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The Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 is an android, programmed to kill, in the fictional universe of the Terminator movies. It is commonly referred to as Terminator or T-800, though the latter name is never referred on-screen.


The Model 101 was to be the ultimate weapon devised by the military supercomputer Skynet to be used against the remaining human resistance. It was thought that a machine designed to the specifications of the human skeleton, and subsequently wrapped in specially grown flesh and tissue, would be able to infiltrate military structures disguised as a human and, subsequently, terminate human life from within the outpost. Every aspect of this android is geared toward infiltration without detection. Not only does it look human, but it sweats, smells, bleeds and can even mimic specific human voices perfectly. However, dogs could sense the machine's presence and were often used at guarded checkpoints to detect one entering the area.
To aid in its role as a killer, its endoskeleton was constructed from a hyperalloy to form a combat-chassis, and thus was rendered essentially immune to 20th century small arms fire, although repeated shotgun blasts actually had enough force to knock it down. They can operate for up to 120 years without needing new power cells. If the power cells are depleted or damaged, the unit can access an alternate source of power that allows it to continue functioning for some time. In the books made on the basis of the Terminator franchise, it was said that the alloy used for construction was titanium-tungsten (Ti-W) steel. The android foot soldiers, seen in the future war sequences in Terminator 2 and Terminator 3 were terminator endoskeletons, but they were not built with live tissue.
The Model 101s had the ability to learn, though this function was turned off by Skynet to prevent them from becoming too human and thus limiting their efficiency. In the extended version of Terminator 2 Sarah and John re-activate this ability, which leads to the cyborg quickly accumulating knowledge of human interaction and speaking more fluidly. A line of dialog at the end of the movie indicated that learning units may even grow to understand emotion A Model 101 terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, was the antagonist in the original Terminator film along with a counterpart from the future war (played by Franco Columbu) and, having been reprogrammed by the resistance in the future, was one of the protagonists of the second and third Terminator films.
The original Terminator was sent to terminate a single target—Sarah Connor—in 1984, to prevent the birth of her son, John, the future leader of the human resistance. It was crushed in a hydraulic-press by Sarah at the end of the first Terminator film after a lengthy chase, having already had its human flesh incinerated and its endoskeleton legs destroyed. However, one arm and its damaged main CPU were not destroyed, and were recovered by Cyberdyne. These relics were used to dramatically advance the technological level and the direction of the research of Cyberdyne, ironically ensuring the creation of Skynet in the first place. At end of the second film, both new Terminators and the surviving components from the first were destroyed in a vat of molten steel. A deleted scene from T3 reveals that the Model 101 used an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant William Candy (played by Schwarzenegger) as its physical template. However, this scene is uncharacteristically humorous for the Terminator films (even considering the escalating use of humor in the two sequels) and also explicitly indicated that the Terminators were developed by human beings before Judgement Day, rather than being purely creations of Skynet as previously indicated. Not only does this make little sense, it contradicted information provided in the previous two films, such as that earlier T-600 model Terminators with easily-spotted rubber skin existed in Kyle Reese's future timeline before the development of the 101 (see below). However, the fact that the scene was deleted suggests that its content was deemed by its makers to be either too blatant a violation of Terminator canon, too humorous in tone, or both. v As a deleted scene, this origin of the Terminator design may not be considered canon. An entirely different origin of the Model 101s physical and vocal templates was provided in the novel T2: Infiltrator (published prior to T3), in the form of former counter-terrorist Dieter Rossbach, who comes to work with Sarah and John Connor against the Infiltrator, an advanced Terminator designed to efficiently infiltrate human bases. However, this too cannot be regarded as canon due to contradictions with T3 and its inherently lower canonical status as a spin-off novel.
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