Shirley Manson by Michael Desmond/Fox
Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Monday night not only kicked off its second season with a compelling opening montage, it ended the hour with an iconic image that was sure to get the watercooler (if not the urinal) buzzing: the series' first-ever appearance by a liquid Terminator.

Read our full recap here; watch the full episode here (the T-1001 shows up at the 43:00 mark).

Did exec producer Josh Friedman unveil the "mimetic polyalloy-based" butt-kicker sooner in the series than he originally planned? "No, we did it exactly when we wanted to," he tells TVGuide.com.

Calling the timing "serendipitous," Friedman says, "We were working on this character [Catherine Weaver, played by T:SCC newcomer Shirley Manson] and wanted to introduce somebody who was more of an antagonist - and I didn't want to do just the basic evil corporate type. So it was a natural progression."

But is creating the mercurial menace a costly proposition for a weekly show? Friedman allows that "it's expensive," but not more so than any other special effect. "Morphing technology and CGI has been streamlined in terms of cost over the years," he says. "It's just time-consuming, the art of it, getting it right in terms of... what it looks like and the texturing. We went back and forth quite a bit in the first episode, because it was the first time we'd done it."

But not the last. Friedman says that "Liquid Paper" (as the effect is known around the production offices) will be oozed out again sooner rather than later, including in one super-cool sequence that will put anything seen in T2: Judgment Day to shame.

P.S. Yes, that was Shirley Manson singing "Samson & Delilah" during the montage. - Matt Mitovich

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