A kinder, gentler Terminator? Well, that's not quite what they're going for in Fox's upcoming smallscreen rendition of the action-pic franchise, "The Sarah Connor Chronicles." But the Terminator who in this incarnation is hellbent on protecting Sarah Connor and her John will be in touch with her feelings in a way that the mean-spirited robo played by Arnold Schwarzenegger the three "Terminator" pics never was. And for sure, actress Summer Glau, who masquerades as John's high school classmate Cameron (har har), has a different set of curves than Arnie's muscle-bound Terminator of pics past. "Mine will be the most human of the Terminators so far," Glau promised during "Sarah Connor's" TCA sesh on Monday, suggesting that she'll be very much in touch with her nuts and bolts even though her character "can't genuinely feel emotion."
(Pictured, left to right: "Sarah Connor" stars Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau and Richard T. Jones.)
Glau is building quite a resume of roles on cult-fave sci-fi shows, having been a costar on Joss Whedon's Fox space opera "Firefly" and 2005 feature "Serenity," and she had a recurring role on USA Network's "The 4400." As to the question of whether a certain governor of California will be able to find the time, or have the inclination, to make a guest shot on the TV series, exec producers Josh Friedman, David Nutter and James Middleton squirmed a bit in their chairs before admitting that it seems kinda unlikely, for many reasons. "The reality is, as a governor, he's incredibly busy. As a star, he's incredibly expensive," Middleton said. "We have great reverence for him, but we just don't know" if there's any chance he'll stop by the set. One thing they do know for sure, the TV series produced by Warner Bros. TV as no right to use Schwarzenegger's Terminator likeness in any way.
Friedman (pictured right) and Nutter also acknowledged that a high school shoot-'em-up scene in the "Sarah Connor" pilot is going to have to be toned down several notches in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre of a few months back. Friedman insisted that he's not concerned about getting slammed by pols amid the groundswell of election-year angst about TV violence in D.C. these days. But you know it has to be in the back of his mind, or at least in the minds of Fox execs. At the same time, fans won't accept "Sarah Connor" as a worthy part of the "Terminator" canon if it doesn't have a fair amount of rock 'em-sock 'em. Nutter earlier in the sesh noted how affordable the kind of heavy-duty special effects required for action sequences have become for series TV. Friedman later tried to assure a skeptical room that all of the violence in the show "will be done responsibly" and only in service of storytelling.
"I take it very seriously," he said.