Terminator – The Sarah Connor ChroniclesWarner Bros. (Blu-ray)
The mother of all destiny. Her son, the future leader of mankind. Their protector, a Terminator from the future. Together they must take back the future as Sarah Connor prepares her son to fight the war against machines determined to annihilate the human race. The clock is ticking. Can they stop Judgment Day.
I didn’t get the chance to watch this during its run on TV but I was intrigued with the limited amount of trailers I saw. I’ve always been a fan of this series so naturally I wanted to see where they went with it. Unfortunately this is more of a rehash of stuff we’ve already seen with different packaging on it. The production values are decent, but they don’t hold a candle to the quality we’ve seen from the films. The acting is a bit on the dramatic side and some of the casting didn’t work very well for me. Ultimately we got bored with the series or just smirked a lot at how bad the dialogue and plotlines were. Hopefully the upcoming film will return this franchise to the level we’ve come to expect from past efforts.
The HD presentation isn’t too bad and its downfalls look to have more to do with the production limitations than the quality of the encode. The image is a bit noisy at times and contrast has been exaggerated giving the show a grittier look that has become popular with the genre. Colors are bold and slightly oversaturated but again this adds to the look. Whites are slightly clipped, which is always annoying, but blacks are solid with good shadow detail. I noticed some slight ringing here and there but nothing distracting. Detail is good overall, but the dimensionality of the image was a bit disappointing given that this is a newer show.
While it may sound like a broken record at times, Warner continues to use the legacy Dolby soundtracks with quite a few of their Blu-ray releases. While this may be a bigger deal with film releases rather than TV shows the majority of the market is still supporting lossless tracks even with their TV shows. Warner just continues to be behind the power curve in this department. Since this is an action show I was hoping the sound design of films would translate into the new series but like the special effects, this one comes up short. There is still plenty going on within the soundstage but dynamic range is limited. Bass rendition is there but you don’t get the extension this track deserves. A lot of the action sequences sound a bit canned in quality and the balance of the mix is inconsistent. The dialogue is recorded quite well though and timbre and tone sound very natural.
Extras include a selection of commentaries for a few of the episodes plus a look at creating the show. Some deleted and additional scenes are included along with a look at some of the stuff going on behind the scenes both before and during production. I was hoping for a sneak peek at Terminator Salvation, but Warner didn’t go for the tie-in I guess.
Ultimately this one left me a bit disappointed. The story uses a lot of the same material the films have already covered and the acting was a bit on the dramatic side. Production values are pretty strong considering this was made for TV, but they fall well short of the films. The A/V experience isn’t what I was hoping for both in production and presentation, so I’d be hard pressed to recommend buying this one.