The Terminator is a Cyborg (Cybernetic Organism), meaning it's an organism that has both artificial and natural systems ("Part man, part machine"). It's an Infiltration Unit whose purpose is to penetrate the enemy area and destroy it from the inside
The movie itself and the promotional material confirms that The Terminator is a CSM 101 (Cyberdyne Systems Model 101). Reese indicates that 600 was an older, less advanced series. The series number for the CSM 101 is not revealed in the movie itself, although Frakes' novelization reveals it as being 800: Is he a seven hundred or an eight hundred. Reese hoped he was seven.
Then Reese glanced out the front window and realized things were worse than bad -it wasn't a seven hundred.
Model: CSM 101 (Cyberdyne Systems Model 101)
---"Hyperalloy chassis, very tough, microprocessor controlled"
The Terminator is composed out of futuristic metal alloys, Hyperalloy - a much stronger and much more resistant than any other known metal or iron. 800 is also the first one to be composed of Hyperalloy - novelization says that Reese figured out that it's 800 because it took much more shotgun shots to knock him out than 700 series. It's controlled by CPU (Central Processing Unit), microchip which does the data processing, equivalent to human brain. The level of sophistication and artificial intelligence of the CPU insures reasoning levels of a human with the computational power of a computer. This was far more advanced than anything in 1984 and even today. The T800 was the closest thing to human Skynet had built.
--- 800, just like possibly 700, is covered with live human tissue which starts to rot when substantially damaged. Flesh, skin, hair, blood - grown for the cyborgs. It can sweat and have a bad breath, making it almost impossible to distinguish from a human being
---"But these are new."
"New" would indicate somewhere between 2027-2029. Reese said that he was serving under Perry between 2021-27 and then under Connor between 2028-29. He identifies himself to Sarah as DN38416, and then later on, when he recalls the story from when terminators were the newest, he also identifies himself as DN38416 while going to the bunker. That means that time when 800 terminators were new was somewhere during the time when he was serving under Connor, post 2027. Another argument supporting this are Reese's own words. Going by his 'about forty years' statement made in 1984, it sounds as if Skynet introduced T800's to the battlefield around 2024, give or take a couple of years.
In English Magazine, Cameron supports that saying "If we could build a robot like that, it would be the year 2029", which indicates that the 800 series was actually a novelty in 2029
The Terminator's optical sensors can sample an extended range of visible frequencies, including infrared (which can allow it to see heated bodies in total darkness). This information is then displayed on a 40,000 bit digitized display. Concussion-proof lenses protects its eyes, which are capable of moving independently. When using both eyes to track two different targets moving in different directions, depth perception is created artificially by creating a computer-generated off-angle ghost image. 800 series is capable of motion tracking, search modes, facial identification and recognition and has extensive vision enhancement capabilities including long range zoom (can snap-magnify an image by around x15), motion analysis and night vision. He can also calculate temperatures and weights.
The Terminator's flesh requires nutrition just like any live element. The earlier versions of the script explain that the 800 series has internal organs but much smaller than human ones. In earlier version Reese describes that aspect during the car chase:
It has to eat and breathe to keep the skin alive, though a lot less than us... and there's a little tiny heart and internal organs about the size of a chicken's in a recessed compartment
One of the omitted scenes shows the Terminator eating. Script treatment: Some kids who have gathered nervously at the curb step back as he walks out, gets in the car, and drives away. He pulls a Milky Way bar out of his pocket and eats it as he drives, in two bites, without removing the wrapper.
---In the novelization it is stated that the 800 series runs on a nuclear power cell.
"Where a man's heart
would be, shielded in a case-hardened, subassembly inside the hyperalloy torso,
was the nuclear-energy cell. It supplied power to run the most sophisticated
system of hydraulic actuators and servo-motors ever constructed, enough power to
run the lights of a small city for a day."
It's even mentioned that the
Terminator uses the heat from the fire for strength:
(Page 222-223 in Randall Frakes' novel of The Terminator)
...."The machine had shut down temporarily to allow maximum heat shunting. As the flesh burned away and the superalloy of its chassis began to glow red, it came back online, it's internal power growing in rapidly multiplying increments. It was using the fire to strengthen it's energy reserve, waiting for the ruined covering of flesh to be purged so it could continue the mission with more freedom of movement."...
---"Terminator could keep operating at full power for twenty-four hours a day for 1,095 days."
For much more details about this Terminator model check out the F.A.Q in T2 section
According to the 1984's Making of The Terminator, the Terminator weights 200 pounds and is 6'2. He has over a thousand moving parts.
James Cameron designed the endoskeleton himself. Stan Winston at 1991T2 Convention: He had designed the look of the terminator when I first met him, before there was even a script. He also says that it's James Cameron who designed the look of the endoskeleton on Aliens Quadrilogy DVD commentary.
Furthermore, Stan Winston explains: Jim wanted to see some other variations. He's a brilliant artist but he wanted choices. So we went through some variations, some sculptures of different possibilities of the look of the endoskeleton and we ended up going right back to the initial concept of Jim he had in the painting he did. (...) By the time all was set and done Jim had detailed and sketched every detail of the endoskeleton and thank God for him.
Since Arnold was purposely sprayed with Vaseline the entire time, and since the stand in-puppet was portrayed as being very sweaty as well, it's apparent that his sweaty appearance was purposeful. The filmmakers mentioned that the thin layer of Vaseline was applied so that something in his appearance wouldn't look quite right. Reese mentions sweating as one of the characteristics of the 800 series Terminators. The future Terminator from the bunker is also unnaturally sweaty.
Theories: One theory is that the Terminator sweats so much because the skin is placed on metal which obviously gets really warmed up. The temperature of the metal keeps heating the flesh, causing it to greatly exceed the natural human body temperature and eventually die. There's also a suggestion that it's caused by the fever of the flesh caused by the direct contact and link to artificial metal, like in transplants when the body doesn't accept the artificial part.
The idea was toned down in the sequel but still maintained.
--- Series 600
Not much is known about this model except that it was easy to spot due to its rubber skin and it had to appear sometime before 800, so probably before 2021. Just like the 700 and 800 series, they were the size of a man since the novelization says that they could dress and camouflage in troopers' clothes.
--- Series 700
In the novelization, when Kyle knocked down the Terminator by shooting it repeatedly, he actually decided the Terminator must have been a 700 series--until it got back up. Shortly after that point he tells Sarah that it is an 800 series. That means that 700 had to look human as well, but was composed out of different alloys and had a much weaker armor.
They couldn't be at the same spot at the same time. The Resistance simply didn't want Reese to merge with the Terminator and appear in his body.
Kotex (Bill Paxton) was killed by hitting the fence with such strong impact, Rick was killed by Terminator's arm that sank into him and Mark got killed after he gave up his clothes - Mark had the sense to start ripping his clothes off. He held out the coat as an offering, as a shield, as a desperate plea that maybe he could get a little more time...He was right. The offering did buy him time. About fourteen seconds (Novelization)
"The Abyss" DVD text commentary says that Polly Cross, the woman who plays a casual person interviewed on TV, also played the second Sarah in police photos. She was a friend of Gale Hurd.
The fifth revision of the script lists Reese as being 26 years old, which was pretty close to Michael Biehn's actual age at the time.
According to the script for The Terminator (1984)—available on the Special Edition DVD—Sarah was 19 years old. The film was primarily set from May 12 through May 14 of 1984, placing her birth date between May 15, 1964 and May 11, 1965.
James Cameron also confirmed Sarah's age: "If the world has been devastated by nuclear war, if global events are predicated on one person, who is the least likely person you can imagine? A nineteen-year-old waitress who works at Bob’s Big Boy."
The film was primarily set from May 12 through May 14 of 1984. The futuristic scenes are set in 2029
The explanation is given in the novelization as well as the script treatment. Sarah Connor gets killed in 2029, during the war against the machines. Skynet then discovers in a routine autopsy that Sarah Connor had a leg injury that had been present prior to Judgment Day. So later, when Skynet sends a Terminator to *change* the past, the Terminator can positively identify Sarah based on that leg injury, because Skynet thought Sarah got the injury as a child. Unfortunately for Skynet, Sarah got that leg injury when Kyle blew the Terminator in half with a pipe bomb. So Skynet's efforts to change the future in fact preserved it.
From the Script Treatment
Vukovick stops the
report. Did he hear correctly? Two
homicides in one day with the same name?
"That's not all that's the same," Buckman says, lifting
one of the girl's pant-legs which has been slit up past
the knee. Also slit, from ankle to knee, is the skin and
muscle of her calf, peeled back like a hotdog bun to
expose the shin-bone.
Vukovick scowls. The same mutilation as the Encino
housewife, left leg only. Too fucking weird. The news
guys'll have a field day with this... the first one-day
Reese said he had to wait for the Terminator to make a move to identify him. Reese didn't know how he looks like because he had never seen him before. When the Resistance stormed Time Displacement Complex "the Terminator had already gone through". Terminators vary in human appearance, so even thought Reese encountered 800 series terminators before (one of them in the bunker scene), he'd never seen this version so he had no clue how this particular one looks like. He knows the technical data of it, but most likely from the data the resistance found in TDE complex.
Staying there and engaging the police would jeopardize the mission. In the sequel, we'll see that the 800 series makes a threat assessment before engaging police force. Terminator had only shotgun, which most likely was damaged after the car crash, and on top of that, his hand was damaged (Novelization: it avoided using its dysfunctional right wrist) and smashed human eye was blocking his vision (Novelization: There was almost a total visual occlusion to the left eye. The eye itself seemed to be functioning properly. It was the surrounding tissue that hindered the performance). Surrounded by police, Reese and Sarah would surely have enough cars to transport them out of the scene and enough police officers to focus on the Terminator. Not to mention the powerful impact of the head-on collision doing 180 mph knocked him out. Novelization: Terminator's vision dropped out first. Then all the systems in its microprocessor went off like due to the horrific impact to its hardened chassis. The impact was so strong that Reese even thought The Terminator might be destroyed: He wondered if Terminator was dead - he couldn't see the wreck from where he was.
Therefore, he disappears instead and comes back for her fully prepared and rearmed later on.
One of the pellets from Kyle's shotgun blasts got wedged in the hydraulics of the arm. The very first shot from Reese was in Terminator's hand to diffuse his aim when he was about to pull the trigger on Sarah in TechNoir. From the script:
E.C.U. - FOREARM
as he pulls back a large flap of skin to reveal a complex trunk of SHEATHED CABLES AND HYDRAULICS.
They slide as he moves his fingers.
as Terminator uses a rag to wipe away the blood. With small screwdrivers he begins to patiently disassemble the damaged mechanism around the 12-gauge hit.
Novelization: One of the control cables in the complex trunk of sheathed machinery and hydraulics had been severed.
No. The reason we see him using infrared only is because it saves him energy, but he also has a 'normal' vision. Novelization: (To save energy) power was cut to 40 percent of nominal functions. The optical system switched to infrared only.
It appears so. In one of the deleted scenes it seems that Traxler is really taken by Reese's story
Ed, come on...the guy's a
Traxler glances up.
He'd better be.
Also later on when Sarah and Reese are trying to escape from the burning Police Station, they find dying Traxler who urges Reese to protect Sarah - "She's got to stay alive, so do what you have to do" - and gives him a gun (.38 caliber snub-nose)
The novelization points out the premature tissue necrosis and gangrene and then goes into little more details: All over the cyborg's body there were bruises and abrasions, some of the latter putrid with gangrene. (...) But the flesh was not healing. The room was filled with the cloying odor of decay.
Gangrene is a complication of necrosis or cell death characterized by the decay of body tissues, which become black (and/or green) and malodorous. It is caused by infection or ischemia and it is usually the result of critically insufficient blood supply
There are three theories about the cause
1. Live human tissue dies and starts to rot when substantially damaged
2. The human flesh gets infected and weak because of the metal. That would also explain the sweating as being caused by a fever
3. There's not enough elements that would help to support and keep the flesh alive. Although the early script treatment says that the terminator does have small organs like 'miniature' stomach, it's not enough. Also, the temperature of the metal keeps heating the flesh, causing it to greatly exceed the natural human body temperature and eventually die. That would mean that the flesh covering isn't perfected yet and lasts only for a certain period of time.
The Terminator infiltrating the bunker in Reese's story is the exact same model as the one sent to the past, an 800 series, but with different physical appearance. Arnold Schwarzenegger's friend, bodybuilder Franco Columbu took the role. He also co-starred with Arnold before and after, in "Pumping Iron", "Conan The Barbarian" and "The Running Man".
Not exactly. In one of the deleted scenes, marked "Sarah Fights Back", we find out that both Sarah and Kyle eventually decide on stopping the future from happening and assassinating Cyberdyne Systems. That is why Kyle is preparing explosives for later on in the Motel, and this is why they eventually ended up in Cyberdyne - because they were on the way there, so they were fairly close to it.
From the script
We can change it, Kyle. We
have to try.
She takes his shoulder in her hands.
There's no fate but what we
make for ourselves. Right?
Come on. Let's go, kiddo.
He picks up her sign and they look at each other for a
second, then get up.
In the last deleted scene it is revealed that the factory is indeed Cyberdyne Systems. The manager and his assistant find the CPU (Central Processing Unit) that was most likely shot out by the pressure and hide it from the police
From the script
What is it?
Microcomputer chassis. But
I've never seen stuff like
Weird. Jap stuff, maybe?
Keep it out of sight and
get it down to R and D
Monday, first thing.
Skynet is the puppet master behind the machines. It's a computer defense system, a giant supercomputer built by Cyberdyne Systems for SAC NORAD (Strategic Air Command-NORth American Aerospace Defense), put in charge of the entire nuke arsenal and all the weaponry of the US, who after becoming self aware decided to annihilate human kind that he saw as a threat to himself. The script also describes Skynet as being a modified Series 4800.
One of the speculations is that since it was built for NORAD (a joint organization of Canada and the United States that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty and defense for North America) is that it's located in NORAD's main technical facility, which since 1963 has been located in the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center in Colorado. However, early storyboards for the movie show Reese scoping Skynet complex in LA
The Terminator uses:
Colt .45 with laser sighting 9mm UZI submachine gun Franchi SPAS-12 auto loading 12 gauge shotgun
Ithaca 37 5.56mm Armalite AR-180 assault rifle .38 full frame revolver
.38 caliber Police Special service revolver Remington Model 870 twelve gauge pump shotgun 38 caliber snub-nose
1979 Chevrolet Caprice Wagon 1977 Dodge Monaco 1972 1975 Chevrolet Nova
Honda CB 750 Four K2 1972 International Harvester Transtar 4070
1975 Ford LTD 1977 Cadillac Eldorado 1972 AMC Gremlin
1973 Chevrolet C-10
1984 Honda Elite 1977 Cadillac Eldorado 1973 Chevrolet C-10
1979 Jeep CJ-7 Renegade
To see all The Terminator location go to http://www.jamescamerononline.com/TerminatorMoviesLocations.htm
Foreign Titles: Electronic Murderer, Terminator, Exterminador Do Futuro
1984 Orion Pictures
Director: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd
Actors: Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lance Henriksen
Screens taken from Making Of The Terminator
(1984) directed by Drew Cummings
Producer: Gale Ann Hurd
Release Date: October 26, 1984
Running Time: 1 hrs. 47 min.
MPAA Rating: R Production Budget: $6.4 million
Opening Weekend: $4,020,663
Domestic Gross: $38, 371, 200
Foreign Gross: $40,000,000
Won: Best Make-Up
Best Science Fiction Film
Nominated: Best Actor (Schwarzenegger)
Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival
Won: James Cameron
DVD Exclusive Awards
Best DVD Menu Design
Best Original Retrospective Documentary (Van Ling)