LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - In the mind of executive
producer/writer Josh Friedman, Fox's "Terminator: The Sarah
Connor Chronicles" could just as well be called "Terminator 3:
The Television Version." The series is intended to continue the
story from "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," released 16 years ago
and starring the governor of California.
The series, like the movie, is an action-packed,
explosion-filled sci-fi variation of "The Fugitive," though the
circumstances are sketchier. While it helps a bit to have seen
the movie -- fashioned from equal parts of celluloid and
testosterone -- you can catch up with the premise in a few
Teenage John Connor (Thomas Dekker) is destined to be the
savior of mankind, only without all those religious overtones.
In the not-too-distant future, some degenerate scientist will
come out with a line of cyborgs that essentially are
anthropomorphic killing machines. They will both kill and
John will lead a band of rebels against them, but first he
has to live that long. The evil genius behind the cyborgs is
aware of the threat posed by John and wants to nip it in the
blood. So one of those nearly indestructible cyborgs is sent
back in time to stunt John's growth.
Fortunately for John, he is protected by his mom, Sarah
(Lena Headey), who spent three years in a mental institution
just because she tried to warn people. She also has been
falsely charged with killing a brilliant computer scientist.
Sarah is a beautiful blend of secret agent and supermom. One
morning, for example, she tells John they have to leave
quickly. "Half an hour. One bag. Plus a gun. I'll make
As if the cyborg wasn't enough, Sarah also is being pursued
by FBI agent James Ellison (Richard T. Jones), who considers
her an escaped fugitive. Ellison could potentially screw up the
future of mankind, but, as played by Jones, he's really a
decent, likable guy.
Fortunately for Sarah and John, they have their own
personal cyborg, also sent from the future, in the form of
Cameron Phillips (Summer Glau). John correctly labels her a
babe, but she is a mechanical babe, which can really wreak
havoc on a boy's hormones.
Director David Nutter gets the series off to a rousing
start, practically packing every frame with suspense, special
effects and an urgency that drives this show like an incessant
drumbeat. Can subsequent episodes measure up to this glitzy and
heart-pounding pilot? A second episode sent to critics pretty
much assures they can.
After the premiere at 9 p.m. Sunday, the series settles
into its regular time slot at 8 p.m. Mondays.
Sarah Connor: Lena Headey
John Connor: Thomas Dekker
Cameron Phillips: Summer Glau
Agent James Ellison: Richard T. Jones
Executive producers: Josh Friedman, James Middleton, Mario
F. Kassar, Andrew G. Vajna, Joel B. Michaels, David Nutter;
Producer: Charlie Goldstein; Director: David Nutter;
Teleplay/developed for TV by: Josh Friedman; Based on
characters created by: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd; Director
of photography: Bill Roe; Production designers: Scott Murphy,
Chris Brown; Editor: Paul Karasick; Music: Bear McCreary; Stunt
coordinator: Joel Kramer; Set decorator: Elaine O'Donnell;
Casting: Lisa Beach, Sarah Katzman;