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One of my big disappointments of the 2008-2009-television season was the cancellation of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES. I really liked TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, even when the series made a slight misstep story-wise, it was a lot more entertaining than so many other shows that are still airing. As I have stated previously, I found TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES be a well conceived, written and acted television show, one which uses the movie series as a jumping off point to its own unique place in the sci-fi sagaís mythos. As a series, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES is also bolstered by some terrific production values, which allowed it to do credible action sequences in prime time.

For those who may have missed season one, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES is set in between the events depicted in the second and third films, but the premise of the television series plays with the notion that the future is always in motion and that time travel has reshuffled the deck, postponing Judgement Day from 1997 to 2011. As the episodes progress, we see that both the machines and John Connor are trying to ensure favorable future outcomes by manipulating the past- Connor sending agents back in time to protect his past self, while the machines have sent terminators to kill the teenage John Connor, thus insuring the creation of Skynet and the annihilation of mankind.

In this heavily manipulated timeline, Sarah Connor (Lena Headey) and her son John (Thomas Dekker) remain ever vigilant, and on the lookout for new terminator threats, as well as the development of any artificial intelligence to could lead to the creation of Skynet and the onset of Judgement Day. As protection, the future John Connor has sent himself a reprogrammed terminator dubbed Cameron (Summer Glau), who has the inconspicuous appearance of a really hot teenage girl. Also added to the mix, is Johnís uncle, Derek Reese (Brian Austin Green), whom John sent into the past to help fight Terminators and prevent the creation of Skynet. James Ellison (Richard T. Jones) is a former FBI Agent, who had been pursuing Sarah and John until he was confronted with indisputable evidence of the Terminator threat, and has begun working for technology firm ZeiraCorp. Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson) is the ZeiraCorp CEO, who is revealed to be a liquid metal shape-shifting Terminator, whose true motivations and allegiances remain unclear. The season two cast of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES also features Garret Dillahunt, Leven Rambin, Dean Winters and Stephanie Jacobsen.

TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($80) comes to Blu-ray Disc in a five-disc set that features the following twenty-two episodes that were aired during its second and final year: Samson & Delilah, Automatic For The People, The Mousetrap, Allison From Palmdale, Goodbye To All That, The Tower Is Tall But The Fall Is Short, Brothers Of Nablus, Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today, Complications, Strange Things Happen At The One Two Point, Self Made Man, Alpine Fields, Earthlings Welcome Here, The Good Wound, Desert Cantos, Some Must Watch, While Some Must Sleep, Ourselves Alone, Today Is The Day, Part 1, Today Is The Day, Part 2, To The Lighthouse, Adam Raised A Cain and Born To Run.

Warner Home Video has made all nine episodes from TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on Blu-ray Disc in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that have been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. After watching this second batch of episodes on Blu-ray, I have to say I remain highly impressed. TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES is a great looking television series, as evidenced by the outstanding 1080p presentations of the season two episodes. Strong production values shine through these terrific looking episodes. The image appears quite sharp and produces strong levels of detail and texturing. Additionally, the picture is quite dimensional. Colors come across at a fairly realistic level of saturation and produce attractive looking flesh tones. Blacks are deep and whites are completely stable. Contrast and shadow detail are strong performers, which is just what one should expect from this type of high definition television production. There are no noticeable defects in the source materials. Grain is present, but never appears excessive.

All of the episodes that constitute TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON are presented on Blu-ray Disc with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtracks. Other than the lack of a lossless encode, I canít say I had any major complaints about the quality of the audio on season one, and season two offers more to the same. TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES sounds great for a television level production, with the sound design making some concession to the necessities of broadcasting. As expected, the sound is more front loaded than a theatrical feature, but the rears do kick in with active effects for the action sequences, as well as providing the usual complement of ambience and fill. The sound effects themselves come across in a reasonably convincing manner, but donít have the grandiose quality of that one finds in a blockbuster motion picture. Additionally, the bass is effective at the television level, but it is not overly ground shaking. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English, French, Danish, Dutch and Finnish subtitles are provided. Once again, let me state that somebody really should start mixing genre TV shows like TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES for home theater enthusiasts- perhaps creating a separate aftermarket mix, in addition to one that conforms to broadcast necessities.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplemental materials. Four episodes, Samson & Delilah, Allison From Palmdale, Adam Raised A Cain and Born To Run feature running Audio Commentaries with various cast and production team members. A series of Terminated Scenes are also provided. Deconstructing The Hunter Killer Attack is a four part interactive program that looks at the season finale action set piece. Featurettes include Cameron Vs. Rosie: Fight Rehearsal (five minutes), Write The Future (thirteen minutes), Conceptualization (eight minutes), Blood And Metal (eight minutes), Designing Deconstruction (eight minutes), Choreographing Chaos (seven minutes), War Stories (nine minutes), Setting The Tempo (thirteen minutes), and Motivations (ten minutes). A Gag Reel close out the supplements.

I was really disappointed when TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES found itself terminated. This was a fairly terrific genre television series that should have lasted longer than it did. Personally, I wouldnít mind a couple of miniseries to tie up some of the loose ends. The Blu-ray offers a wonderful hi-def picture and fairly solid sound. Recommended,



Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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