It was a big hit to me when this show got cancelled. I never felt it got the attention it deserved, I had come to really love the characters, and worst of all it ended in a very awkward place. But it is not truly gone, not as long as you can still pick it up on DVD.
Okay, there are some reservations to watching it, all of which are valid, I had the same concerns as I got into it.
First off – it is by no means a Terminator movie, but then again neither was Terminator Salvation. You have to remove the expectations you would have of a Terminator movie before you can begin to appreciate this show for what it is – a well-written action serial set in the Terminator universe. This show explores aspects of the Terminator concept that a two-hour movie just doesn’t have time for. Nowhere else will you see a 1930’s gangster Terminator.
Second – who are these people? This show uses none of the original actors from any of the films. Lena Headey takes on the role of Sarah Conner in this show. And no, she’s not Linda Hamilton, but you know what – she is a very believable Sarah Conner. At no point in the show did I feel like she wasn’t being true to the character, I found her to be protective, passionate, dangerous, and scary – exactly like the Sarah Conner I know.
Thomas Dekker is still the most believable John Conner that we’ve had since Terminator 2. Mainly because he doesn’t act weak.
Summer Glau took a few episodes to grow into her character. Unfortunately the show had to get the whole it’s-a-hot-teenage-killer-robot-girl-who-doesn’t-know-how-a-VCR-works out of it’s system before it could actually take the character seriously. Her performance reflects that. But as the character developed, Cameron really found her place in the Terminator mythology.
Third – the plot for this show seems to either misunderstand or completely ingore the third Terminator movie, which is a pro or a con depending on how you felt about the plot of Terminator 3. If you try to reconcile the two plots you will probably give yourself a headache, personally I’m inclined to ignore the story of the third movie completely.
One problem you might not have foreseen is that – apart from a few exceptional scenes – the villains are not particularly scary-looking. Perhaps that’s what the director was going for, to get across the fact that even a totally mundane-looking person could be a killer robot, but the end result is still a lack of coolness.
Also, the fact that the heroes had to jump forward in time (from the nineties to present-day) is difficult to accept at first. BUT, it was necessary to have the events set in present-day in order to make the whole thing relevant and scary – an essential element of the franchise that Terminator Salvation lacked.
If you gave Terminator Salvation a shot, then you definitely owe it to this show to give it a chance. It feels far more like a proper continuation of the story from Terminator 2 than either of the last two films.
I understand the Terminator franchise as a whole is in a flux right now as it changes hands. When all settles down and people start making Terminator movies and video games again, I hope they find room for an obscure, little, killer robot chick named Cameron.