WC: Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Wed, March 4th, 2009 at 9:58am PST | Updated: March 4th, 2009 at 10:12am

TV/Film
Jonathan Callan, Contributing Writer

"Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" airs Fridays on Fox

The show’s creator and two of the leads from Fox’s “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” appeared before a packed auditorium at WonderCon in in San Francisco to preview footage from upcoming episodes and answer fans’ questions. On stage were creator and executive producer Josh Friedman, star Summer Glau (Cameron) and the newest addition to the cast, Shirley Manson, best known as the singer of alt-rock icons Garbage, who plays Catherine Weaver on “The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”

The panel opened with footage from the new series including shots of Summer Glau with a shotgun and trashing an office building. Among other things previewed were the growing rift between Sarah and Cameron – who Sarah believes may still be working for SkyNet – and Cameron’s relationship with John. The last two minutes of the footage was a montage set to an old Scottish song called “Donald, Where’s Your Trousers?”, which Freidman promises will soon be famous to the fans. The final shot was of John and Cameron making out on a bed.

Immediately upon taking the stage, the moderator asked Josh Friedman for more context on the last shot of the preview. Were Cameron and John doing what it seemed they were doing?

“You know, sometimes things happen on the show. Sometimes they’re real, sometimes they’re not real,” Freidman said. His response drew disappointed moans from the audience. “I’m not going to tell you!” Freidman exclaimed.

The moderator then addressed Manson, who plays the antagonist Terminator T-1001 named Catherine Weaver. What did Manson say when Freidman asked her to join the cast? “I’ve said this many, many times,” Manson explained. “I thought he was joking.”

“When are Shirley and Summer going to fight?” the moderator then asked, turning his focus backed to Freidman. “You should have been in the green room a few minutes ago,” Freidman joked. Freidman then admitted he’d considered the question of not which character, but which of the **actresses** would win if the two actually fought. “As much love as I have for Summer, I think Shirley would kick her ass.”

This comment drew boos from the audience.

Shirley Manson stars in "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"

The moderator again asked if the two **characters** would fight in the upcoming last six episodes of the season.

“There’s that mud-wrestling scene where we’re in our bikinis,” Manson joked.

“Right. There is that,” Glau said, laughing.

The moderator then expressed a sentiment that Freidman later claimed he’d heard at length from many of the show’s fans. “Some people want more Cameron in their life!” he complained.

Freidman agreed that the character needed to have more moments on the show. “I don’t want to say that I tried to write Cameron out of episodes because I’d never want to do that,” Freidman said. “We were trying to focus on the Sarah character for a few episodes and Cameron is as much if not more of an Alpha. So if you want to investigate Sarah, it’s hard to have Cameron around.”

The moderator then breached the subject that was on everyone’s mind: cancelation. “Terminator” has been teetering on the brink in its ratings and a third season is unlikely. “Have you thought about trying to fit more things in before the show ends?” the moderator asked.

“Based on the response to the last couple of episodes, I’m probably the last person to ask about the pacing,” Freidman remarked, going on to say that he’s a fan of slow storytelling and that his favorite show is “The Wire”. “I’d love to go to a Wire Con. Imagine what people would dress as. I tried to get every person from ‘The Wire’ I could into ‘Terminator.’ Imagine Omar in the Ellison role.”

Freidman then addressed the dissatisfaction some people have expressed with the show's pacing. “For me, if you eat through so much plot and not just plot-plot but character plot, you turn it into a soap opera,” Freidman said. “I always want to protect the characters and really earn their changes. And sometimes maybe I do slow the show down too much.”

Manson was then asked what it was like making the transition from rock star to television. “It was very surreal,” she answered. “It felt like Kindergarten. It was scary and exciting.”

Manson went on to say that when she watches an episode of the show, she spends much of the time criticizing her own performance, but that in a recent episode she was struck by a scene she was in. “I was like – wow. I am a scary bad-ass.”

At this point, the floor was opened to questions and most related to the show’s possible end. “I don’t know anything,” Freidman said. “When you’re ratings-challenged and you go into work, two hundred and fifty people are looking at you wanting to know if they have a job. And a lot of those guys are **big men.**” Freidman re-iterated he’ll likely find out the future of the show around the same time the fans will.

“The number of times I’ve had to get on an apple box in front of the cast and crew and give a big speech… and the big speech is: I don’t know anything,” he said.

A fan asked if the show would end on a cliffhanger or try to provide a satisfying ending, given the threat of cancelation. “Well, I hope that if we don’t get a third season nobody is satisfied,” Freidman said honestly. “People ask me that question and I say: well, I hope you’re all pissed… I think the finale is keeping the promise you made to your fans at the start of the season. Yeah, it wraps up a lot of stuff but it also introduces a lot of new questions.”

One fan wanted to know if Cameron and Catherine Weaver would in fact meet before the end of the show. Glau and Manson looked at each other, unsure what to reveal.

“Yes,” Freidman said finally. “Everybody has a scene with everybody.”

TAGS:  terminator, terminator: the sarah connor chronicles, wondercon2009, summer glau, shirley manson

 
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