The destiny of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is not yet written, Executive Producer Josh Friedman told a conference call about the series today. Fox hasn't made any decisions yet about its fall 2008 line-up, so there will be a "post-game" discussion after Monday's two-hour season finale. The show's done well with some key demographics, and among DVR/Tivo users, and isn't that expensive a show to make, Friedman added. So fingers crossed. Friedman also addressed some of the show's dangling plotlines, and had a special message for io9.
It's pure dumb luck that the final two episodes, airing Monday, form a decent season finale for the show. They just happened to be the last two episodes completed before the writers' strike. Episode 10 is awesome, but would have made a much less fitting ending.
I started to ask Friedman a question, and when he heard I was from io9, he shouted, "Ease up on us! You're killing us!" Apparently he's been reading our recaps of the show, and thinks we're too snarky. (Which made me feel bad, because we love the show, and have been regularly accused of boosting it too much.)
My actual question had to do with whether Summer Glau's Terminator Cameron is becoming more Cylon-like, with her apparent emotions and her love of ballet in the last episode. Here's what Friedman said:
With all due respect to Ron Moore, Cylons have wanted to be like terminators for many years. Probably all of them wanted to be like Blade Runner. [Cameron] is a more advanced model, she has more ability to mimic emotion... Whenever you have any form of cyborg or android, [like] Data, there's always temptation by the writers to stat exploring that whole humanity thing. How far it goes and what the limitations are is something that I'm still exploring.
He added that he wants to explore these themes in a way that makes sense to casual viewers and feels fresh to people who've watched tons of science fiction before. He said there's a lot of debate among the show's makers about whether Cameron is really feeling emotions, or just pretending to. And if she pretends to feel emotions for long enough, will she eventually feel them for real? He also said he can't watch Battlestar, because it does such a good job with these themes that he wants to deal with them on his own.
The show tries really hard not to violate the rules of time travel, despite the fact that more people and Terminators are coming back through time than you ever saw in the movies. Friedman figures that Skynet would be cautious about sending back too many Terminators or other devices, because Skynet "understands that causality is so complicated that any one thing might change things." Skynet doesn't want to wipe out the human race before its own creation happens.
Friedman wants to include more comedy in season two.
We should find out in season two what happens in that spooky basement that FutureBrian Austin Green went into. If we'd gotten our full 13 episodes of season one, there would have been a second episode dealing with future stuff.
Remember that whole plot about someone painting mean stuff on the doors at the high school? And the girl who committed suicide? And the mean girls? Well, Friedman hasn't forgotten it either. But apparently a lot of the high-school subplot ended up on the cutting-room floor in recent episodes, partly for length reasons and also because it sounds like some people at Fox are skittish about it. "I definitely had this whole huge storyline i was working on," Friedman said. He had planned to resolve that storyline in season one, and hopes to resolve it in the show's second season. I hope those deleted high-school scenes wind up on the DVDs, because the Terminator/Heathers mashup was my favorite part of the show, and I've been missing it.