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Feature: Primetime

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

The Terminator is back on the trail of the future saviour of Humanity in this new series that picks up where Terminator 2: Judgment Day left off…

Picking up the story at the conclusion of Terminator 2, this TV series reveals what happens when Sarah Connor stops running and goes on the offensive against an ever-evolving technological enemy sent from the future, bent on killing her son John and destroying her life.

“As far as I’m concerned, this series is Terminator 3,” says Executive Producer Josh Friedman. “This is a continuation of what I would call the Sarah Connor trilogy, so anything that happened after Terminator 2 is fair game to us. And I think the ending of T2, the killing of Miles Dyson, sort of changes the timeline for anything in the future. The decision to leap forward is both an aesthetic one, and story-wise will turn out to be an important one. There are reasons to come to this specific time, this specific place. It’s a show that’s about Time travel, but it’s not a Time travel show. And I think certainly we will see characters, both Human and less so, returning from the future to the present.”

Consulting Producer James Middleton adds, “We’re taking a phrase that is very important in T2, ‘No fate, but what we make,’ and this is a new fate for Sarah Connor, so we are creating an entirely new timeline.”

British actress Lena Headey, who has a lucrative film career, says she was quick to agree to portray Sarah. “The production value of television, especially in this country, is very high. In terms of being a 33-year-old woman who chooses to act, I really think there’s no greater role right now. It encompasses every emotional story you’re going to find in a life – you’re talking about a single mom who’s bringing up her son, who happens to be the leader of the free world in the future. It’s just very exciting to me.”

Also a fan of the franchise, Thomas Dekker, who plays John Connor, laughs as he concedes, “I’m a geek. I had the VHS box set for The Terminator when I was younger, so I was really excited when I heard they were doing the series. I think Eddie Furlong and Nick Stahl both played the role so well that it’s very much like watching the same character. I’m just trying to take the elements of that character and mix it with doing different elements, because of where he is in the story now.”

In this re-invention of the Terminator franchise, in which none of the robots resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger, the series introduces a new character, Cameron (an obvious nod to the trilogy’s director, James Cameron), a mysterious student in John’s class, who proves to be a trusted protector to him and Sarah. Summer Glau, who portrayed River in the series Firefly, and its spin- off movie, Serenity, portrays the updated Terminator. “I adore Arnold Schwarzenegger,” she says, “and I don’t know if I’m going to be much like him. I spoke with Josh a lot about how he wanted my Terminator to be. And we’re going to make it the most advanced model so far in her human traits, and that’s what I’m striving for.”

by Judy Sloane

Read the full feature in
TV Zone #223

Photo © Fox Broadcasting Co.
Feature © Visual Imagination 2008. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #223
Christmas 2007
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