Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (television series)

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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (abbreviated T:SCC). C-2 Pictures and Warner Bros. 2008.[1] Show "aired on Fox from January 2008 to April 2009. The show was produced by Warner Bros. Television, and C2 Pictures (C2 Pictures was replaced by The Halcyon Company in season two)."[2]

TV show; initial episodes (and preceding novels adding to the franchise) discussed by Ed Carmien in "Somewhere a Cog Turns" review in SFRA Review #284 (Spring 2008): pp 23-24.[3] Carmien notes that "Throughout the TV series, there is a considerable amount of attention paid to the mythos. Details change—Sarah is a brunette, her ex-psychiatrist has a full head of hair—but '“historical' accuracy is high" — so study of the show should be useful for scholars of the developing franchise and attractive to fans and purists (p. 23).

See for THE TERMINATOR killer cyborgs (etc.) and more friendly incarnations, plus the continuing threat of Skynet: the supercomputer system that will bring about the destruction of human civilization (or not) — "Fate" is a motif of the series, whether binding or "There is no fate but what we make."

Carmien comments usefully,

In T:SCC’s “Heavy Metal,” [Terminator Series T888] Cromartie’s relentless pursuit of a new human disguise for his chrome combat chassis leads him to a scientist who, apparently awed by this killing machine of the future, provides him with new synthetic flesh and skin, a disguise essential to Cromartie’s main mission. In the standard show-closing monologue, Sarah Connor evokes J. Robert Oppenheimer, who quoted the Bhagavad Gita upon witnessing the first atomic explosion: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” I much prefer Kenneth Bainbridge’s reply to Oppenheimer, also quoted in this episode: “Now we are all sons of bitches.”

Here we have a classic SF theme, echoing from Frankenstein to today: we are the instrument of our own destruction. Science fiction’s take on this theme is, as [James] Gunn would say, part of the literature of change that is SF. This theme is introduced in “The Turk,” a chess-playing computer with moods; Sarah burns the house in which the computer (a home-built creation) resides. But the computer is rebuilt and becomes a McGuffin in its own right — eventually, its creator is killed in an attempt to stave off Skynet’s arrival on the world scene.

Carmien continues his coverage with comments on the second season in "'Anybody heard the name "John Connor?"': Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles [TV series]," (brackets in original), SFRA Review #289 (Summer 2009): pp. 28-29.[4]] Note Carmien on an important sequence at the start of the second season giving "a less romantic picture of the meaning of artificial intelligence than, say, BSG", i.e. the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (2004-09):

In [...] “Sampson and Delilah,” the damaged [reprogrammed Terminator] Cameron[5]reverts to type and attempts to kill John Connor.[6] When the machine is trapped and helpless, Connor begins the process of removing “her” CPU (as seen in T2 and previous episodes of the show).

“Things are good now,” the machine says, as John hesitates. “I’m sorry for what I did,” it continues, adding “Please, I don’t want to go ... I love you ... I love you, John, and you love me ... ” As these lines are delivered actor Summer Glau is uncharacteristically emotional. “She” is frantically begging for her life. John Connor grimaces and pulls the plug.

Are we to imagine he has just ended a “life”? No. These terminators are not synthetic humans — they are less technologically fantastic than Cylons, merely complex machines. (p. 28)

See also the Wikipedia article linked above and here.[7]


RDE, finishing, 10Jan21, 23Feb21