Turning the Terminator films into a TV series would have been unthinkable a few years ago. There's no way they could do really good action on TV. Now with shows like 24 and Alias, they can. The first episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles promises Terminator-worthy action, and director David Nutter says there is more to come.
Nutter on The Sarah Connor Chronicles
"Lena Heady would go through doors and walls and smash her hands into things," said Nutter. "She really went for it and kicked a lot of butt and had a lot of scrapes, as did of course Summer [Glau] and Thomas [Dekker] and we're getting ready for Richard [T. Jones] to pad him up as well."
Now that they've done it once, doing it again will only get easier. "I also think that there's been a lot of research and development from the people doing the specific effects, Zoic. A lot of times, once they've done a lot of this research and development, a lot of the stuff isn't really as expensive to do, create more terminators and things of that nature. So there will be just as many effects and large scale things alongside many of the episodes. We have the exact same team doing it. We have the same director of photography and a lot of the same crew members working on the series as did the pilot. Our intent is to keep it up there as long as we can."
Casting a Brit in the distinctly American title role was no big deal in this day and age. Hate to break it to you, but House isn't a Yankee either. "I think with the advent of shows like Rome and even BBC programs and HBO shows and other shows that are actually showing these wonderful actors from abroad, it's that they're getting more notice and people are able to see, 'Oh, look at that person. Look at this person. Let's try to get them on this show.' I think that it's all about getting the best product and fortunately, Lena read the script and thought it was quite special, and we were fortunate to get her."
For the actors playing terminators in the show, there is just as much to live up to. Nutter tried to avoid the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Robert Patrick models. "I really fell back into the whole situation. I brought in a guy, a movement specialist, to work with the actors and learn how terminators would react and do things from a machine point of view. Because of course with a terminator, you're not emotionally driven. You're information driven and data driven from the head. So your reactions to things are done really from the eye rather than the feeling sensibility. So I think that's kind of a simple way to play it but I think really utilizing that as a bedrock and going from that position of knowing that they're being driven from this part of psyche and not this part of the psyche, or physicality is something to really react to. And also have them just do some movements, just very minor things and how you want to do that is something that we studied quite a lot and did a lot of movement work on that."
The Sarah Connor Chronicles premieres in January on Fox.