Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles

SF elements:

time travelling robot killers
[Sarah Connor]


9 x 45 min episodes

[The mother of all destiny]
season 1 review
[season 1 character lineup]

Sarah Connor and her son John are on the run from Terminators sent back in time to kill them -- and now it's a great TV series. It has all the big guns, darkness, big guns, great effects, and big guns of the films. The action is set immediately after Terminator 2 : it's not that Terminator 3 isn't canon, it's just now an unrealised universe given all that time traveller meddling.

It took me about half an episode to get used to Lena Headey, rather than Linda Hamilton, as the grim, driven Sarah Connor, but everything else is there: scary robots, very scary robots [a brilliantly expressionless Summer Glau], and big guns. Lots of action, with lots of angst, philosophising, moralising, and ethical dilemmas leavening that action, to make it about something, not just big guns.

This season was cruelly chopped in half by the writers' strike: let's hope it gets renewed.

Rating: 3
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 19 April 2008


22 x 45 min episodes

[DVD sleeve]
season 2 review
[season 2 character lineup]

We get a full season's worth of episodes this time, though with a mid-season hiatus to let things catch up. And quite a season it is. At the start, lots of running around and shooting (and John has cut off his floppy fringe, which is a great relief), then it quietens down mid-season somewhat with more convoluted conspiracy-style plotlines as different factions play out their own twisted little games, only to end up on a real roller-coaster with all big guns blazing. For several episodes, as the action and the unexpected plot twists played out -- as good guys turn out to be bad guys, bad guys may or may not be good guys, and everyone is just a bit more ambiguous really -- I felt I was holding my breath for the whole 45 minutes.

I was a little concerned at the start of the season that they had decided to give Sarah "softer" storylines, but unnecessarily. In fact, the main theme through this whole season is just how damaged both Sarah and John are, by what they know, and by what that forces them to do and be. The larger set of main characters allows the more convoluted plots, and the "flashforwards" to the pasts of some of these time travellers adds to the richness.

Fingers crossed for a third season! But if there isn't one, this season does in some sense "end" -- but only in the way that real life ends, with a continuing story.

Rating: 3
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 2 May 2009