Wrapping up my look at the Fox pilots with one of the season's more anticipated shows, albeit one that won't be airing until mid-season.
Repeat after me: This is not a review, just a first impression. I understand that many things can and will change between now and when the show actually airs.
"The Sarah Connor Chronicles"
Who's in it: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau
What it's about: Spin-off of the "Terminator" movies, picking up a few years after "Terminator 2," with Sarah and John Connor on the run, until the arrival of some more machines from the future convinces them to change their plan.
Pluses: Headey's very good, and while she doesn't live up to the intensity (not to mention the biceps) of Linda Hamilton in "T2," the character as written and performed in that movie wouldn't be sustainable for a series. This is a happy medium. "Firefly" fans will be very pleased with Glau's role in the story. Owain Yeoman, of all people (late of "Kitchen Confidential" and the never-seen "Commando Nanny," but also of "The Nine"), makes a more-than-passable old-school Terminator. Several exciting action sequences.
Minuses: Not sold on Dekker as the future messiah, even though the character spends much of the pilot complaining that he doesn't fit the part, either. The action's good but not superlative, and with very rare exceptions (essentially "Alias," "24" and "Lost"), series TV action tends to get worse, not better, as the production grind goes along. Doesn't necessarily feel like a long-term concept. The script relies a lot on people's memory of a 16-year-old movie (there's a lot of Miles Dyson talk), yet it monkeys enough with the continuity of the movies ("T3" essentially can't co-exist with this story) that the hardcore fanboys are going to complain.