Sci-Fi Series

I hate putting this in a letter, but it’s over between us. I’ve met someone else.

Don’t worry. I promise that I will always think of you as a dear friend. I meant all the things I said when I wrote those old columns about you. Remember this one? And this one?

But something’s been going on for more than a year now, and I think it’s time I come clean. I don’t find you as attractive as I used to. And recently I’ve found a new show that, forgive me, does all the things you used to do back when I first fell in love with you. I’m talking about “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”

I know, I know. This is probably TMI. But I just really wanted to make sure you understood that, honestly, it’s you, not me.

Remember back in Season 1 how the Cylons would hunt down and kill humans like vermin, week after week? How the odds seemed ridiculous? How the pressure was beyond intense? Back then, you knew how to deliver sci-fi that I could almost smell. You had dogfights, great characters, killer robots, gritty action, and (sigh) lots and lots of things blowing up. I couldn’t keep my eyes off you.

But you changed! Things just aren’t the same. And I’ve heard your excuses. Those CGI effects are expensive. Those tedious “political” episodes are tricky to write. Some people in the audience actually like Laura Roslin, when you know perfectly well she should have been offed after Season 2.

It’s because I care for you that I tell you this. I think you simply forgot that Cylons are supposed to be big, nasty, horrifying, unstoppable, death-machine robots. You know, like Terminators!

A fan like me doesn’t want his heartless, human-hating cyborg to be a politician, or a rebellious leader, or even a love interest (no matter how good she looked in Maxim). Fans like me want our cyborgs to have red eyes, rocket launchers and not a lot to say, even if we don’t always admit it.

And another thing, I don’t want to wait months and months between episodes, if you know what I mean. What has it been, three months since the last new show? I consider myself a patient, understanding person, but I’m sorry, “Terminator” knows how to meet my needs.

So, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Hasn’t that skanky ‘Terminator’ well been pumped dry by now?” And I admit, that’s what I thought at first, too.

But “Terminator” has figured out ways to make even the old things new again. Have you seen Lena Headey as Sarah Connor? No, she’s not Linda Hamilton, and that’s a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. She brings all the sex appeal and toughness, but now we’re also reminded that being John Connor’s bodyguard mom is a full-time job, week after week. Not just for 90 minutes while fleeing from muscular Republicans. Her situation is stressful, painful, and so much more fun than Starbuck’s now tedious bipolar whining and Apollo’s irrelevant “life decisions.”

And have you seen Summer Glau? I suppose you were right not to trust me after that one-night stand with “Serenity.” You always said I’d dump you for some sort of hot, young Joss Whedon creation. And I guess now is as good a time as ever to let you know that I have all the “Firefly” DVDs hidden under the mattress. (You know, maybe you’d learn something if you watched those videos.)

But after a pretty shaky start, I admit, Glau finally seems to have figured out how to be a mechanical slayer, so to speak. And when John Connor reluctantly rips things out of her scalp with a screwdriver because he has feelings for her? Now that’s romance.

I tell you these things because I don’t want you thinking that I dumped you for “Terminator” just because of the really good action.

I’m sorry. I know that’s not what you want to hear. But “Terminator” knows that an innocent world in danger of annihilation is a better way to maintain a relationship than, oh, who is the eighth Cylon. I’m sorry, I don’t honestly care who the eighth Cylon is, unless you tell me it fires exploding bullets from its kneecaps and finally takes President Roslin out.

Anyway, I’m a man with principles. I’ll keep my promises to you, “Battlestar.” I’ll watch all your remaining episodes. And if you ever do make it to the big screen, I’ll be there. And I’ll still pretend, as hard as it is, that Commander Adama and Apollo are somehow genetically related.

But my heart now belongs to the “Terminator.” Right now, it’s just frakin’ better.