Although the Terminator franchise sequels haven't been well received, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a worthy, if underrated, follow-up to James Cameron's movies. Despite being short-lived, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles featured a fantastic cast and edgy writing that took the Terminator concept to places the movies have still dared to go.
Unfortunately, like many shows of its time, it became a victim of low publicity and the writer's strike of 2007. The Sarah Connor Chronicles was canceled after its season 2 cliffhanger finale, leaving fans with no closure to the nagging questions left behind. But what happened with Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, and Terminator Genisys was that each film tried to live up to what was established in the first two installments. Some took risks, such as Terminator 3's daring ending, while others played it safe and tried to go for nostalgia.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles, instead, tried to naturally take things to the next level. In moving beyond the films, the show was able to craft its own future, one that wasn't being tied down by the past - except for the main character and a general timeline to follow.
Lena Heady Was A Great Sarah Connor
From the start, The Sarah Connor Chronicles only had Sarah Connor to live up to, not to mention Linda Hamilton herself. Lena Headey, who followed up her Terminator role by starring in Game of Thrones, picked right up where Hamilton left off. Her portrayal of a gritty, battle-hardened mother trying to protect her son - the future savior of mankind - was spot-on. Beating the cancer that claimed her life in the Terminator movie sequels through a well-planned time jump, Sarah lived past her time to become a boon to John during his formative teenage years. And the series ensured he would need it.
Summer Glau Played One Of The Best Terminators
Of course, the thing The Sarah Connor Chronicles had going for it most of all was Summer Glau, who played the "good" terminator, Cameron. As the first protective female terminator portrayed on-screen, this came with a whole lot of dramatic (i.e. romantic) baggage, especially as her ward was a teenage boy. She started right off the bat as a love interest to John Connor, inserting herself as a flirtatious high school classmate. But things only escalated from there. In fact, the episode "Samson & Delilah" cemented their love for each other. It was the perfect exhibition of terminators integrating into society and accomplishing their core task.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles Had Good Villains
Another admirable aspect of the show was its thoughtful host of villains. One, in particular, an as-of-then-unseen terminator model T-888 by the name of Cromartie, was played by Garret Dillahunt. He also got the chance to play an A.I. named John Henry, who had close ties to the beginnings of Skynet. The origins of Skynet had thus far been largely unexplored in the franchise, and have remained unexplored, except for this shred of fiction. There was also a subplot involving a liquid terminator heading a questionable corporation named Zeira in season 2. Of course, this curious thread has remained a mystery to all, due to the series' cancellation.