Friday, 12 December 2008

TV Review: Sarah Connor Chronicles Ep 2.12 "Alpine Fields"

After a fair time away from my blog, hopefully I will be supporting this and Mike's FlashBang site (which has also taken a break) a bit more. So, if there are any readers out there. "I'llll be back".


Terminator: 2.12"Alpine Fields"

Sarah, Cameron, and Derek work to save a family (whose unborn child will play a pivotal role in the future, of combating a biological weapon from Skynet) from a T-888. Details of Derek and Jesse's first meeting is depicted.

This raises the bar after a run of mediocre, convoluted stories. It's still not enough to stop me wanting this series cancelled. I want the Terminator Salvation movie to succeed so that further movies of the Future War are made. T:TSCC could well colour people's view of the upcoming movie.
Alpine Fields encompasses what makes a good Terminator story; a chase, a mysterious pursuer (as far as the family in this story are concerned), characterisation and future war references/scenes.
Sarah, in this episode, empathises with the Mother in that she was once this person; disbelieving but having to process, on the hoof, as to what is actually happening and why it is happening.
Derek is brought to the fore, slightly more, as parts of the story focus on the reasons why the mother must give birth and how her offsring will save lives.
I'm not expecting a Terminator film every week, but i feel that the writers have got themselves bogged down with the amount of time travellers, Riley, Sarah's maternal angst, John attempting to manage the expectations of his mother and the resistance whilst trying to enjoy his childhood like any other young man, along with the Catherine Weaver/Ellison sideline. It's all very messy.
People could argue that a long running series should focus on these issues because otherwise it wouldn't be very realistic. Hello, it's a show about machines sparking off an apocalypse.
There are far too many characters in the show. In a series like the modern Battlestar Galactica, this is fine. The characters on that show are fully formed and interesting, not necessarily likeable but interesting. I find characters on T:LTSCC irritating or two-dimensional. Sarah Connor, whose chronicles the title refers to, is often sidelined or made whingy and unlikeable; not a helpful factor for a leading lady in a long running TV show. I'm not convinced by Shirley Manson's depiction of a T-1001. The actors playing T-888s aren't particularly convincing and prove to critics of the biggest name in Hollywood (Arnold Schwarzenegger - that's 20 letters!) that there's no real replacement for his Terminator. The Razor-babe, who plays time traveller Jesse, is about as charasmatic as a garden chair. Derek isn't bad but has little time to flesh out his character, which is a shame. He spends most of the time looking as if he's about to cry. Ellison continues to be underused, with no clear sign of how he fits into the scheme of things. Riley; ok maybe the writers have got something sinister planned for her, but it's slow in coming to light. Cameron is...Cameron. What can you say about Summer Glau? It's very strange having a cute killing machine.
Alpine Fields shows, again, that the best stories link in to the future war, in a similar way to the original 1984 Terminator film.
Bring on Terminator Salvation! The trailer shows promise for the movie.