Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Battlestar Galactica taught us that creating a slave race of robots inevitably leads to mankind’s destruction. The Matrix revealed that sentient machines will create a simulated reality to turn humanity into hibernating zombies. And now Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles goes further and insists that all artificial intelligence, from Pong to Carol Vorderman, needs to be throttled at birth with its own umbilical cord for the human race to have any kind of chance of survival. Cyberphobia is rampant up in this bitch. Spinning off directly from the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Sarah Connor Chronicles finds Sarah (Lena Headey) and John Connor (Thomas Dekker) partying like it’s 1999 because, well, it is.
"Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles goes further and insists that all artificial intelligence, from Pong to Carol Vorderman, needs to be throttled at birth with its own umbilical cord for the human race to have any kind of chance of survival. Cyberphobia is rampant up in this bitch."
And check this: there’s a new rebranded Judgment Day around: April 19, 2011 – the droids made it so chiefly to avoid the London Olympics and you can have some sympathy there. And Skynet have sent back terminators in time to KILL John Connor to DEATH to stop him leading the future human resistance.1
So yeah, it looks like John’s goose is cooked. But wait. He is protected by an impossibly sexy reprogrammed Terminator Cameron played by Summer Glau. What a marvellous piece of metal pie Glau is. Aerial Telly has been a fan since Firepie and on Sarah Connor her clothing is permanently set to teenage slutbag baby, listening to iron filings baby. It’s no surprise that as the series progresses John struggles with his feelings for Cameron; principally the feeling that he wants to put his cock in her and make her his own personal Buffybot. But later for that shit.
"Aerial Telly has been a fan of Glau since Firepie and on Sarah Connor her clothing is permanently set to teenage slutbag baby, listening to iron filings baby."
The pilot sees Sarah, John and Cameron thrown forward to 2007 to fight Skynet and Sarah has to leave Ryan O’Reilly from Oz who has been putting his cock in her for some time. Sucks to be you, O’Reilly. They are also followed by Cromartie, the T888 initially sent to kill them in 1999. Cromartie is played by Garret Dillahunt who is one of Aerial Telly’s favourite actors. He plays the coward killer Jack McCall in Deadwood. He plays psycho killer Mr Wolcott, also in Deadwood. He plays psychobastard killer Roman Nebekov in Life. He’s into all kinds of shit. He plays more killers than Beaver from Veronica Mars and if you say he’s being typecast he’ll probably kill YOU. He’s a fine thesp in any case. And Cromartie is kickass. It’s almost like he was BORN TO KILL.
"Ellison who starts out as a fearless pursuer of the crazy bitch Sarah ‘Connor‘ who believes ‘robots’ from the ‘future’ are ‘coming’ to ‘kill’ her ‘son’ and ends up discovering that the crazy bitch had a point about the killer robots when he witnesses some of Cromartie’s handiwork"
The trio also hook up with Derek Reese (Brian Austin Green), John’s uncle and a grizzled and totally hot veteran of the future robowars set from the future to oh you know the rest. There’s also FBI Special Agent James Ellison (Richard T. Jones) who starts out as a fearless pursuer of the crazy bitch Sarah "Connor" who believes "robots" from the "future" are "coming" to "kill" her "son" and ends up discovering that the crazy bitch had a point about the killer robots when he witnesses some of Cromartie’s handiwork and he couldn’t be more confused. So confused in fact that he winds up working for Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson actually doing a pretty good job), a shape-shifting Terminator masquerading as CEO of ZeiraCorp, a company up to its nuts in the guts of artificial intelligence research. I told you that bitch crazy.
"Cameron leads into Battlestar Galactica philosophical territory about what it means to be a person. Is consciousness merely complexity?"
Look motherfuckers, this is a really good show with a lot to recommend it. It successfully achieves a lot of what Heroes fails to when it deals with heroism, sacrifice and averting Apocalypse. Cameron becomes progressively more human as the series unwinds leading us into Battlestar Galactica philosophical territory about what it means to be a person. Is consciousness merely complexity? Can we program a soul into a machine? Before being reprogrammed for good, Cameron took on the identity of future resistance fighter Allison Young, which is going to make her unravelling identity that much more interesting. Perhaps she’ll be like Illyria on Angel absorbing Fred’s memories – who knows?
Sarah Connor is very much a post Battlestar Galactica show. You’re now expected to engage with complexity, ambiguity and darkness as a writer/actor/producer on such shows and this is why a lot of the best talent is staying in television these days. Sarah Connor is adding to the Terminator myth, making the legend richer and this is the only plausible defence for its existence. Because a spin-off has to do a whole lot more than just spin off.
The best thing about it: Summer Glau
The worst thing about it: Derek Reese can be a bit of teed.
The verdict on Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles: It’ll be back.
Marks out of 10: 8
1 Of course if you’ve ever read any contingency fiction you’ll know that it’s never quite that simple. In Stephen Fry’s Making History for example, Hitler’s father is made infertile by well-meaning time twisters but all they do is make a big fuck up of everything by clearing the path for Rudolph Gloder, a far more efficient Fuhrer who wins the war, wipes out the Heebs and unleashes hell on earth but this is exactly the kind of mistake you expect from cybernetic organisms. It’s called artificial intelligence for a reason.
Imagined: 2nd January 2009