The second and also the last season of the television show based on the Terminator films is out on DVD and Blu-ray. While season one consisted of only nine episodes, season two is a full 22 episodes.
Set between the second and third Terminator films, this series focuses on Sarah Connor (Lena Headey) and her son, John (Thomas Dekker). The two are on the run from the terminators that have been sent back to stop John from becoming the leader of the revolution he will one day command.
But thinking ahead once again, John sent back in time another terminator to protect his younger self. This time it’s a beautiful young girl named, Cameron (Summer Glau). And along with the machine, his uncle Derek (Brian Austin Green) has also come from the future to keep an eye on him.
Under the leadership or Sarah, the four turn their attentions to more than just simple survival. They are going to try and stop the future from occurring. They are going to find The Turk, which will one day evolve into the super-genius A.I. that tries to destroy all the humans: Skynet.
At the end of the first season they managed to find The Turk, but the owners want it back and booby trap their jeep. When Cameron gets in to start it, the jeep explodes and the men go after Sarah and John. Since Cameron is virtually indestructible, she escapes the burning wreckage and rushes to John. At this point, her programming has been damaged and she reverts to her old mission of terminating John Conner.
While there are a couple of self-contained episodes, the series is mostly serialized and it’s important to follow in sequential order. There are also a lot of different plot elements with plenty of twists and turns, but unfortunately a lot of unanswered questions by the end of the season. What is John and Cameron’s relationship in the future? Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson) is a T-1000, but is she good or bad? Will Sarah ever get cancer or has she found a way to avoid it? Finally, how is John going to get back home? With the cancellation of the series they will probably never be answered.
There are a lot of extra features on the Blu-ray and are all shot in High Definition.
Exclusive on Blu-ray: “Collision with the Future: Deconstructing the Hunter Killer Attack” - From production to final product the viewer can change viewpoints between four different perspectives during an action scene in the season finale. While watching one, the other three are also on the screen set in small boxes that allow you to switch between them by either highlighting the box or pushes the multi-colored buttons on your remote. If the switches were done smoothly it would be worthwhile, but there’s a couple seconds hesitation between them, and since the commentary over the top is also different, it can get quite confusing when switching around a lot.
Commentaries on four key episodes by executive producer Josh Friedman and Cast/Crew: “Samson and Delilah” “Allison From Palmdale” “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Born to Run.”
“The Continuing Chronicles” - This is one giant documentary on how the season was shot, broken into eight different categories. Each one is interesting, but they run a little too long.
“Terminated Scenes: Unaired Moments” – were cut from the televised episodes and are scattered throughout the five-disc set.
“The Storyboard Process: Cameron Goes Bad Illustrates How Key Sequences are Mapped” – Using a scene from the first episode of the season, you get an in-depth look at how John stops Cameron from killing him and manages to overwrite her programming.
“Cameron VS. Rosie Fight Rehearsal” – This feature shows everything from storyboard to rehearsals to final cut showing you all the steps in the creation of this scene.
Gag Reel - Standard gag reel filled with lots of interruptions such as overhead planes and props failing to function properly.
The Blu-ray offers 1080p High Definition 16x9 with a 1.78:1 ratio and Dolby Digital 5.1. The quality of the picture is crystal clear and looks more like feature film quality as opposed to the often grainy and washed appearance that you get on standard network television. The sound quality is better as well from the gun shots that come from every direction, to the eerie sounds of the machines and the background music that helps set the mood.
It’s a shame that the show was cancelled after this season. The stories are well written and there is plenty of action and excitement in every episode. The characters are fully fleshed out and the acting is superb.
While the last two Terminator films have been a disappointment, the television series is as good as the first two and makes a great addition to the overall mythology and to any fan’s collection.