TM & © FOX and its related entities. All rights reserved.

Terminator TV series

Terminator:
The Sarah Connor Chronicles

This month's SYFY Channel schedule

Sep 15 08:00 AM  What He Beheld
Sep 15 09:00 AM  Samson & Delilah
Sep 15 10:00 AM  Automatic For The People
Sep 15 11:00 AM  The Mousetrap
Sep 15 12:00 PM  Allison From Palmdale
Sep 15 01:00 PM  Goodbye To All That
Sep 15 02:00 PM  The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short
Sep 15 03:00 PM  Brothers Of Nablus
In the second-season opener (Samson and Delilah, 9/8/08), the wake of the Jeep explosion brings danger for Sarah and John, while Agent Ellis handles the aftermath of Cromartie's massacre. Elsewhere, high-tech CEO Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson) has big plans for her corporation.

Executive producers Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”), David Nutter (“Supernatural,” “Smallville”) and C2 Pictures (“Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”) bring to television an intense new drama based on the celebrated heroine of the “Terminator” movies: Sarah Connor.

At the end of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” Sarah vanquished the liquid metal Terminator sent from the future to kill her teenage son, John. Sarah and John now find themselves alone in a very dangerous, complicated world. Fugitives from the law, they are confronted with the reality that still more enemies from the future, and the present, could attack at any moment.

THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES reveals what happens when SARAH (Lena Headey, “The Brothers Grimm,” “300”) stops running and goes on the offensive against an ever-evolving technological enemy bent on destroying her life, and perhaps the world. Her son, 15-year-old JOHN CONNOR (Thomas Dekker, “Heroes”), knows that he may be the future savior of mankind, but is not yet ready to take on the mantle of leadership that he’s told is his destiny. John finds himself inextricably drawn to CAMERON (Summer Glau, “Serenity,” “The Unit”), an enigmatic and otherworldly student at his high school, who soon proves to be much more than his confidante – she assumes the role of

Sarah and John’s fearless protector. On their trail are not only threats from the future, but an intelligent and tough FBI agent, JAMES ELLISON (Richard T. Jones, “Judging Amy”), who soon becomes a powerful ally.

Directed by David Nutter and produced by Warner Bros. Television and C-2 Pictures, THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES represents an exciting reinvention of the “Terminator” franchise, in which the strong and intrepid Sarah discovers that protecting her son and stopping the rise of the machines is more difficult than she had ever imagined. 13 January 2008 at 8:00 pm on FOX.

CAST
Lena Headey as Sarah Connor
Thomas Dekker as John Connor
Richard T. Jones as James Ellison
Summer Glau as Cameron

PRODUCTION COMPANIES
Warner Bros. Television
C-2 Pictures

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Josh Friedman
David Nutter
James Middleton
Mario Kassar (1st ep only)
Andrew Vajna (1st ep only)
Joel Michaels

SPECIAL EFFECTS
Almost Human (Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV-series, Angel TV-series and the fantasy series Firefly) makeup designer Rob Hall (of the same 3 TV-series) invented a new type of 3-d bullet-hole "tattoo" for this new series

WRITER: Josh Friedman
DIRECTOR: David Nutter
All 1st-season episodes were filmed starting in July, so it was unaffected by the writer's strike. Filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, CA, and on the famous Warner Bros backlot where Gilmore Girls was filmed, the area that was used for seven years as Stars Hollow on that now defunct WB/CW series
Thomas Dekker (John Connor) says he has done "a lot" of action scenes filming the TV-series, especially in the pilot, enthusiastically recalling that while filming it "We were all hurt, repeatedly. There were only two stunts in the pilot I didn't do. Most of us did our own stuff, most of the time. I got shot in the back with flying metal, and cut my leg going... that kind of stuff. I like it though. They're battle scars." As for the new robot sent from the adult John Connor in the future to protect him, "The only thing that's different is that Cameron, unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator in the second film, she doesn't obey everything he says, so that's a slight switch on the level of things. I can't always get whatever I want from her... It's probably the biggest thing I'm allowed to reveal! ...She learns. She's a fast learning robot; she's the most advanced. She picks up on how to even trick us."
Have you ever noticed that Superman or The Hulk don't lose their clothes in a fight? When it's Terminator vs. Terminator in the pilot, clothes are too fragile to last long. Summer Glau says, "We were in Albuquerque and I'd never been so cold in my life. I had three different night shoots where I had to be naked. Three different nights where it was snowing and it was night shoots, so it was all night long. So I wasn't very happy about that, but actually, I saw parts of it and it looked pretty cool."
The Sci-Fi Channel says:
Sarah and a reluctant John pack up and take off, leaving her fiance without a word of explanation. He goes to the police, believing that something is terribly wrong. He soon learns how right he is when he meets James Ellison (Jones), an FBI agent who has been on Sarah's trail for a very long time.

Sarah and John settle in to a new home in Red Valley, N.M., and John starts at yet another new school. He meets a pretty girl named Cameron (Glau). She's friendly and he's drawn to her. Just as John begins to believe his new school might have possibilities, a Terminator finds him, and John barely escapes with the help of Cameron.

The Terminator captures Sarah and tries to lure John into a trap. But Cameron has been sent from the future to protect John, and she takes on the Terminator, giving John and Sarah a chance to escape. As the trio try to figure out what their next move is, Sarah and John learn that not only are the Terminators back, but nothing has changed. The human race still faces armageddon on Judgment Day at the hands of the Skynet Missile Defense System after it goes online on April 19, 2011.

Terrified of taking on the role of the future savior of the human race, John begs his mother to stop Skynet. That plea is one Sarah cannot deny. She knows she must somehow figure out a way to stop Judgment Day, not only to save the human race, but also to save John from his destiny.

She's back

Fox's new series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles begins in the Terminator timeline after the second movie, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and pretends the third movie never existed. That's a great decision for more reasons than that Sarah Connor dies before movie three begins. The pilot episode turns out to be one of the best pilots of the year, creating a one-hour mini-movie worthy of the movie series. And that's no small feat.

Josh Friedman's script doesn't waste a moment getting to the action. However, it isn't at the expense of the characters. And while the pilot is a terrific action piece, the second episode, "Gnothi Seauton," actually sets up the world these characters will live in.

Friedman has promised Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles won't be just a chase series, which would indeed get old very quickly. Instead of just saving John from being assassinated so he can lead the future resistance, Sarah is determined to save the world and stop the machines at all costs. It's a good proactive direction that promises to build us a world with a nice, complex mythology.

Lena Headey does a fine job of reinventing Sarah Connor, while maintaining all the edge Linda Hamilton, the original Sarah Connor, had in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Fresh from a very different role in 300, Headey is tough and uncompromising, but she also has fragile and loving moments that lead to Sarah becoming a well-rounded character.

As for Thomas Dekker's John Connor, he does an excellent job of defining a character who never seemed to be as well-realized as he should have been in the movie series. However, it's Summer Glau who has the toughest role as she turns her mostly expressionless character into someone we care about. Glau is a lovely actress with an otherworldly quality, and it is fun to watch her toss around men three times her size.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles takes us right back into the action with one of the greatest female action heroes of our time. What better series than this to take over for 24 while we're waiting for the writers' strike to end? — Kathie

The story so far

#10 Samson and Delilah, 9/8/08
In the second-season opener, the wake of the Jeep explosion brings danger for Sarah and John, while Agent Ellis handles the aftermath of Cromartie's massacre. Elsewhere, high-tech CEO Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson) has big plans for her corporation.

#9 I Know Now Why You Celebrate Birthdays
What He Beheld - The season finale ends with a bang, literally, as the Connor Crew tracks down the man who bought the Turk. Or at least, they think they've got him. The shows ends with more than one cliffhanger, so if this show doesn't get renewed, people are gonna be pissed. Daniel
#8 Bet You Can't Hack Just One
Vick's Chip - The Connors discover the T-888 was married to a woman developing a traffic network in Los Angeles, which they theorize could become Skynet's nervous system. Are they just going to destroy every computer network that could possibly become Skynet? Because that could take a while. Daniel
#7 One Screwed Over The Cuckoo's Nest
The Demon Hand - Sarah tracks down the T-888's severed hand, bringing her back in contact with good ol' Dr. Silberman. Cameron tracks down Dmitri to find out what happened to the Turk, and demonstrates that she ain't no hero. Daniel
#6 The Times They Are A-Changin'
Dungeons And Dragons - Charley gets Derek all fixed up (and we learn more about Derek through flash-forwards). And all Charley needed to get closure on him and Sarah was to find out she didn't leave him so much as time-traveled away from the killer cyborg chasing her. Daniel
#5 Hi-yo, Silver!
Queen's Gambit - Andy enters his resurrected chess-playing computer in a tournament. If he wins, he gets a military contract. He'll also get a bullet in the head, courtesy of Cameron. Daniel
#4 Heavy Metal Bummer
Heavy Metal - The Connor Crew finds out that Chrome Artie has followed them into 2007. So they go after him, but find another Terminator, this one stockpiling material to build future cyborg soldiers. John decides to turn some heavy metal into slag. But since he can't drive a standard, he almost dooms all humanity. Daniel
#3 If You Want Blood (You've Got It)
The Turk - While Sarah seduces a lowly cell phone salesman who may be responsible for the future near-destruction of all mankind, Chrome Artie seeks out a scientist to give him some skin. Daniel
#2 I Got A Boy And His Name Is John
Gnothi Seauton - Sarah's not sure about anything else, like who she is or who she can trust. The answer to the second question, at least, is "no one." Daniel
#1 Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Pilot - Sarah's son John is the best hope for all mankind. A cyborg has been sent from the future to kill him. Another one has been sent to protect him. Full review by Daniel at televisionwithoutpity.com
Previous on the SYFY channel:
Apr 14 07:00 PM  The Turk 
Apr 14 08:00 PM  Heavy Metal 
Apr 14 09:00 PM  Queen's Gambit 
Apr 14 10:00 PM  Dungeons & Dragons 
Apr 21 07:00 PM  The Demon Hand 
Apr 21 08:00 PM  Vick's Chip 
Apr 21 09:00 PM  What He Beheld 
Apr 21 10:00 PM  Samson & Delilah 
Apr 28 07:00 PM  Automatic For The People 
Apr 28 08:00 PM  The Mousetrap 
Apr 28 09:00 PM  Allison From Palmdale 
Apr 28 10:00 PM  Goodbye To All That 
May 5 07:00 PM  The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short 
May 5 08:00 PM  Brothers Of Nablus 
May 5 09:00 PM  Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today 
May 5 10:00 PM  Complications 
May 12 07:00 PM  Strange Things Happen At The One Two Point 
May 12 08:00 PM  Self Made Man 
May 12 09:00 PM  Alpine Fields 
May 12 10:00 PM  Earthlings Welcome Here 
May 19 07:00 PM  The Good Wound 
May 19 08:00 PM  Desert Cantos 
May 19 09:00 PM  Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep 
May 19 10:00 PM  Ourselves Alone 
May 26 07:00 PM  Today Is The Day - Part 1 & 2
May 26 09:00 PM  To The Lighthouse 
May 26 10:00 PM  Adam Raised A Cain 

Terminator 2

T2 "Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 7/19/91
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas

James Cameron, the genius who made "The Terminator" and "Terminator 2," figured out the whole secret to the eighties and nineties, the ultimate fantasy for Americans, and it can be summed up like this:
"I have to blow you away now, because I feel strongly that it's in both our best interests."
You see the beauty here? What happens in both movies? A bodybuilder guy drops buck nekkid out of the sky, sent from the future to waste our savior. So we have to KILL the Terminator before HE kills John Connor, the man who will save the world from nuclear destruction in 1997. (In part one he's trying to kill Linda Hamilton, but only because she's about to GIVE BIRTH to John Connor.)

So what kind of story does this set up? A story where, no matter WHAT you do, no matter WHO you step on, and no matter HOW MANY people you kill, you can NEVER BE WRONG. Because if you don't do what you have to do, THE WORLD WILL END. Because there's one person more important than The Terminator, and that's the person TRYING TO KILL The Terminator.

This covers all situations. Divorce? Sorry, babe, gotta save the world. Slow service at Denny's? You're delaying my mission, so I think I'll grab you by the throat, turn you upside down, and grind your skull into a Potato Mexicana Plate. Oh, you need to see my ID? Here--it's in the form of 200 shotgun pellets in your STOMACH. It's the ultimate way to say, "Your existence doesn't fit in with my career goals right now, so please act like you never existed."

t2skull image The Terminator is like Donald Trump. You don't really LIKE him, but you know EXACTLY what he'll do at all times. He has a goal. He mows down anybody between himself and that goal. And he'll keep repeating that same pattern until something drastic happens, like getting shot through the head with a Cruise missile and dumped into a vat of molten steel. After that, he MIGHT stop.

And with "Terminator 2," Jimbo Cameron figured out how to live out the Terminator Fantasy AND the Anti-Terminator Fantasy. You get to KILL the Terminator and BE the Terminator at the SAME TIME. It's GREAT. Ultra-super-mega-violence in order to create world peace. My kinda flick!

There have only been two sequels in the history of the world that are BETTER than the original. The first one was The Evil Dead II, which might be the greatest zombie flick ever made. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is the other one.

The flick starts out with two Terminators dropping out of the sky buck nekkid. One of the Terminators is on a mission to kill a child actor. But this is such a popular American fantasy that the director had to find a child actor who didn't look like, sound like or talk like a child actor. This was a wise decision. Let's say the Terminator had been sent from the future to kill Macaulay Culkin. You see the dilemma here? You start rooting for the Terminator. So he found this kid named Edward Furlong who had never acted before, and--BINGO--thousands of mothers at the Pasadena Children's Theater commit suicide, but WE can enjoy the movie.

This kid has a Johnny Depp hair curl down over his eyes, but otherwise he's normal, and the reason Conan the Barbarian is sent to save him is that, in 1997, there's gonna be a nuclear firestorm that will engulf the world, UNLESS this kid grows up and leads the human resistance against the CIA machines that have taken over and . . . actually, I don't remember this part very well, but the bottom line here is: Evil forces from the future want Edward Furlong to DIE.

So what do they send? They send a NEW kind of Terminator--a guy who normally looks like one of those post-modern sculptures in front of the Exxon Building, only he has a Gumby body structure that allows him to assume the shape of any human being or solid form, and he likes to make his arms into giant stiletto pool cues that punch holes the size of Milwaukee where eye sockets used to be.

Arnold the Barbarian, the OLD Terminator sent to terminate the NEW Terminator, looks like his old self, the National Guard armory with legs that tried to kill Linda Hamilton in the first movie. (For those people that keep asking me the question--"How did Arnold come alive again for this movie?"--the answer is that the Terminator is a MACHINE, and so, in the future, they can build as many of em as they want to. Got it? Arnold is a DIFFERENT Arnold, but he looks the same, because he's a machine. I'm surprised I have to explain this stuff to you guys.) Only this time Arnold is sent to protect the SON of Linda Hamilton.

Obviously, Linda Hamilton is not so sure about this arrangement. Linda's been living with Central-American revolutionaries since 1984, learning how to use pump-action semi-automatic assault rifles, and when she wasn't doing that she was in the loony bin, pumping iron and trying to make the weirdbeard doctors think she was "normal" by denying that she ever saw the Terminator in the first place.

And then, in the plot twist that makes this movie the great sequel that it is, Linda becomes MORE OF A TERMINATOR THAN THE TERMINATOR! Arnold has to control her so she won't go totally nutzoid and single-handedly waste the entire military-industrial complex.

t2wrecker truck Nineteen thousand explosions, helicopter crashes, and motor vehicle chases later, we get the final showdown of the old American-style Terminator with the new Japanese-style hi-tech Terminator, and I don't wanna give it away, but I'd just like to say that once about every ten years somebody comes up with a completely NEW special effect that you've never seen before. This is the one for the nineties.

Twenty dead bodies.
Three motor vehicle chases, with motorcycle-jumping
exploding Mack truck
exploding copter
seven car crashes
Multiple biker-gang bashing.
Hand-to-hand Terminator combat.
Steel girder through the head.
Shrink-strangling.
Mall shootout.
Geek face-licking.
Knee-blasting.
Pay-phone bashing.
Back sewing.
Kung Fu.
Nuclear Fu.
Broomstick Fu.
Tear-gas Fu.
Liquid Nitrogen Fu.

Arnold the Barbarian, for saying "It's in your nature to destroy yourselves" and "I have detailed files" and "Hasta la vista, baby" and "I need a vacation" and "I know now why you cry, but it's something I can never do";
Linda Hamilton, for beefing up for the role, taking hostages at needlepoint, and saying "Anybody not wearing a two-million sun block is gonna have a pretty bad day";
Edward Furlong, for saying "Cool--my own Terminator" and "You just can't go around killing people" and (when he finds a cave full of hundreds of weapons) "One thing about my mom--she always plans ahead";
Joe Morton, as the computer nerd scientist, for saying "It's not every day you find out you're responsible for three million deaths";
Robert Patrick, as the T-1000 Terminator that looks like a post-modern sculpture with tentacles, for jumping through a plate-glass window into a moving helicopter;
and James Cameron, the director and co-writer, the only man alive who can say "I spent $94 million on this movie, and every cent of it is up on the screen."
Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out as many times as you can, along with Predator
Joe Bob's Mailbag
Dear Joe-Bob,
As I wrote to your publicity lady, I'll be there. Looking forward to it. Gonna drink some beers and check out the locals and keep doing it until we get it right. Besides, I've been looking for something like this to kinda enhance my literary reputation, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Seems to me like The Paris Review and The New York Quarterly, which have pretty much ignored me so far, will have to sit up and take notice when they hear about this happy crappy.
Well, you wanted me to list my five favorite drive-in flicks, so here goes:
Numero Uno: Evil Dead. Spam in a cabin.
Numero Two-O: Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ain't nothin' as good as Saw.
Numero Three-O: "Zombie." The spaghetti western version of Night Of The Living Dead. Chick with great garbonzas battles killer shark. Dead zombies come up from deeper down and eat the shark. Also a great eyeball-squishing scene. Make sure Wanda's not in the car when this happens or you're gonna have to get new seat-covers.
Numero Four-O: "Night Warning." Two very good garbonzas. Several slashings. And a spectacular head-removal. Also a very good picture to go to the head, buy popcorn, do the horizontal bop, etc.
Numero Five-O: "Blood Feast." This is an oldie and not exactly a goodie, but it is to the drive-in horror picture as we now know it as the Neanderthal Man was to the Cro-Magnon. Shot in four days. Main set is a Florida motel room. The main character, a mad Egyptian named Fuad Ramses who runs a catering service, carves up a lot of girls. Best exchange:
DETECTIVE: To your knowledge, did the dead girl have any friends?
LANDLADY: No. She only belonged to a book-club.
Not bad, huh? See you at the drive-in
Best wishes,
Big Steve
Stephen King
Bangor, Maine

Dear Big Steve:
You're the king, big guy, but
NIGHT WARNING?!
Anything you say, Stevie boy.
You aren't gonna believe what we got waiting for you. Even after you get it, you aren't gonna believe it.

[Stephen King is not only a friend of Joe Bob Briggs, King wrote the forward to "Joe Bob Goes To The Drive-In" (1987, long out of print), titled: "This Guy Is Really Scary!"]

Terminator 2 is on DVD, which includes an alternate ending

Terminator 2:3-D (date unknown)

The three stars of the first two movies reteamed for the last time (Linda says she won't be in any more Terminator movies) for this alternate version of T2. Playing in specially-built theaters at the Universal Studios Tour in California and Florida, live actors are added to the footage on the screen, in which Arnold and the kid escape Robert Patrick (seen only in a cameo) by crashing through the time distortion that Arnold the Terminator arrived in, on a motorcycle - into postApocalyptic Los Angeles, where they're hunted by small flying killer robots. This version seems to be inspired by "Watch Bird", one of Harlan Ellison's favorite classic science fiction stories (in which the Government builds flying robots to identify & zap criminals by sensing their thought patterns, only to have the flying robots turn on Mankind. A radio version of "Watch Bird" was on NPR's Beyond 2000 series in 1999, introed by Harlan).

Colossus, the Forbin Project (1970

The Pentagon has turned over missle control to a computer named Colossus, hidden deep in a blast-proof mountain. When the computer starts refusing commands, creator Dr. Forbin is sent for, and discovers that Colossus has ideas of its own and has linked up with its counterpart in Russia. Colossus explains that Mankind can't be trusted to stay out of trouble. Based on the Colossus trilogy by D.F. Jones
Cast: William Schallert, Eric Braeden, Susan Clark, Gordon Pinsent. Though not a remake, both Terminator and John Badham's WarGames were clearly influenced by "Colossus." No relation to the science fiction movie "Colossus Of New York" (1958).

I used to know what the future was

Of course, the Terminator movies are in no way related to 1963's Outer Limits episode Soldier by Harlan Ellison
"An ultimate future soldier created only to kill (Michael Ansara) finds himself in the 20th century, and protects Lloyd Nolan's family from a similar enemy soldier who also came back through time."

Terminator is sometimes seen on AMC (American Movie Classics), which notes the following on their website:
Similarities between The Terminator (1984) and earlier short stories ("Soldier," "Demon With a Glass Hand," and reportedly, "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream") by science fiction writer Harlan Ellison prompted a lawsuit that resulted in Ellison receiving on-screen acknowledgment."
You will note that one of the characters is named Ellison.
The TV Character "Cameron" is a tribute to James Cameron, who directed the first two Terminator movies.

Back to Monstervision
or onward to
Monstervision review & host segments for Conan the Barbarian
at
Scifans

Terminator 2 review ©1991 Joe Bob Briggs.com. All Rights Reserved
Rest of page © Bill Laidlaw. Grab the guns, I'll make pancakes.