January 9, 2008

I've Seen the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Pilot

The past weekend, Fox teamed up with Yahoo TV to give everyone an early look at the new science fiction series. I was curious and decided to take a peek. I'm glad I did; although I was disappointed that they were not offering it with a full screen option. I had to settle for watching it in a little window, and at a low bit rate. I guess they want to make sure that people will still tune in to the television premiere to see it a little better. Anyway, I liked it. I am not sure exactly how it will fit into the timeline that has already been established, but I am curious to see how the series plays out. Well, that is if Fox gives it some time to stretch its legs.

If you are reading this for spoilers, you might as well stop right now. Since there are plenty of people who have not seen it and I do not want to ruin it for them. Well, that and the fact that it has been a couple of days since I've seen it and many specifics have already departed my sieve-like mind. Besides, I am looking forward to the television broadcast, as many of you probably are (apprehensively or not).

Let me start by taking a look at the cast. Stepping into Linda Hamilton's sizable shoes (meaning her importance, not her actual shoes which I have no idea the size) is Lena Headey. She is coming off her starmaking performance as Queen Gorgo in 300 (I know she has done many other things, but she gave a strong performance that got her noticed by a much larger audience). Her performance in the pilot is quite good, although a bit softer than Linda Hamilton on the big screen. Taking over for Edward Furlong as John Connor is Thomas Dekker, whose highest profile role came during the first season of Heroes. I think he looks good for the part, although I cannot say I got a good feel for his take on the character here. I am going to have to see the pilot again, and a few more episodes to see him develop.

Joining our main two on the side of right is a terminator (of course). It is a new model with some new abilities. She goes by the name Cameron and comes in the lovely form of Summer Glau. Hers is a name already familiar to geeks, having been among the cast of Firefly (and its spin-off movie Serenity) and a recurring role on the recently canceled The 4400 (where she was paired off with the always great Jeffrey Combs). She is a new model, charged with protecting John Connor at all costs so that he may fulfill his destiny as the leader of the resistance against Skynet. Summer has a lovely charismatic presence on the screen and isn't shy about getting a little physical when needed. I think she is going to do well on the series.

The pilot picks up with Sarah becoming engaged to a nice guy who knows nothing of her past, while John goes to school and tries to fit in. Before long, a new terminator shows up, willing to blow up or shoot at damn near anything that moves to accomplish his goals. This leads to the meeting with Cameron, and the eventual reveal of her true nature.

There is plenty of action, some comedy, and clever writing. I liked what I saw (and what I remember) and can only hope that subsequent episodes are as good, if not better. I also hope that if it does turn out to be good that FOX sticks with it. Their track record is not exactly strong in the nurturing department.

I know, not a lot of details here. Just trust me when I say that the pilot is good. It is pretty much what I hoped for and shows promise for the future. So, be sure to tune in Sunday January 13th at 8pm to catch the premiere episode!


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