Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – The Complete First Season

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Lena Headey as Sarah Connor
Thomas Dekker as John Connor
Summer Glau as Cameron Phillips
Richard T. Jones as James Ellison
Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese
Garret Dillahunt as Cromartie
Dean Winters as Charley Dixon

Special Features:
“Creating the Chronicles” featurette – an all-encompassing look at the production process involved with every aspect of bringing “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” to television.
Commentaries – includes executive producers Josh Freidman & John Wirth, cast members Summer Glau & Thomas Dekker, and more.
Terminated Scenes (i.e. deleted scenes)
Gag Reel
Cast Audition Tapes – includes Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, and Richard T. Jones
Storyboard Animatic – featuring the storyboard sequence of the school session where Cromartie attacks and John narrowly escapes
Summer Glau Dance Rehearsal
Extended Director’s Cut of Episode The Demon Hand

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
English and Portuguese Languages
Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai, Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 394 minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official synopsis of the film:

“The mother of all destiny. Her son, the future leader of mankind. Their protector, a Terminator from the future. Together they must take back the future as Sarah Connor (’300′s’ Lena Headey) prepares her son to fight the war against machines determined to annihilate the human race. The clock is ticking. Can they stop Judgment Day?”

“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – The Complete First Season” is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I’m a pretty big “Terminator” fan. I’ve watched all the films, read all the comics, read all the novels, and more. I was even there for the battle between RoboCop and Terminator. I’ve followed every storyline and every continuity glitch they’ve created then chalked up to an ‘alternate universe’. Rarely has a franchise been as convoluted as the “Terminator” one. So when “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” hit Fox, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get.

I found “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” to be a bit of a mixed bag. Parts of it are quite impressive and fit well within the “Terminator” mythos. Parts of it are just OK. For example, in one scene a Terminator that has lost its head takes a severed human head and puts it on top of its endoskeleton to fool people. It’s gruesome and twisted – something I didn’t expect to see on TV. In another scene, a Terminator slowly re-grows muscle and skin in a bloody mess in a bathtub. They show the gory result. As an interesting twist, more human soldiers are sent from the future and are hidden within Los Angeles. The Connors’ search to find them adds an interesting twist to the storyline. This takes a poignant turn towards the end of the season when John Connor encounters his future father, Kyle Reese, who happens to be a child in the present.

On the down side, the show is quite dull at times. A lot of time is spent on John Connor’s teen angst which becomes tiresome. Do we really care that John doesn’t want to move again or that his mother forgot his birthday when there’s a freakin’ killer cyborg from the future hunting them down? The constant pursuit by the FBI also becomes redundant since the audience already knows everything our poor agent is discovering along the way. His side storyline isn’t presenting anything new, thus it becomes time filler. And as much as I love Lena Headey, she doesn’t quite fill the shoes of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. As tough as Headey acts, she still lacks the killer edge that Hamilton gave the character. Headey’s almost too feminine for the role. As for our new Terminator, Summer Glau’s Cameron Phillips (isn’t ‘Cameron’ just a little obvious?) is OK. She mainly acts stone-faced when not kicking butt. It’s not all that different from her “Firefly” role.

I have to give the creators some credit for attempting to resolve the differences with the “Terminator” films and the difference in chronological setting of the series. It’s not perfect, but they do their best to address it in the first episode then move on. (There may still be conflicts with “Terminator Salvation,” but it won’t be the first continuity problem in this franchise.)

I’d recommend “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” to “Terminator” fans (obviously) and fans of Glau or Headey. These are the people most likely to stick with the series and forgive it for its flaws. You’ll also want to check this out before the second season kicks off.

There’s a decent selection of bonus features on this DVD. You have standard offerings like deleted (or ‘Terminated’) scenes, gag reels, cast auditions, animatics, commentaries, extended episodes, and ‘making of’ featurettes.

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