Set after the events in 'Terminator 2' Sarah Connor and her son John, trying to stay under-the-radar from the government as they plot to destroy the computer network Skynet in hopes of preventing Armageddon.
A robotic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 20-year old drifter and his future wife from an most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.
This series is set after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). After the sacrifices of Dr. Miles Dyson and T-800 Model 101 Terminator, the Connors find themselves once again being stalked by Skynet's agents from the future. Realizing their nightmare isn't over, they decide to stop running and focus on preventing the birth of Skynet. With the aid of Cameron Phillips, a beautiful girl who has a mysterious past also linked to the future; Derek Reese, a Tech-Com soldier from the future whose past is linked with the Connors; Riley, a beautiful schoolfriend of John; and FBI Agent James Ellison, who was assigned to capture the Connors but joins them after his own encounter with one of the machines. They begin a quest to stop the United States military and a shadowy conspiracy from the future from creating the program that will stop at nothing to bring humanity to an end. Written by
FBI agent Ellison is named after Harlan Ellison, the science fiction author whose work on an idea similar to the Terminator story was credited in the first Terminator movie. See more »
[Season 2 Opening Intro]
In the future a computer program called Skynet will declare war on the human race. Machines have travelled back in time taking human form to terminate John Connor, the future leader of the resistance. Sarah Connor, John Connor's mother, teacher, and protector. Cameron, a terminator reprogrammed to defend them at all costs. Derek Reese, John's uncle and a commanding officer with the resistance. Together they fight to stop Skynet from ever being created. The battle for our...
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Despite what some others have said, the series with the too-long name DOESN'T "crap all over the movies" it was spun off from. It actually *builds* upon what has come before and expands the universe that was set up in the first two films (having the good sense to pretend as if the dismal T3 never happened). No, it's not quite like the movies, but that's a *good* thing (since this IS a series, and thus it requires story arcs that can play out over the course of a whole season).
As the infamous Sarah Connor, Lena Headey does one hell of a job picking up where Linda Hamilton left off. She might not be exactly like the movies' interpretation, nor should she be. This is a reinterpretation of Sarah Connor, and Lena gives it her all, doing the character justice. She fits the role well, is believable and manages to perfectly balance Sarah's toughness and leadership role with that of a protective mother who'll do anything to keep her son alive. She's edgy, she's intense, she kicks major butt, but also conveys Sarah's vulnerability (not to mention the weight of the world that she carries on her shoulders) in a nicely nuanced performance. Her portrayal of Sarah Connor makes you believe in this tough-as-nails mother and you're on her side every step of the way. I feel a bit sorry for Lena, though
the fact that she has to deliver those pesky voice-overs each episode
(as well as a ridiculously long "Previously, on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles..." at the start of each episode. Surely they could've shortened it to just simply "Previously..."). The voice-overs do wear a bit thin eventually (especially when Sarah's referencing something totally obscure), but then sometimes they're extremely relevant to the story and thus their inclusion is justified.
"Isn't there some guy? Some guy who's meant to save the world or something?" I hear you ask. Ah yes, John Connor. As the future leader of the human resistance in the war against Skynet, one might not have expected him to be so...emo. Thankfully, though, he's not TOO heavy on the angst. He's actually a damn sight better than both the whiny interpretations of the character that have come before. While he *does* still whine on occasion, he's much more accepting of his destiny than we've previously seen. It's great to see him learn and grow, as his mother trains him and teaches him life lessons in Not Getting The Human Race Slaughtered. Thomas Dekker admirably portrays the troubled young John, and his interaction with his mother is what keeps the series grounded. They have their ups and downs, but what comes across most clearly is how much they care for each other and that they would quite literally move heaven and earth to keep the other one safe. It's one of the strongest mother/son relationships in a series that I've seen a good long while. The excellent chemistry between the two actors is immediately evident, and it's because of this that their interaction on screen comes across as so believable.
As John's other female protector in the series, the multi-skilled chameleon, Summer Glau, proves to be the series' greatest asset. She brings considerable emotion and depth to what is...essentially...a robot. "What's a robot doing, showing emotion and depth?" you may ask. Good question. They explain this within the first two episodes. Cameron Phillips (her first name obviously being a nod to the creator of the franchise, while her last name may well be acknowledging the tool used to put her together on her 'built day' - the Phillips head screwdriver) is more than just a machine. We saw in T2 that Arnie was capable of "learning" things that John taught him, and this time around they've taken it a step further. Not only is she capable of eating chips and picking up lingo (her favourite phrase being "That's a tight present."), but she's also far better at remaining inconspicuous - when attending high school with John - than big old Arnie could have ever been. That's not to say that she doesn't come off as slightly odd to those around her. Almost everyone notices there's something a little 'off' about Cameron, but it's not enough to blow hers and John's cover as siblings.
Summer Glau continues to impress and show off her incredible range, bringing so much more to this role than one might expect. Just with her eyes alone, she conveys SO much. Her deadpan delivery of lines is what oftentimes provides the most laughs in the series, while her relationship with both mother and son taps into the heart of the series. Here we're presented with this machine...but what if there were more to it than that? Whilst she's regarded as one of the "heroes" of the series, Cameron never lets you forget what she was built for. Equal parts chilling and heroic, Cameron is an integral part of the show.
The series shows great potential with its story lines and looks to be expanding the universe even further in Season 2. The first season (which was tragically cut short by the writers' strike) showed a lot of promise and will hopefully only get better as the series continues. If you are willing to accept the fact that this is a different animal to the movies, you should be able to sit back and enjoy.
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