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February 04 2008

From reaver cleaver to Terminator. NY Daily News article about Summer Glau as Cameron in The Sarah Connor Chronicles; includes mention of River and Firefly.

I think this is a longer version of the same Q+A.

It covers her commenting about Cameron being more human in the first episode and then changing but doesn't give any explanation, which is frustrating because the longer it goes on the more it seems to be just a writing error and not a plot mystery and I can think of a logical explanation that they could have put in.

She also says they're not trying to recreate Arnold, but I'd love to have heard her say "I need your clothes, boots and motorcycle". Maybe they can have her put on a cool pair of sunglasses?
Maybe they can have her put on a cool pair of sunglasses?

Done!
I love seeing Summer get all this good press, I think she is the best thing about 'Terminator: Sarah Conner Chronicles'. It is such a treat to have her back on my TV screen!
We're not trying to recreate Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that makes me feel safe.

Agreed, one is plenty ;-).

It covers her commenting about Cameron being more human in the first episode and then changing but doesn't give any explanation, which is frustrating because the longer it goes on the more it seems to be just a writing error and not a plot mystery and I can think of a logical explanation that they could have put in.

I suspect the "reasons" Summer mentions are meta-textual (i.e. for the comedy value, to make Cameron's arc more obvious, to "engineer" poignancy born of naivete like we had with Anya, to provide a more explicit platform for asking the implied questions about humanity from the films etc.).

What's your explanation though zz9 ? I don't remember what she was like before being "reset" in episode 2 but I could see that as one possibility (even though Summer seems to think it's a conscious choice, like Cameron's dropped her guard around the Connors).
I wasn't surprised that Summer/Cameron was a new 'more human' prototype Terminator. After all the body-builder type was replaced in Terminator 2 w/the changeling/shape shifter Terminator, who was replaced with the Barbie Terminator in 3. I can definitely see that Cameron is a HUGE improvement on those! But I do hope they have some episodes which are written around Summer, her character, and her abilities.
Saje, I have no problem with getting the comic value from Cameron being awkward but the change from Ep1 and thereafter is jarring. If I were writing it I'd either have Cameron explain that she was working from a "Script" given by future-John on how to act and react but now she's in unknown territory or say that she has the ability to act human but it requires a vast amount of processing power and doesn't leave a lot left for thinking about actually protecting John, so perfect for blending in and not arousing suspicion but now she's working she has to concentrate on the job in hand.

T2 established that Terminators can learn so clearly Cameron will change as the show progresses and there is, as the article mentions, a lot that we don't know about her ( Still feels wrong calling Cameron "it" ), the look on her face as John was saying "We have to destroy all the robots" was so "Hey! What about me?"

And thanks for the pic Misnomer, but she hasn't got the killer stare down yet!
I'm loving this show more & more!

Anyone catch tonight's episode yet? Talk about a collision of 'verses!

I agree that she does seem a bit...less human now, but it might just be that she's into "protect" mode and not "blend-in" mode, as zz9 suggested.
Just got back from watching tonight's episode at the local theater. They showed this and the previous episode on their super-upscaling digital projector for free, food extra. (Unfortunately, not many showed up so this was the last time.) I thought the perfomances, esp. in this episode, were quite worthy of the big screen, in every sense.
Hmm, I dunno ShadowQuest, Terminators are specifically designed for infiltration, I think "blend-in mode" should be their default setting. It's not a bad fan-wank though, I could accept that even smiling realistically would be enormously complex for a machine and just as with humans in "fight or flight" mode, it'd make sense to turn off unnecessary sub-routines (and it's a lot less messy when a Terminator does it ;).

Saje, I have no problem with getting the comic value from Cameron being awkward but the change from Ep1 and thereafter is jarring.

Yeah I agree zz9. My main issue is, as you say, that they don't offer an in-text explanation, even a single line would do it. I mention on the .org that between this and the head it's becoming a pattern rather than the odd mistake, which bodes unwell.

That said, i'm still well into benefit of the doubt territory with T:TSCC though, they've plenty of time to offer an explanation and even if they never do, I think more allowances have to be made going from pilot to actual show because rejigging is often called for.

(and for the reasons given I heartily support the choice, even if it would've been nice of them to smooth the way a bit more. Even more than the comedy, they've made Cameron a more explicitly "build a human" character and that's probably my favourite single type of character - pretty ripe thematically, y'know ?)
Just have to mention that April, Warrens first girlfriend-bot played superbly by Shonda Farr, is still my favourite hot android. Cameron is catching up though...
Saje They did explain the head in last night's episode...and that came out sounding way dirtier than it should have. I don't know how to spoiler w/in a comment, so I'll not say anything in case someone hasn't seen it yet.

My thoughts on Cameron's character change - FutureJohn had programmed her to be "human" until she made contact with PresentJohn, and then go into protection mode. She did tell John she's different than previous Terminators.
For spoilers you can do two things, one of which is on the how-to page.

Spoiler for first method:


Spoiler for second method:
Use the font tag with a color attribute of #000000 or black, as in <font color="#000000">text you want inviso'd</font>

Magic, I tell you! The first method is more "future-proof" in case the background color of the site were to change during some kind of apocalypse as we would no doubt update the CSS for the site to keep invisible invisible.
zeitgeist That's too complicated! Pout. I like the < spoiler > < /spoiler > way they do it on the Bronze.

Ah well. Other than this one time, I've not needed/wanted to spoilerfont anything, so...shrug.

But thanks for the answer just the same.
Saje They did explain the head in last night's episode...and that came out sounding way dirtier than it should have.

Heh ;). Unfortunately they didn't though. The head isn't a problem in the sense that its presence is unexplained, it's a problem in that the explanation contradicts a fundamental rule of the Terminator universe.



Now obviously different people take these things with varying levels of seriousness and by itself it's not a huge deal to me personally BUT it is, however you cut it, an important rule of that 'verse and if they can break one, where do the others stand ? And that rule itself has been used to answer a fairly obvious question about Terminators travelling back (i.e. why don't they take super future-guns with them ?) so if you break it with impunity you open the door to that question again.

She did tell John she's different than previous Terminators.

True but the implication was that she's more "human" than previous models, more empathetic not less (she eats the offered crisp, she even cracks a joke of sorts and in episode 4 when Sarah tells Cameron .
On the subject of Cameron being more human in the first episode, I think it's likely that when she arrived in town, she had a similar welcoming. So when she found John, she mimicked the lines that had been used on her. But after the introduction, that particular conversation was no longer applicable. So she has to learn situation specific programming every time she encounters something new. Like the bathroom slang. It's true that it isn't actually explained in the show, but maybe it would've been too clunky to do so. This theory works for me anyway.
Good point, hacksaway. It might be that her programming...reprograms itself whenever she encounters something out of the norm - i.e. the bathroom scene.

Saje Hopefully we'll get more of an explanation as things progress. Which they will, gorramit. Once the strike is cleared up and this show gets the second season it deserves, we'll get all the answers we wanted. And some we didn't even know the questions to. Like why were the first Terminators male? And why isn't Cameron? How many other Terminators have had names in order to "pass"? And how long have they been here? Why doesn't Sarah get a dog? (Other than it'd be barking at Cameron all the time. Unless they trained it to accept her.) Et bloody cetera.

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