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A great show that has been terminated before its time!

DVD Review: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – The Complete Second Season

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is an American science fiction television series that was based on the Terminator series of films that began in 1984. The television series aired on the FOX television network and first premiered on January 13, 2008. The second and final season began on September 8, 2008 and ran to April 10, 2009.

The series takes place after the events of the second film Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The premise of the series is that after Sarah and John Connor, along with the 800 Series terminator, successfully destroy the T-1000, the arm and the computer chip from the first terminator, a T-888 terminator named Cromartie, is sent back to kill John.

In the third film, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, it is revealed that Sarah died of cancer and that in fact Judgment Day was not averted, but only delayed. In this series, Cameron, a female terminator who is sent back by John to protect his earlier self, leaps forward in time with John and Sarah to 2007, past the year in which Sarah would have died of cancer, and thus changing the future.

In season one, Sarah, John, and Cameron focused on looking for the people who possessed a computer with advanced AI that was known as "The Turk." In the second season they are led to a set of clues that directs them to ZeiraCorp, a company headed by a shape-shifting terminator named Katherine Weaver, played by new cast member Shirley Manson, the lead singer from musical group Garbage.

Overall, I really enjoyed Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – The Complete Second Season and found that the stories are amazingly well crafted, very deep into plot, and retain that T2 feel to them. Even more importantly, they did not turn this series into a "terminator of the week" show like they very easily could have.

The main problem with this season is by adding and expanding characters, the focus, or what should have been the focus of the show, became diluted. It went from the dynamics of the duality of self-choice as promulgated by John's mother, to predestination as seen through the eyes of John's uncle Derek Reese (Brian Austin Green), the resistance fighter who was also sent into the past by the future John Connor.

This season we are introduced to new characters like Katherine Weaver (Shirley Manson) as CEO of ZeiraCorp, Riley Johns (Levin Rambin), who is John's new love interest, and the recurring role of Derek Reese from season one became much more expanded and is now a regular character in season two. While I liked the expansion of Reese's character, and love the addition of Weaver, the addition of Riley Johns (the character, not the actress) pulled the dynamics in three directions and made the show seem uneven.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – The Complete Second Season is contained on six disks and is 976 minutes in length. The DVD has a 1.77:1 aspect ratio and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio. Both the audio and video are very clean and clear for a television series.

There is a whole host of special features including commentaries for four episodes that have a good mix of bantering while providing behind the scenes information. There is "The Storyboard Process: Cameron Goes Bad," and "Cameron vs. Rosie Fight Rehearsal."

There is also "The Continuing Chronicles" an eight-part series that includes featuerettes that target specific aspects of producing the show. These include the writing, conceptualization, how the cybernetic organisms are created, setting the tempo, and more. This will be well liked by those wanting to know more about the production aspect of the show.

Even though I thought that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – The Complete Second Season seemed a little uneven, I do think that had it been left on the air, everything would have righted itself. I do feel that it was unfortunate that it was canceled by FOX and hope that another station would revive it since the quality of the show in terms of acting and writing deserves more time and I would easily recommend this series.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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