Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:35 pm

A thread for the discussion of same.

What's it about: It runs on from the end of Terminator 2; Sarah Connor is attempting to raise the now 15 year old John in the ways of the warrior so he can eventually grow up to be John Connor, saviour of humanity. She is assisted in this by John's uncle, who has returned from the future to help protect him, and by sundry other people. John, it turns out, is seriously bright and something of a hacker; he already knows how to mess with Terminator programming and electronics.

Wait, what about the end of T2? Yes, at the end of that movie it does seem as though Skynet is done for at the future is safe. However, what we find is that the future has merely been delayed. Someone else builds Skynet, and Judgement Day still happens. However, we are shown during the series that the actions taken in the present really do have an effect on the future. For example - Derek Reese (brother of Kyle from the original movie) has a girlfriend. She flees the future and reconnects with him in 200(and whatever). She asks Derek about an event that he should remember, which he claims no knowledge of. It turns out that Dereks presence in the present has changed the future, so in effect he and she are now from different timelines.

It's a bit geeky, but it does introduce a note of tension - how much does Derek really know this woman?

Anyway - worth catching, preferably before Fox cancels it.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:02 pm

Dave Webb wrote:It's a bit geeky, but it does introduce a note of tension - how much does Derek really know this woman?
I've enjoyed that subplot a lot, how different are their respective timelines and indeed...should he be trusting her at all? But of course, she looks and sounds like his Jesse, so he's inclined to do so. I rather like the idea of the timeline changing right out from under them.

Future John might need to start an "Advanced Timey Wimey" section of the training for these folks.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:23 pm

I'm really interested in Shirely Manson's character and what they did with the dead T-800;

there's a pic here: Shirley and the T-800

I like that they have paired the incredibly cold Manson with a very small daughter; whether the presence of the child will teach Manson's character a bit of humanity or whether the childlike "John Henry" will learn anything from the kid, remains to be seen.

Manson is really good, too. I enjoy watching her porcelain performance and contrasting it with Summer Glau, who is definitely more in the Arnie mould.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:38 pm

Dave Webb wrote:I'm really interested in Shirely Manson's character and what they did with the dead T-800;

there's a pic here: Shirley and the T-800

I like that they have paired the incredibly cold Manson with a very small daughter; whether the presence of the child will teach Manson's character a bit of humanity or whether the childlike "John Henry" will learn anything from the kid, remains to be seen.

Manson is really good, too. I enjoy watching her porcelain performance and contrasting it with Summer Glau, who is definitely more in the Arnie mould.
The characterization of the Terminators is one of the highlights of the series for me. I like how they can seem almost human one moment and then completely alien the next, you don't get any sense of what they're thinking. And Ellison's relationship to Manson's character is rather interesting. He seems to know something's off, I wonder if he'll figure it out in time?

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:57 am

Ellison is interesting and I hope he works it all out. It would be really interesting if what finally stops Skynet is the interaction between John Henry, Ellison and the little girl.

Oh, and superb emphasis on how creepy Manson is: at various times her daughter is clearly terrified of her, or makes small comments that draw attention to the fact that she's a machine; my favourite is "your lap is cold".

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Rich Flair on Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:38 pm

Is it better than Terminator 3? That was plop.

Does T:TSC not tie into the new film with Christian Bale?
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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:00 pm

Dave Webb wrote:Ellison is interesting and I hope he works it all out. It would be really interesting if what finally stops Skynet is the interaction between John Henry, Ellison and the little girl.

Oh, and superb emphasis on how creepy Manson is: at various times her daughter is clearly terrified of her, or makes small comments that draw attention to the fact that she's a machine; my favourite is "your lap is cold".
That was a great moment. Wasn't that the same episode where she basically just fed her daughter the story Ellison told about losing his father?

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:01 pm

Rich Flair wrote:Does T:TSC not tie into the new film with Christian Bale?
I have no idea. Though I'd guess it doesn't.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:30 pm

Rich Flair wrote:Is it better than Terminator 3? That was plop.

Does T:TSC not tie into the new film with Christian Bale?

Elements of it are lots better than T3, which was indeed plop.
Whether it ties in with Terminator: Salvation remains to be seen. It could.

On the other hand, one could say that it ties in with both T3 and T:S since they are both potential futures for John Connor. At which point we cry havoc and let slip the Dogs of Timey-Wimey.

It's a genuinely interesting take on things. In T3, it looked like Skynet et al was a predestination paradox and that nothing anyone did was going to make the slightest bit of difference to the future; they also mess with the idea of self-correcting history, in that in order for Skynet to be created in the first place the events of Terminator have to happen and, once they have happened they can't be undone. Judgement Day will happen. However the characters show that Judgement Day is different for different versions of the future, so it turns out that human free-will is important, and possibly more important than anyone had assumed. Although the actions of Sarah and John haven't averted Judgement Day, the actions of the people in the present have a definite influence over the future. This loops back to Sarah Connor's statement that there is "no fate but what we make".

There's more going on with the nature of AI and whether morality is something we are born with or whether it's something we learn. John Henry, essentially a terminator bolted on as the front end of a newborn AI which has the potential to become Skynet, is learning about right and wrong. Or at least it appears to be. It's doing some very childlike things, but asking some very grown-up questions. If you were of a philosophical bent, if you wanted to think about some of the issues that T: TSCC touches on, there's loads of room to do so.

It's one of those shows that I hope the Beeb picks up, so that Frank eventually reviews it. My own efforts simply do not do it justice.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:02 pm

Dave Webb wrote:On the other hand, one could say that it ties in with both T3 and T:S since they are both potential futures for John Connor. At which point we cry havoc and let slip the Dogs of Timey-Wimey.
Given both sides of the conflict are actively trying (and trying... and trying) to change the timeline, there's bound to be numerous alternate timeline strands.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:21 pm

That's true, but they do hint that there's one past, one present and one future, which is mutable.

So, for example, the future that Derek remembers is not the one that Jesse (his girlfriend) experienced, but they both return to the same relative-past.

I also like the idea of refugees using the time travel facility to escape the war against the machines - which is what Jesse said she had done - by fleeing to the past, no matter how short a reprieve that might be. I also note that Skynet was rewarding humans by sending them to the past too, knowing that Judgement Day will mop them up eventually.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:44 pm

Dave Webb wrote:That's true, but they do hint that there's one past, one present and one future, which is mutable.

So, for example, the future that Derek remembers is not the one that Jesse (his girlfriend) experienced, but they both return to the same relative-past.
I do think the show treats it as such, yes. But one could look at the different franchise media as alt timelines, including the various Terminator comics.

Dave Webb wrote:I also like the idea of refugees using the time travel facility to escape the war against the machines - which is what Jesse said she had done - by fleeing to the past, no matter how short a reprieve that might be. I also note that Skynet was rewarding humans by sending them to the past too, knowing that Judgement Day will mop them up eventually.
It does seem to show the difference between us and them. We hope we can somehow change things, or at least enjoy some time away from that hellish place. They see the Skynet future as inevitable and don't care if the person dies now or later, they will die because the humans will lose.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:07 pm

In reference to the most recent episode...

Spoiler:
"You're not my Jesse. You never were." Inevitable, still a great moment though.

And the T-1000, pretty creepy. They seem to have feelings of a sort, the T-1000s. Even in the movie with Robert Patrick's version, there are times he seems to enjoy his work.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:05 pm

Interesting turn of events in last night's episode...

Spoiler:
John Henry's "brother". Speculation time: Did it really develop separately or has John Henry essentially split in two? One part that could be Skynet and one part that's friends with Ellison? I hope the series lasts long enough that we get to find out. Or, failing that, perhaps the story could be finished in comic form as has been suggested for other cancelled series. At any rate, nice name drop moment for Dyson and Cyberdyne.

Only two more episodes to go.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:40 pm

I've not seen it yet, because there has been a serious lack of internet. I shall make up for that lack shortly.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:51 pm

Dave Webb wrote:I've not seen it yet, because there has been a serious lack of internet. I shall make up for that lack shortly.
So I've read. Damn that Twitter conspiracy.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:40 pm

Last night's episode...

Spoiler:
Well, heck. Wasn't expecting that, quite a surprising death. Brilliant stuff with John Henry this week.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:20 pm

Gosh.

I've just seen the ep. I see what you mean.

Where are they going from here?

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:55 pm

Dave Webb wrote:Gosh.

I've just seen the ep. I see what you mean.

Where are they going from here?
No idea, but I find myself rooting for John Henry. And for another season somehow. One episode more hardly seems enough.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:33 pm

I have a feeling Mrs Weaver ties in with the thing that was in the box on Jesse's sub.

By the way - more links with BSG than just Bear's music and depression: Jesse was played by the same actress who "starred" in BSG: Razor. Stephanie Jacobsen.

Anyway, if they cancel I shall be unhappy. It's got so interesting and complex recently.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:47 pm

Dave Webb wrote:I have a feeling Mrs Weaver ties in with the thing that was in the box on Jesse's sub.
I was wondering the same thing after the last episode. There's no rule says she couldn't change her mind about John's plans.

Oh, speaking of Fox SF, Fringe returns next week.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:07 pm

Zoltar wrote:Oh, speaking of Fox SF, Fringe returns next week.
Oops. Pardon my sleep-deprived brain. Fringe returns this week, as in tomorrow. Razz

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Dave Webb on Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:14 pm

Zoltar wrote:
Zoltar wrote:Oh, speaking of Fox SF, Fringe returns next week.
Oops. Pardon my sleep-deprived brain. Fringe returns this week, as in tomorrow. Razz

In which case I shall watch it as it turns up on Hulu.

Here's a question: if the Connors succeed in preventing Skynet, what happens to John?

First person to say "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" gets a good old fashioned clip alongside the ear.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:11 pm

Dave Webb wrote:Here's a question: if the Connors succeed in preventing Skynet, what happens to John?

First person to say "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" gets a good old fashioned clip alongside the ear.
Well, the third film would have you think it can't be prevented. It can be delayed or altered, but there will be a Judgment Day of some sort. Assuming they can and do prevent it, John isn't the only issue. Cameron and any other surviving Terminators (even just remnants of them) are also then an issue.

Judging by what has happened in the past during the Terminator franchise when a timeline is altered, I think they'll remain even if Skynet is prevented. They'll be the definition of paradox mind you, but John and the "metal" (or their smoking remains) in the present would still exist. I don't see any Reapers in SCC and I can't imagine him just ceasing to be.

That would be quite a shocker ending for the series though, John just disappears. Would they simply reset the timeline and the entire series (and movies before it) - cue Sarah Connor the waitress? Surprising as it would be, I'd rather see John remain as a paradoxal element and now be faced with the one thing he never imagined he'd have to live through - a future that's not written.

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Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Post by Zoltar on Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:42 pm

I watched some of the original movie tonight, the timeline's changed quite a bit hasn't it? I think it's not so much that John exists because Skynet does, I think Skynet has to exist because John does.

It's funny, in the first movie, Kyle said Skynet's defense grid was smashed and the humans had won. It was just him and the Terminator. So, in the original timeline, Kyle was probably just a soldier that was sent back and became John's dad. In the second timeline, Sarah forewarns John about this. But there's also the recovered bits of the original Terminator at Cyberdyne. This plays into the "T2" timeline, where Skynet's still operational and has created the T-1000 model. That alters John's childhood, since Skynet being defeated in the original movie means no T-1000 and no "Uncle Bob". That never happened from the perspective of Kyle from the first movie, which is just like what Derek went through with Jesse.

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