Dekker eases the anxiety over ‘Connor Chronicles’

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Even if you didn't read his IMDB page, you'd suspect Thomas Dekker, (formerly of "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: TV Show," now the star of "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" on Fox), spent his youth as a kid actor just by looking at him.

The scrappy haircut is too perfectly scrappy, the bright yellow T-shirt more "$250 at Barney's" than "$2.50 at the Goodwill," the hat just a little bit over-emblemed.

And if the sartorial choices weren't enough to convince you, his demeanor on the meet-the-stars panel for "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" at the Los Angeles Science Fiction and Comic Book Convention on Sunday would convince you. Cocky, jokey and self-confident as he addressed a crowd of poster-toting conventioneers, the kid would not shut up.

There were roughly 200 people in the audience to hear the stars (minus Lena Headey) talk about the new sci-fi show on the day of its debut.

Executive producer James Middleton was seated to Dekker's left and answered most of the technical questions--the show is based mostly on the mythology from the films rather than the Dark Horse comic books; there will be some scenes from the future in there--but Dekker (who plays the son of the title character) cheerfully fielded questions that his fellow actors on the panel (Summer Glau, James T. Jones) wouldn't touch.

Was the series going to show Skynet? "We didn't have the money for that," he quipped before Middleton added that in the show Skynet is still in an embryonic phase.

Did creator Josh Friedman intend for the school-shooting scene that opens the pilot episode to be controversial? "The terminator is after one person at a school. I think that's worlds apart from two kids walking into a school and shooting randomly at Columbine," Dekker replied. "It might be the same building, but otherwise the scene this has nothing to do with it."

For some reason, this inspired a smattering of applause in the audience.

"Thank you for that," added Dekker. "I never get applause, I usually just get 'stop talking.' "

But as the conventioneers lined up for the coveted autograph session, Dekker seemed to lose a bit of his good nature.

"I have to pee, I have to pee," he said to Jones as he signed oversized posters and 8-by-10 cast shots. "Can I just pee here?"

"You'll have to hold it," said Jones sternly.

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