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:: Rise of the Machines ::

Come with me if you want to live.

Tell me I'm not the only one watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox. About as big of a Terminator fan as you're likely to find, I had my doubts about it. But so far this writer's strike mid-season gamble has done nothing but impress me. The series' take on the morality of robotics and high technology is refreshingly well developed for a television action/drama. Coupled with Ian Punnett's Coast to Coast AM interview with roboticist Daniel H. Wilson this past Sunday night, I've got robots on the brain.

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When I first read about Fox's plan to make a Terminator TV series, I was ready to go into full nerd-rage mode. With no James Cameron involvement of any kind and with tiny Summer Glau of Firefly fame playing the cyborg role pioneered by polar opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was ready to write this one off well before the premier of the pilot episode.

This is what I wrote about it back in August in my Fall TV Preview article:

As far as new mid-season shows are concerned, I've been keeping an eye of Fox's The Sarah Connor Chronicles. This Terminator TV series has been rumored to be in production for a while now, and it appears all systems are go for airing early next year. Staring Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo from 300), who will be taking Linda Hamilton's role as the titular mother, and Thomas Dekker (who had a brief role as Zach in the first season of Heroes) as teen-aged John Connor, the show will pick up the story after the events of Terminator 2. It will apparently be ignoring Terminator 3 and instead be taking a different path. I consider the first two Terminator films to be among my favorite movies of all time, so I am by default hesitant to embrace the idea of turning the story into a weekly series. But all the same, I'm pretty much required to give it a shot.

And "give it a shot" I did. Now I'm not going to start making claims that the show is on par with Cameron's classic films, but in a television landscape dominated by American Gladiators and American Idle, The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a welcome breath of fresh air for science fiction fans. Chronicles follows the exploits of the mom/son duo of Sarah and John Connor as they try to stop the yet-to-be-made supercomputer Skynet from starting a nuclear war. Ignoring the events of Terminator 3, Chronicles picks up after the Cyberdyne shootout as the Connors make an attempt at a normal life. But of course yet more cyborgs travel back in time to ruin their day.

Much like Terminator 2, the theme of Chronicles focuses around man's self-destructive nature. For example, a scene from T2 in which Linda Hamilton scolds Skynet's would-be maker for being just as bad as the guys that thought up the A-Bomb is taken to a new level. In a dream sequence, Lena Headey's Sarah Connor confronts the Manhattan Project crew and attempts to assassinate them, only to have the scientists turn into the franchise's iconic cybernetic exoskeletons. The episode came to a close with Headey quoting Oppenheimer's famous 'now we are all sons of bitches' line. This kind of respectful nod to source material while simultaneously elaborating on its premise is exactly what The Sarah Connor Chronicles is all about.

But not every robotics future needs to end in humanity fighting a desperate resistance war against genocidal machines, does it?

After listening to Ian Punnett interview Daniel H. Wilson on Sunday night, I'm even less optimistic than I was before. After discussing the many possible ways robots can be used to injure, maim, and kill us--including converting innocent Roombas into little roaming death machines--I was almost afraid to use my toaster (Battlestar Galactica reference intentional and very related).

What I find tragically hilarious about the robotics industry is that despite the countless sci-fi tales of robots run amok, we continue to orchestrate our own inevitable demise. Just as Sarah Connor grows frustrated over the fact that no matter what she does or who she kills someone, somewhere will continue to develop Skynet. Asimov's laws be damned, Roombas will give way to androids before we move from if we could to if we should.

I for one intend to submit to our new robot overlords. Just so long as I can get in on some of that phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range action.

:: Dead End ::

Well, that's all for this week. I trust you enjoyed your trip into this shadowy nether-realm known only as the K-Files.

For the latest updates on the world of Khyron, bookmark http://www.khyron.net/. With content updated regularly, you're sure to find your fix for all things entertaining and paranormal. As always, feel free to send any questions/comments/suggestions to KFiles@khyron.net.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next  K-Files, arriving sometime next week. Later.

~Khyron, 2007.


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