Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles Characters

The Sarah Conner Chronicles Characters

 

Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles Character Guide


Sarah Connor played by Lena Headey

Sarah Connor

Sarah Connor is the mother of John Connor who will one day become the leader of the human resistance. The authorities, however, see her as a deranged fugitive. Series creator Josh Friedman saw over 300 actresses for the role and described the actress he was looking for was someone “who embodied that spirit and who was believable in that role and not just some glammed up, Hollywood, actressy thing”. After a friend recommended English actress Lena Headey for the role, Friedman watched her audition tape, and thought she was “a tough, tough woman”. Having seen The Terminator when she was a teenager, which “scared the hell out of [her],” Headey was aware of the iconic status of the character and in regards to Linda Hamilton’s portrayal of the role in the film series, she remarked, “Linda Hamilton will always be the original Sarah Connor and it’s a very strong print that she’s left, but hopefully people will embrace what I bring to Sarah and see it with fresh eyes”. When asked about her approach to the role, Headey said “I’m playing a mother who is a single parent, bringing up a teenage son, who also happens to save the world — as a byline to her life. And the way I would play that is someone who’s passionate and scared and angry and a mother, all these things. So I approach that just trying to be honest within the boundaries of her”. However, the choice to cast Headey was criticized by several fans and critics who argued that she bore no resemblance to the athletic, muscular woman established by Hamilton, who transformed her body into that of a muscled warrior for Terminator 2.

 


John Connor played by Thomas Dekker

John Connor

John Connor is Sarah’s son and the future leader of the human resistance. He is only 15 years old at the beginning of the show, turning sixteen in the season one finale. As the series progresses, John struggles with his feelings for Cameron, who is a Terminator. Dekker was cast after Headey secured the role of Sarah Connor. Regarding the Terminator films, Dekker says “They are like my favorite films when I was younger. So it’s very ironic that I’m getting to do this. And I know for the younger generation and for myself, John was equally important to me as Sarah was, and I know a lot of the people that I hear from really, really care about John”. Dekker describes his character as “a continuation of Eddie Furlong’s character” but “he’s in a darker, more mature place now”.

 

 

 


Cameron played by Summer Glau

Cameron

Cameron is a Terminator whom John Connor sent back from 2027 to protect his earlier self. Her model and exact capabilities are not known, but she can mimic human mannerisms better than the T-800 model could, and she can also consume food, a first for Terminators. Her name is a homage to Terminator film franchise creator James Cameron. Glau had not seen the Terminator films prior to being cast as Cameron Phillips, whose role in the series was initially kept concealed but was later revealed to be a Terminator sent from the future to protect John. Friedman had previously wanted to cast Glau in a pilot he wrote four years prior to The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but she was already committed to Serenity. Glau almost did not audition for the role because of her preconceptions of the character and she felt that she did not have “that Terminator look”. On playing Cameron, Glau said she was “intimidated” by the role because it was a challenge for her to balance the human and robot characteristics. Later in the series it is revealed that Cameron stole the identity of a resistance fighter, Alison Young, before being reprogrammed.

 


James Ellison played by Richard T. Jones

James Ellison

James Ellison is an FBI Special Agent pursuing Sarah Connor. At first puzzled by what he initially thinks is Sarah’s outlandish story, he later collects inexplicable evidence of the Terminators (including the body of Cromartie) and gradually realizes the truth. Jones describes his character as a “man of faith” and likens him to that of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive. Jones was allowed to improvise a few lines to provide “a little bit of comic relief” to the show. In the second season, Ellison pursues employment with ZeiraCorp, allying himself with Catherine Weaver (whom he does not know is a Terminator until the series finale).

 

 

 

 


Derek Reese played by Brian Austin Green

Derek Reese

Derek Reese is a Resistance fighter sent to the past by the future John Connor. He is the older brother of Kyle Reese (John Connor’s father) and paternal uncle of John. He knows Cameron in the future, but still does not trust her and becomes paranoid every time she’s around, but throughout the series he begins to have a love-hate relationship with her. He is recurring in the first season but becomes a regular in the second season. Derek knows Jesse Flores who arrives from the future. He is killed by a Terminator while attempting to save Savannah Weaver. Another Derek from an alternate timeline is introduced in the series finale.

 

 

 

 


Cromartie played by Garret Dillahunt

Cromartie

Cromartie is a T-888 sent back in time to kill John Connor in the pilot episode, in which he was portrayed by Owain Yeoman. He takes damage to his biological covering, revealing his metal endoskeleton. After he finds a new biological covering in the episode “The Turk” in the shape of actor George Laszlo, he continues his search for John. After chasing John and Riley into Mexico, Cromartie’s chip is destroyed and John buries his body in the desert. When John returns later to destroy Cromartie’s body, it has been moved. Ellison has recovered the body for Catherine Weaver, who connects Cromartie’s body to the Babylon A.I. named John Henry. Dillahunt was a recurring character in the first season, but becomes a regular character in the last season, portraying Laszlo, Cromartie and John Henry.

 

 


 

Catherine Weaver played by Shirley Manson

Catherine Weaver

Catherine Weaver is a shape-shifting Terminator disguised as the CEO of a high-tech corporation called ZeiraCorp. A model T-1001, her liquid metal form as she changes shape resembles a faster and an easily-recovering version of the T-1000 seen in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. She is focused on developing artificial intelligence using The Turk, the intuitive computer at first believed to be a precursor to Skynet (but later shown to be a separate entity). She targets other Terminators to reverse engineer Skynet technology in the present, and to prepare for the future war. She plans on using this research to fight Skynet. Despite the revelation that Weaver is an enemy of Skynet, it is still unknown where her allegiance lies. Weaver hints at her motives in the episode “Born To Run” when she asks Cameron, “Will you join us?” through messenger James Ellison. During the episode “Today is the Day, pt.2” Cameron explains to Jesse Flores that John Connor asked the same question of the T-1001 in an attempt to forge an alliance against Skynet.

 

Riley Dawson played by Leven Rambin

Riley Dawson

Riley Dawson is John’s new love interest that he meets at school, much to the consternation of Sarah. John does not reveal the story of his life to her, but as they get closer, he realizes he is endangering her life. Unknown to John, a resistance fighter, Jesse, has brought Riley back from the future to prevent John from getting too close to Cameron, and to get close to John. She appears to develop genuine romantic feelings for John. Jesse later kills Riley after a struggle.

 


 

 

 

Jesse Flores played Stephanie Jacobsen

Jesse Flores

Jesse is an Australian resistance sailor and Derek Reese’s love interest. In her timeline, she sailed to Los Angeles for supplies aboard the upgraded nuclear submarine USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), captained by a reprogrammed Terminator, Queeg, of which she is the executive officer. In 2007 she is on a mission to find and stop Cameron from adversely influencing young John, by recruiting Riley Dawson in the future and bringing her back to frame Cameron for her murder. In the future from which Jesse comes, John has withdrawn from humans and speaks only with Cameron. It is unclear whether this mission is self appointed, but comments by her and the fact she was able to access the time travel machinery with Riley suggests others in the Resistance leadership group may share her concerns about Cameron’s influence on John. John Connor later figures out that Jesse killed Riley and informs Derek, but orders her life to be spared. Derek confronts Jesse, but whether or not Derek actually kills her is left ambiguous.

 


Charley Dixon played by Dean Winters

Charley Dixon

Charley Dixon, a paramedic, is Sarah’s fiancé until she leaves him in the pilot episode and travels eight years forward in time. Although he marries another woman in the interim, during subsequent episodes he builds a friendship with the Connors and renders medical assistance when needed. When his wife is killed in the second season episode “The Mousetrap”, he is not seen again until the episode “To The Lighthouse”, which reveals that he now lives in a lighthouse, being a safe house that Sarah set up for him, which he has booby trapped and alarmed to protect against further attacks. When the house is invaded by human assassins acting for the apparent proto-Skynet, Charley is killed enabling John Connor to escape.

 

 

 

 

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