Arnold’s T-1000, but they are pretty much very different characters. The writers have even taken parts of T3 into consideration with this too (Arnold became very emotional for a “machine” in the warehouse with John Connor). This is the kind of evolution of the machines over time of this series as Glau showed emotion in a few episodes. The surprise addition of Brian Austin Greene was a surprise, but it was one of the better moves as he helped uplift the show a notch.
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 (Richard Jones) trying to go after Sarah for the destruction of Skynet from T2. This series has a lot of interesting story elements.
The picture quality for ‘TSCC’ is just right and while it isn’t the most pristine transfer on the face of this planet, it adds to the grittiness of the series. I can add that it is much better than the broadcast of this series on FOX when it originally aired. There are some spots where if there is bad CGI, it becomes even more apparent. The sound quality is one area I wasn’t too happy with since it is a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and the soundfield during explosions and gunfire just didn’t sound as loud. During the dialogue scenes, I also had to put up the volume a bit on this than normal, which I dislike when films are engineered this poorly in the sound department. Wonder what Warner engineers were thinking.
If you are a fan of ‘The Terminator’ franchise, I highly recommend that you pick up or even give this first season a rental. You will be very surprised at what a great job the writers did with a show that had a little bit of help from the writer’s strike to make it even more popular.