Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Complete S1 (DVD)
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
is the weekly TV series based on the hit action/sci-fi movie franchise that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star. Lena Headey (300
) plays the title character, the mother who bears the burden of raising--and protecting--the future salvation of mankind, her teenage son, John (Thomas Dekker, Heroes
). As explained in both of James Cameron's Terminator movies (this series considers the third film, Rise of the Machines
, not part of its mythology), the computer system Skynet has taken over future Earth, and an adult John Connor is the leader of the human resistance, causing the robots to send android assassins--called Terminators--back in time to kill John before he can become a hero. John's would-be assassin--introducing himself as a substitute teacher named Cromartie (Garret Dillahunt)--tracks him down, but John gets a fighting chance with the surprise arrival of a benevolent Terminator (Summer Glau, Firefly
) named Cameron (get it?), who declares, "Come with me if you want to live" (another nod to the movies).
Thus begins an uneasy partnership among Sarah, John, and Cameron, with Sarah not trusting Cameron and Cameron trying to carry out her mission (some of her deadpans are hilarious) and John caught in the middle (lucky John!). The trio time-travels ahead to 2007 but still can't escape the relentless Cromartie, and also dogged by an FBI agent (Richard T. Jones) who thinks Sarah Connor might be more than just a fugitive. And while the series' fierce action looked like it might slide into a simple Chase of the Week formula, things got interesting with our heroes' discovery of a chess machine called the Turk that might be the first incarnation of Skynet, and a surprising addition to the team (Brian Austin Green). Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles debuted on Fox in January 2008, and the midseason start and the writers' strike kept the season to a mere nine episodes. But it was picked up for a full second season in 2008-2009. --David Horiuchi