- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2008

Each week, the Browser features some pop-culture places on the World Wide Web offering the coolest in free interactive sounds and action.

A legendary sci-fi franchise starring the mother of the future leader of the human resistance is now a weekly television series on Fox.

The official Web site of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (www.fox.com/terminator/) which definitely was not authorized by Cyberdyne Systems, takes fans into a multimedia world touching on time travel, metallic cyborgs and the complex life of John Connor.

As the opening screen loads, an information and targeting reticle, seen from a Terminator’s point of view, replaces the mouse pointer. When moved over the incomplete body of a female cyborg named Cameron, it offers basic information on the machine’s design and status.

That stunning moment fronts a rather bland design for a site based on movies that always packed a visual and high-tech punch.

A basic selection of linked tabs and statistics leads the way and quickly tells visitors how many of their brethren currently are active in the Community section and that 30 posters can be found in the Media Gallery. A date widget also is available and embeds on any personal page, providing a countdown to the next episode.

Most important, fans can watch full episodes of the show online by clicking on an icon that takes them to the Fox video player(www.fox.com/ fod/ player.htm?show=tscc). At least the pilot and another episode are listed, supposedly in high definition, along with a large selection of other Fox shows. New “Sarah Connor Chronicles” episodes are posted within 48 hours of a show’s broadcast.

Back to the main page, a pair of features temporarily captures a visitor’s red glowing eye.

First, Evasion is a classic click-and-collect puzzle challenge presented in a first-person perspective. The player acts as Sarah Connor and must escape from a hotel room to find her son and his protector, Cameron, at a safe house.

Starting in Room 219 of a cheap hotel, the player explores the area and inventories such seemingly unrelated objects as a laptop computer, knife, umbrella, bedsheets and a matchbook. He must combine the objects to escape and avoid detection by federal agents.

So far, only one level is offered, and it’s a bit of a letdown for the player looking for some action, especially considering that Terminators have been known to be a bit violent on occasion.

The other site component is Create a Viewing Party, which essentially is a glorified virtual invitation to collect a group of friends to watch the television show. The host can construct a page using photos, a map to his home, video of the show, a list of items and a message board to interact with those thinking about attending.

Hard-core Terminators also will appreciate some of the viral marketing sites set up to promote the show.

These include a creepy video compilation of a researcher who helps one of the bad guys (www.takeback thefuture.com/), and Web sites from particle physics leader EniTech Labs (https://enitechlabs.com), and a cyber-memorial to Miles Dyson, the director of special projects at Cyberdyne (www.dysontrust.org/).

For another look at the series, more from a fan’s point of view, Terminatorsite (www.terminatorsite.com/) also will satisfy. Its blog-style entries are spearheaded by an almost weekly Skynext Podcast hosted by Steve and Derek, who expound on the latest episode of their favorite television show.

Have a cool site for the online multimedia masses? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send e-mail to jszadkowski@ washingtontimes.com).

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