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October 6, 2015

The Sarah Connor Chronicles -- A look at the pilot script

by Keith McDuffee, posted Apr 17th 2007 12:21PM
sarah connor chroniclesWhen I heard of this new series coming to FOX, I had mixed reactions. I'm a big fan of the Terminator franchise, so first there was a feeling of excitement. That feeling quickly changed to fear when the premise was revealed, which changed once more to my just not giving a crap anymore.

I recently got the opportunity to read the pilot script for this show, so I went from not caring to mild curiosity. Could this show pull off a worthwhile addition to the Terminator series of movies? I was about to find out. I should warn you, though -- big spoilers ahead, so tread carefully.

In case you're not up to speed with the premise for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I'll give it to you briefly. The series picks up sometime between the second and third movies, with Sarah and her future humanity-saving son, John, on the run and in hiding from, well, any Terminators that might happen to be coming back after him.

Having the series pick up that void between the last two movies makes sense, though where the series has to be careful is how it works its way into what would eventually become the third movie. One would hope that won't be a problem, as the series is developed by the same people who produced the Terminator movies.

A pilot script for a science fiction series is tough to fully review, as you're left to your own imagination with the effects, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. I will say the script does a great job of selling the show to the reader, giving you a sense of excitement and awesomeness of what you're "seeing" unfold.

One question I had going into this read was whether the show would feature on something other than Terminators entering the scene again. I can tell you that they're definitely in this series in a big way. And much like the movies, we've got both a terminating Terminator and a protecting one, and the protector isn't Arnold -- far from it. In fact -- and here's the spoiler -- it's a hot, female classmate of John's! (Update: Old TVSer Ryan tells me this must be the role meant for Summer Glau.)

The pilot episode of course features John, Sarah and Terminator trying to flee the big, bad Terminator out to destroy them (all of which, as far as I can tell from the script, are nothing more than T-800/850 models). As I read the script, I started to wonder if this was it -- just another cat-and-mouse chase, only this time lasting 20-some-odd number of episodes.

It's not until the final moments of the pilot that you realize there's going to be more to this series. In a way that I'll leave for you to find out for yourself, Sarah, John and girl Terminator make a time jump from 1998 to 2006 -- naked. It's there where the trio hopes to track down the true source of Skynet's activation and hopefully change the fate of humanity, but don't we already know what happens having seen T3?

Even with the cool twists here and there, I'm not sure about this one. There's a possibility we've got more surprises planned for later episodes, but so far I'm not sold -- and I shouldn't be, as this is just a pilot script, one that will very likely be retooled. The show's success is going to depend a lot on what time slot it appears in and whether casual viewers are going to be OK with the Governator not being in it. There's also clearly going to be a time commitment for people -- this isn't a show you'll easily be able to jump in and out of without feeling somewhat lost.

No doubt we'll eventually see a pilot screener and we'll have a better idea of how this will play out on screen, but at least so far I'm definitely willing to give that screener a chance.

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Forward Travel Through Time Is What Will Ruin This.

1. Because it implies that Skynet can reconnoitre the past, have the Terminator build a time machine and bring data brought forward to it to review _at any point_. Including that of known John Connor locations and battle strategies.
2. Because if Skynet can itself travel through time, the only thing it needs to do is set the dial to 3 Million AD and the odds are pretty good that humanity will be long gone anyway. Give us the bird and let us have the planet until it can set things up in our ruins.
3. Lastly, if Time Travel past the living moment to an unknown future one is possible, then truly _all time_ is fixed in a block-universal sense. And fighting for anything is just a lame means to ensure that 'what has already happened', will. i.e. The only way to noteably change time would be to fatalistically refuse to do anything that 'seemed right'.

There are a lot of dumb ideas in TSCC. But the above is what will kill it on a logic-bomb basis of irrevocable SOD kill to the thinking among us.


June 05 2007 at 6:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I haven't met anyone who liked T3, so I'm not worried about this show retconning or even abolishing that movie's existence.

From what I've read and seen, this show is attempting to be a serialized sci-fi action/adventure show.

I'm totally giving this a shot, and hope it has legs.

May 31 2007 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sad to read all the negative comments on this Series of movies and soon to be Tv series.

I enjoyed T1, it was a movie meant to scare you. A 1984 horror/ action Flick.

T2 Was an adventure/action flick cutting out the Horror part. (Horror for 1984 that is, If made now it was/is considered action/suspence).

T3 was a good movie, But it was Action/comedy. (For that it lost some respect by the diehard's)

But what the diehards are not considering, is this...

This is a show about Time Travel (Watch Star Trek) If you watch it, it will grow, Then make more sense. T3 could be an alternate time line, Or it could be cannon. Because they go to the Future. Who's to say they will not return to the Past. John was born in 1985 so why did T3 give a birth Date that would make him Born in 1981. Could it be that he lives 4 years more In the Tv show to end back up counting those lives For T3

T1 said the End of the World was 1997. That was changed. Whos to say that the Events of the SCC are the catalist that starts the end of the World for 2003.

That if they had not gone to the Future, That the World would be Terminator Free in 2006. So as to surprise a John Connor in T3.

If your Going to pick it all apart. It will be there. Easy to find. Like Star Wars, Why did Luke ask leia what there mother looked like. Leia never meet her mother either, So the dieharders believe that she must be talking about a step mom Bail Organa's wife.

Give the Show time to Explain and tell you a Story. This story may not even finish until the last Seventh Season is over. Then come back here and pick it apart when T4 and SCC are done telling you the Whole story.

May 28 2007 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kandi Bauer

I don't know about this show. I'm a fan of the frist two Terminator movies i was like iffy on the 3rd movie. what bugs me is why didn't they get two actors who sort of looks like both Sarah and John. I think they did a good casting with Nick Stahl for John in T3, cause he sort of reminded me of both Sarah and Kyle. Mostly Kyle in a few parts yeat he wasn't as strong as I hoped John would have been. I excpeted JOhn to be more like his father in the futuer, I wonder if they will mention Resse in the serise cause he is important part in the movies.

May 28 2007 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i dont no where to start but i will say it anyway if your a true and hardcore terminator fan like me you will no t1 t2 and t3 and what happens in the future that is told in those films it is kyle reese sent from 2029 from a timeline where the war began in 1997 as sarah said in t2........now kyle only saved sarah but didnt change the future......
now t2 a t800 was sent to protect john from the year 2029 and was sent to 1997 and stoped the war from happening because sarah killed dyson...so they was safe...
t3 and a t850 was sent from the year 2032 to the year 2003 and told john the war was inevitable it would happen no matter what year it was so the war begun.......

which means if the war started in 2003 and not 1997 then the future would be different so thats where the sarah connor chronicles comes inbetween t2 and t3 making the story even more complex even for me...but it fits in their nicely because john said in t3 we stoped jugment day he said you shouldnt even exist so thats the first time he saw the arnold model after t2 so the sarah connor chronicles is perfect it all fits together nicely
because arnold isnt in it if he was t3 woulndt exist with him in

May 23 2007 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think the series looks good from what i've seen so far, however, T3 could easily be retconned out of existence with a simple flick of a switch thanks to the time dillation device. so, in essence SCC (to me anyway) seems like it would be the only thing left that could bring back the dignity this series so rightly deserves. i mean linda hamilton said it best when she stated that the main reason she didn't sign on for T3 was because the show had lost the humanising aspects of its core. this series could be a saving grace. besides wether or not this show is a hit.i know that it will be damn well better than T3. and i think that is somthing that we can all agree on.

May 21 2007 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

T3 was fine on a strictly "silly entertainment" basis, but a disappointment for serious Terminator fans (like me). There were too many in-jokes and the female playing the terminator couldn't act. Also, I disliked the premise wherein John's wife sent back the reprogrammed terminator who had just terminated her husband.

Regarding the series, the jury's out. I do like Lena Headey a lot after having seen her in 300. She's tough and scrappy.

May 18 2007 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

T3 was an abonomation and the Sarah Connor Chronicles looks like it's going to add even more insult to injury.

T3 undid everything the first two films built: a story, strong characters, great direction and a unique ambience. It was an absolute joke.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles sounds like it's going to carry on this joke and further run a great series into the ground. It's likely that each episode will revolve around Sarah and John dealing with some robot from the future and in every episode the baddy will have a unique feature that they have to get around. Basically a typical cheap sci-fi TV series. The idea of throwing all these Terminators around (such as the classmate!) makes me cringe.

Send a Terminator back to stop Mostow and his cronies making T3 and this trash!

April 25 2007 at 6:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you're at least convincing me to re-think the question.
in a single timeline that can't be altered, jumping forward in time may be possible without altering anything.

And, we already know Reese said things that where not true, and he stated that he did not really know how time travel worked. Supposing Skynet and other terminators are in the same situation and don't know exactly the possibilities of time travel appears justified. From that, we can suppose Skynet (and the resistance, I suppose he makes discoveries and they steal his work) learns things as time passes (remember, when he sent the first terminator he did not have the T1000 technology), and therefore several years later, new time travel technologies may be know, as you said.

April 18 2007 at 4:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where do you get these scripts? Can we see them?

April 17 2007 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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