The Reel Deal: Its Terminator TV and its pretty good

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When I first heard about a television series called "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," I thought of one word-Lame. I loved the "Terminator" movies, with the exclusion of "T3:Rise of the Machines" (2003). I watched the first two ad nauseam, and found myself wishing for Linda Hamilton’s arms in "T2: Judgment Day" (1991). Then I saw the TV spot on FOX and thought I would tune in because of Summer Glau, who plays Cameron, the terminator protector of John Connor. I’ve adored her since she played the mentally traumatized genius in Joss Whedon’s "Firefly/Serenity." I’m glad I did because I like this show.

"Chronicles" takes place two years after Judgment Day. Sarah, her son John, Miles Dyson and the Terminator have taken out Cyberdyne Systems in an explosive fashion. Cyberdyne created Skynet, a network of supercomputers that replace humans as military aircraft pilots and for the control of other systems, including nuclear missiles via artificial intelligence.

On Aug. 29, 1997, Skynet became self aware (think "Maximum Overdrive" but 80 times cooler). When the humans attempted to shut it down, Skynet attacked with nuclear weapons. Hence Judgment Day. But since our heroes blew it to pieces and destroyed the remaining terminator parts, they saved the planet from nuclear destruction, right? Wrong. At least for now, and disregard "T3." I know you want to anyway. Chronicles is following a different timeline.

Now, Sarah (Lena Headey) and John (Thomas Dekker) are on the run from government officials, their past, and the new terminator who is sent to kill John, the leader of the Human Resistance. I think it’s also apparent John will be fighting his feelings for his protector, also.

Besides being female, Cameron is a different model than the T-800 of "T2," and seems to be capable of having human feelings and an appetite. They can’t give out all of her secrets now, so she might be capable of something else. "Chronicles" premiered Jan. 13 with the second episode coming on Jan. 14 at 9 p.m., where it will stay. On Mondays, and at that time, I mean.

I must admit to being worried about this show though. It seems networks are so quick to cancel a new show after only a few episodes aired, I don’t want to get too attached, but I think that’s already happening. It’s as if they never heard of letting a show build into something great. FOX is responsible for canceling "Firefly" after one season and that was a terrific show.

One thing I hated about "Chronicles," and I’m getting nit-picky here, was the Time Displacement Field. When Cameron, Sarah and John time warped into 2007, at the end of the first episode the exoskeleton of the terminator head came through. (This is after they blew him up in the bank vault.) Now, in "Terminator" (1984), Kyle Reese (father of John) specially states to Dr. Silberman that nothing dead can come through the field. The only way they can send the terminators to the future (or to the past in the first movie’s case) is putting living tissue over the metal endoskeleton. The evil terminator flesh in "Chronicles" was clearly off. There was no way it could have gone through, let alone come back to life. Oh man, I am such a geek!

Regardless of that, I think it’s safe to say that "I’ll be back" for the next episode on Monday. Oh, come on. That quote is a classic.

I gave this show a B-.

Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.

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