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Blu-ray Review: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The Complete 1st Season

Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2008 8:46 AM

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Front Cover ArtworkTerminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The Complete 1st Season
Warner Home Video
392 Minutes

List Price: $39.99 (Check Price at Amazon.com)

Available 8/19/2008


 SourceThis Disc
Video Format:
Super 35 (Film)
1080p VC-1
Aspect Ratio:1.78:1 1.78:1

Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital 5.1

Disc 1 Contents

  • Upfront Ad (0:56) (can be skipped by selecting the Menu button)
    • "Casablanca" anti-piracy ad
  • TV Episodes 1-3
  • Special Features
    • Commentaries (for the Pilot episode and "The Turk")
    • Terminated Scenes
    • Featurette: Creating the Chronicles: Reboot
    • Featurette: Creating the Chronicles: Future War
    • Featurette: Creating the Chronicles: The Demon Hand
    • Gag Reel

Disc 2 Contents

  • TV Episodes 4-6
  • Special Features
    • Terminated Scene
    • Cast Audition Tapes
    • Summer Glau Dance Rehearsal
    • Storyboard Animatic

Disc 3 Contents

  • TV Episodes 7-9
  • Special Features
    • Terminated Scenes
    • Commentary (for "What He Beheld")
    • Extended Cut of "The Demon Hand"

About the TV Series

First, there was The Terminator, the 1984 movie by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a robotic killing machine sent from the future to destroy Linda Hamilton, a waitress who just happens to be the mother of the man that organizes the human resistance movement against the killing machines in the future that declared war on mankind. The movie spawned two sequels, Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in 2003.

This TV series picks up where T2 left off, essentially ignoring the existence of T3. The question facing the creators of the series was, could they build upon the Terminator story in a way that pleased long-time fans of the franchise and draw in the fickle TV audiences needed for a second season?

About This Title

This package is a set of three Blu-ray discs that comprise the entire first season of the series. Three episodes are featured on each disc, with a sprinkling of special features, extended cuts, deleted scenes, and cast/crew commentaries to sweeten its appeal.

How Does it Look?

Getting out of a jam

The high definition Blu-ray release is definitely a step up in picture quality from the standard definition DVD release. I'm not sure that I noticed any huge improvement over the broadcast HD version that was showing on Fox at the same time as I began reviewing these discs, but the lack of commercial interruption makes the Blu-ray edition the preferred way to view the series in HD.

The only problem I had where the picture quality was concerned was a slight reddish tint to Lena Headley's cheeks in the pilot episode when she is in John's bedroom telling him about their plans. This may be appropriate, but I didn't have the same episode stored on my HD DVR to compare, and the DVD release doesn't show this (subtle details are the first things lost in standard definition).

How Does it Sound?

The sound quality matches that of the DVD release in that it is Dolby Digital 5.1 -- no lossless audio for us Terminator fans. This is understandable, given that we're talking about a TV series, and not a feature-length movie. It's standard TV series material, but perhaps not up to the standard being set by CBS shows like CSI and CSI: New York. It's obvious that the sound design is not as high a priority or the skills of the people involved are not at the same level, but it does an acceptable job.


There are actually quite a few good extras in this package! The deleted scenes are interesting in that they flesh out some of the shows a little more, but they were most likely cut for time considerations forced upon the producers by the "TV show with commercials" format. I listened to the commentary on the Pilot episode after rewatching the show normally, and it was interesting to listen to the banter and some of the behind the scenes tidbits that were provided. Watching Summer Glau rehearse her ballet moves for an episode which called for her to take ballet lessons helped me to appreciate her skills as a dancer, not just as an actor in a sci-fi action TV show.

Over and above the DVD release, the only HD material provided on this Blu-ray release is the 3-part featurette Creating the Chronicles. The rest of the extras are the same as the DVD release, so no Picture-in-Picture commentary or cool online BD-Live features are to be found here.


If you like the show, or haven't seen it, but are interested in the series, this set will satisfy you and is worth at least renting, if not purchasing. Extras like what are provided in this package help to make such a release a purchase more than a rental. They allow you to enjoy the material more over time and they reward the time spent with them. If you have a Blu-ray player, the high definition version is the preferred edition due to the enhanced picture quality.

Recommended Reading

Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the disc.


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