The Sarah Connor Chronicles Preview!

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It’s time for Arnold Schwarzenegger to utter those immortal words one more time – “I’ll be back!’

Fox is debuting their new action series, “The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” “300’s” Lena Headey plays the title character, which is an origin franchise for her role – before her Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines demise. The series picks up after “T2”; Sarah and John Connor find themselves as fugitives from the law, and are running from their enemies.

Now all the fans are hoping writer and executive producer Josh Friedman can deliver the goods from the film series. “When we first started this, people said, ‘This takes place between T2 and T3.’ As far as I’m concerned, this is T3; this is the continuation of what I would call the Sarah Connor trilogy. I think anything that happens after T2 is fair game for us., and I think the ending of T2 – the exploding killing Cyberdine, killing Miles Dyson – sort of changes the timeline for anything in the future.”

The big draw from the pilot episode was the special effects; director David Nutter mentioned how they’ll be keeping up the intensity. “I think there’s been a lot of research and development from the people doing the special effects, Zoic. And a lot of times, once they’ve done a lot of this research and development, a lot of the stuff isn’t really as expensive to do. So there will be just as many effects and large-scale things alongside many of the episodes.”

Picking up the pace from Arnold and Kristanna Loken is Summer Glau (Serenity, “Firefly”) as the new Terminator, Cameron. This time, she’s a teen girl in the role helping to save the world. But Summer says she’s ready to kick ass in the new series. “I spoke to Josh a lot about how he wanted my Terminator to be, and I think we’re going to make my Terminator the most advanced model so far. It’s her human traits; she’s going to be the most human Terminator so far, so that’s what I’m striving for. I was just so excited to play this kind of character because in a way she’s much like River (Tam) in that she’s isolated. And she’s different in how she relates and how she communicates; but she’s very strong and she can’t genuinely feel emotion. I was excited that Josh gave me the opportunity to try this role and that’s something that is going to be the most challenging part about her. I want people to be able to relate to her and in some way, see themselves in here just like I try with all my characters.”

Now for Lena, transforming herself out of the shadow of Linda Hamilton is something she can’t wait for – but going to the gym? We’ll have to wait for that. “I’m in training right now and just doing regular workouts; this series is going to develop and, I think, along with that, so will her physicality because we find them at a different point.”

Because everyone saw 300, I don’t think I have to state – Lena, you’re hot; keep staying hot, don’t change anything!

What can fans expect for the time travel aspect? Friedman notes, “I believe the end of ‘Terminator 2’ is ’97; the decision to leap forward is both an aesthetic one and story-wise will turn out to be an important one. There’s reasons to come to this specific time, this specific place; it’s a show that’s about time travel, but it’s not a time travel show. I think certainly we will see characters, both human and less so, returning from the future to the present. But there are no plans right now to jump anyone to the future.”

Just to point out the time period for the series, Summer mentioned her character was born in the year 2027, and she and John Connor are attending high school.

Producer James Middleton weighed in on the time travel issue as well. “I think it’s really a core thing about our show. Our characters operate and a fight a battle every episode based on faith that they can prevent Judgment Day – now, they’re going to do everything that they can to do that. But the odds against them are formidable, they have a formidable enemy; so how they operate every day is to fight the fight they best hey can in each episode.”

Now everyone knows, Eddie Furlong did such a great job as John Connor in the movie series, Thomas Dekker (“Heroes”) has some mighty big shoes to fill (ok, you can stop laughing now). “I grew up really hooked on these films, so it’s very ironic I’m getting to do this,” the actor says. “I know for the younger generation, and for myself, John was equally important to me as Sarah was. I know a lot of people I hear from really care about John, and I felt I knew that character. In the series, Jon’s life is constantly evolving, and it evolved a lot from where it was in the films; he’s having to hide, he’s having to keep his head down. In the beginning of T2, he’s able to keep his head up; he’s carefree and I think he’s had to close down a lot more. He’s a little quieter and he’s a little more pensive; he’s having to wake up to the fact that this won’t go away, and he has to really step up to the plate. So I’m trying to incorporate the main characteristics and emotional core of what was there in the films, while adjusting it to his current time and place that we’re seeing in the series.”

Okay, I know what you’re all wondering – will Arnold make a cameo? Well, it sounds unlikely. “We’ve talked a lot about it,” says Friedman. “But the reality is, as governor, he’s incredibly busy. And as a star, he’s incredibly expensive.”

So maybe we won’t get a cameo from the Governator, but heck, we all know how it’s going to end, right? But you can look forward to the race of Terminators coming to your television screens midseason on “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” on Fox.

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