Finally got out to see Terminator: Salvation at the second-run theater. It was a passable action flick, though a bit overblown and tedious at times. I thought it was better than T3: Rise of the Machines, at least. T3 was too caught up in repeating the first two movies (a Terminator is sent back in time to kill John Connor, a guardian is sent back in time to protect him, they spend the whole time running from the Terminator, and they repeat the same stunts with bigger vehicles and explosions) and showing the origins of what we’d seen before.

While Terminator: Salvation also has the unenviable task of being both a sequel and a prequel at the same time, it manages to at least distinguish itself by going off in a new direction in terms of story. Yes, it’s the story of a prototype Terminator, how John Connor met Kyle Reese, and how John Connor became leader of the resistance, but it takes those elements as starting points and tells a story, rather than following a connect-the-dots path. (Though they did repeat a few stunts, and there are plot holes you could fly an H-K through.)

That, and T3 really annoyed me because it rejected the core theme of T2: “The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” Whether that theme is actually supportable in the first two movies is debatable (especially considering that the first film appears to present a stable time loop), but this complete reversal is a bit of a slap in the face.*

Surrogates, Terminators and Borg

I actually don’t know much about Surrogates other than the fact that it’s based on a comic book, but I saw this poster the other day and was instantly reminded of the original posters advertising Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Surrogates Poster Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Poster

It’s not a direct reference, of course, simply a similar concept — and the image of a partially-assembled Cameron (Summer Glau) was clearly inspired by the first appearance of the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) in Star Trek: First Contact.

Borg Queen

Of course, as I was reminded while looking for pictures, the Borg Queen had her own antecedents as well.

Back to the Surrogates poster, it turns out that Bleeding Cool spotted a much closer reference in the form of an entry in a Celebrity Cyborgs photo alteration contest, featuring model Kate Moss.

Cyborg Celebrities: Kate Moss

Appropriately enough, the entry was apparently inspired by an article that mentioned an upcoming movie adaptation of Surrogates

*Regarding the “slap in the face” — that’s not really the phrase I want to use, since it implies deliberate offense and is really overused in entitled fandom. What I’m getting at is that it’s sudden and shocking, like preparing to wade out slowly into a very cold pool, then getting pushed in and doing a belly flop.

TV Guide has a list of when TV shows are coming back now that the writers’ strike is over. (via ***Dave)

So, what’s happening to the shows we watch?

Battlestar Galactica

Returns April 4 with first half of 20-episode final season. Production on second half could start as early as March. Airdate for those TBD.

Seeing as how we don’t currently get the Sci-Fi Channel (we discovered BSG through DVDs), this means it’s time to figure out whether to mess with cable/satellite, watch it at someone else’s place, or hope that they’ll continue offering episodes online through iTunes or something.


No new episodes expected until fall.

Pretty much expected that, given the way they were talking at the end of the “fall season.”


No new episodes expected. Ever.

And I continue my history of discovering interesting TV shows after they’ve already been canceled. (Actually, I have an even longer history of this with comic books. The first comic I ever bought, back in 1984, was issue #19 of Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, which lasted 20 issues.)


Six pre-strike episodes remain. Expected to shoot five additional episodes to air in April/May.

TV Guide interviewed Carlton Cuse on this recently (via aeryncrichton). They’d already shot 8 episodes of the 16-episode season, and plan to condense the second half of the season into 5—presumably because that’s how many they can actually finish during this production season.

This could actually work out well for them. One of the reasons season 4 of Babylon 5 was so good (aside from paying off on 4 years of setup) was that JMS shifted up his timetable so that he could wrap up the foreground plotlines by the end of the season he knew he had, instead of ending with a cliffhanger and hoping he could wrap them up in the first third of a season 5 that looked increasingly unlikely. The result was an extremely intense season that is widely regarded as the best year of the show.

And let’s be honest, Lost hasn’t exactly been known for compressed storytelling.

On the other hand, there’s the last few episodes of Angel to consider as a counter-example.

Pushing Daisies

No new episodes until fall.

On the plus side, this means it’s actually been renewed! This had “Too good to last” written all over it!

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Four pre-strike episodes remain. Future beyond that TBD.

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this one. I enjoy it while I’m watching it, and it’s much, much better than Terminator 3, but I don’t find myself looking forward to it between episodes. Even if it does have Summer Glau beating people up.

Looks like the Serenity DVD will be out on December 20. Looks like cool stuff, even if the cover art looks… manipulated. (Apparently, that’s supposed to be River above the title.)

(via Cognitive Dissonance)

And speaking of River, I’m not entirely sure why Summer Glau reportedly “admitted to being a bit freaked out at first by her first comics convention” at Wizard World this past weekend, since she’s been to the last two San Diego Comic Cons for Serenity panels. Maybe the San Diego deals were just showing up for the panels, and not the entire convention?