Thomas Dekker at FanExpo 2009 (Source: Dekker Daily)
Thomas Dekker was our first. On-set interview that is.
Which is why — aside from starring in one of the most criminally under-appreciated television shows in recent memory — we’ll always have a soft spot for the TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES star.
And, why this TV Addict took it upon himself to brave the horde of 50,000 strong that converged upon Toronto’s Annual FanExpo over the weekend to provide fans of the show with some much needed closure. And, as luck would have it, a little hope — courtesy of the always classy and candid Dekker (Who was on hand to promote the slasher flick Laid to Rest) and was more than happy to take a few minutes to reflect upon his now infamous YouTube video, the one thing he would have changed about the series and of course, what was in store for Connor and Co. had the proverbial powers that be not put the kibosh on a third season of Sarah Connor’s Chronicles.
The TV Addict: How do you feel about being here in Toronto right now instead of the Warner Bros. lot shooting season three of the show?
Thomas Dekker: I definitely miss the show a lot. In fact, it sort of catches me off guard how much I miss the show sometimes. I really miss the people I got to work with everyday and the environment of knowing where you were working on a daily basis. And of course, the story. I loved the story and I knew where the third season was going and I thought it was just so cool. I love that Josh [Executive Producer Josh Friedman] had the balls to make everybody kind of wait, and be patient. Unfortunately I guess people really weren’t that willing to be patient.
Since you brought it up, just how cool was season three going to be?
I’ve divulged too much in the past [so I have to be careful as to not piss off Josh] but I mean it was going to be really interesting because there were questions in the future like is Sarah Connor at the age she would be in the future or is she already dead? I know which one that is, and it was the more interesting of the two to me. Plus what is she doing in the past? Also my sort of relationship with Allison and finding Cameron would play a large part in the season, do I go with the robot I know or do I go with the human that doesn’t know me? The fact that Danny Dyson became a very important part of it was also very exciting because it harkened back directly to the second film.
Has there been any talk of continuing the story in a different form, a comic book perhaps?
They’ve spoken about doing a TV movie. Well, not a TV movie, but kind of like a direct-to-DVD movie [Think: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s THE PLAN]. Obviously it’s difficult because the show is based on a movie and they just had one come out, so it’s kind of hard to make a movie with our show because everyone has kind of forgotten about us. But they’re hoping, at least when I spoke to [Producer] James Middleton that’s where they are with it.
When did you find out that TERMINATOR had been officially terminated?
Obviously we’d seen the ratings and we had an inkling about it. But it was tricky, because the show was so popular overseas. In the end, it really came down to DOLLHOUSE or us and that was sort of what happened. I think we were too expensive and DOLLHOUSE was a lot cheaper.
So pretty much your salary cost us another season?!
[Laughs] It wasn’t my salary let me tell you that much! But I think that it ultimately did come down to money.
Where were you when you found out?
I ultimately found out while I was shooting Nightmare on Elm Street, I got a text from Josh that was typically Josh, “Show’s cancelled. Call me.” And that was that.
What inspired you to take to the internet and post a video on YouTube video (see above)?
I was in Chicago doing the movie and we were shooting nightshifts. Having just woken up, I was surfing the net just to see how people were reacting to the show and I found myself really touched by videos, blogs and all these things that random people of all ages and groups had done to try and save the show. It was nice to get the affirmation that people wanted more of something we worked so hard on. So I just kind of thought it would be funny of me to ask FOX to give me my job for another year. I really just wanted to make something to let them [the fans] know that we knew they were trying and we appreciated it and appreciate them. The best part was that a lot of people though that I was drunk, stoned or f*cked up. Which tends to happen a lot of my stuff. I can assure you, I have many moments of non-sobriety but that wasn’t one of them. It’s actually really funny that I sort of come off as a crack head even though I’m not.
Looking back, to you have a favourite episode?
I’d say the bit that really just summed up the whole show to me was the ending montage of “Adam Raised a Cain,” where it’s the song that little Savannah Weaver was singing with John Henry, and they’re burying Derek and Sarah’s been arrested. i just think that that is a testament to the beauty of the show. It was a piece that was so poetic to me and one that you don’t normally see in a sci fi television vehicle. Moments like that made me very proud. And obviously I loved our last episode ‘Born to Run.”
Is there anything, be it a performance or an episode, that you would love the ability to travel back in time and change?
I wish I wasn’t so fat by the end of the season. But other than that, no. You know, I think all of us are pretty satisfied and proud. Even the episode that got kind of dissed or whatever, like the 20’s episode [Self Made Man], which was more experimental — I liked and thought it was high concept sci fi.
Garret Dillahunt is on what seems to be 15 different shows this fall, Summer [Glau] has jumped to Joss Whedon’s DOLLHOUSE, what’s next for you?
I’m doing movies right now, which is nothing against TV, but I’ve done a lot of TV and I’m really trying to branch out and I’m having a really good time with that. I did an indie called All About Evil, then Nightmare on Elm Street and next up is another indie that I start in two weeks but can’t disclose what it is yet. But it’s with a filmmaker that I’ve wanted to work with for my entire life, so I’m really excited. So yeah, I’m getting to do all this stuff, but it’s not the family like TERMINATOR. I miss the family.