This news concerning the much loved TERMINATOR franchise might be risky and controvertial to some people, Shortly after more definite news that there will very probably now be a new TERMINATOR film-and with Arnie, in some form-now it has been announced that this new film in the staggered series, with the peaks and flaws, will also be connected to a new television series. The actual big shock here, or tantalising revelation is that this new series, will rewrite the time structure of events in the series potentially.
This is of course fairly radical as it has been hinted that the hugely popular and massively successful TERMINATOR 2:JUDGEMENT DAY and the more recent television series Sarah Connor Chronicles may chronologically be irrelevant in the series time-line in one sense.
Now this twisting and rearranging of narrative and chronology in popular genre series is not at all new, but this is one very huge and popular series to mess around with in such a way.
I have seen this kind of chopping and cutting and re-ordering of events and plot in comicbook and graphic novels from over the last 20 to 30 years. For comicbook fans, this is just one simple narrative option, it happens also in much literary fiction over the last century also.
This is of course, is a huge popular Hollywood movie series which is much loved, and and like any new Terminator movie, could possibly make huge amounts of money. Over the last ten to fifteen years, we have seen a number of big Hollywood movie genre trilogies; and with Lucas and his StarWars series, some prequels and now soon to happen sequels.
And so look how many older adult fans reacted to the news of and then seeing the StarWars prequels? They did not basically change the series direction, but alter the larger mythology-should it have happened? We no longer ever only view or think of StarWars as a simple trilogy, it is a huge ever-growing franchise.
Some audiences welcome any and every new entry into a series or concept, and some of the much more recent film and tv series are likely to be influencing this Terminator reboot. Most recently the ongoing success of the Marvel superhero movies, which then linked into and set up the Avengers movie, and now the Agents of Shield tv series and now continue to flow with the next up and coming Marvel movies. The Spiderman series has been rebooted recently, a new sequel due in a few months, and it has refreshed and restarted the series, bringing back characters used only in the last couple of movies and altering the previously set up mythology of Spiderman on big screen in the last decade.
Now in the last couple of weeks a new trailer has been released for the next new X-MEN movie, and this like the most recent one, continues to go back to before the initial X-MEN trilogy and off-shoot films and build up back history and now also rewrite and interweave various times and alternate time-lines. This has been in the actual X-MEN comics for many years, but onscreen it is a first. X-MEN fans are most probably extremely super-eXcited about this.
But should the TERMINATOR series ignore and rewrite its own classic sci-fi myth? Why do it? For money or to actually be challenging and radical in narrative terms? But this series has some of the most known and loved characters.
Like the ALIENS franchise, with TERMINATOR, there have been spin-off novels, comic series and games and more, and specifically the recent tv series Sarah Connor Chronicles. The series was slow to gain respect and welcome, and arguable was cut off at a point when it really might have been begining to grow and progress well. Should that entire series simply be ignored so soon?
All of these issues are to be considered but whatever the outcome, the Terminators…will be back.
James E Parsons-New science fiction novel Orbital KIn, out now as paperback and ebook from Amazon, Waterstones, Play.com and others.