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This article is about the fictional character. For other uses, see T1000 (disambiguation).
Terminator films character
The “T-1000″, played by Robert Patrick, partially revealing its liquid metal composition.
First appearance Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Last appearance The Last Action Hero (Cameo Appearance)
Created by James Cameron & William Wisher Jr.
Portrayed by Robert Patrick, other cast members, ILM special effects team (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Lee Byung-hun (Terminator Genisys)
Manufacturer Skynet
Model Prototype Series 1000 Terminator

The T-1000, also known as a Series 1000 Terminator, is a fictional shapeshifting robot assassin, serving as the primary antagonist in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and a supporting villain in Terminator Genisys, as well as a minor antagonist in Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time. A similar T-1000 Terminator appears in the 2007/08 FOX television series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, where it is referred to as a “T-1001″.[1]

Created by the series’ long-running antagonist, Skynet, the T-1000 is described in Terminator 2 as being composed of a mimetic poly-alloy, whose body is composed of liquid metal that allows it to assume the form of other objects (commonly knives and stabbing weapons) or people, typically terminated victims.[2] Therefore, it is portrayed by multiple actors in the film. It is further explained in the prologue of the film’s novelization, that the T-1000 was created through nanotechnology, and is a ‘Nanomorph’, able to scan the molecular structure of whatever it is touching and visually mimic it.[3]

The T-1000 is portrayed primarily by Robert Patrick. In Terminator 2 and Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time, the T-1000 is presented as a technological leap over the “800 Series” Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger).[4] Described by Allmovie as “one of the most memorable roles in one of the most memorable films of the decade”,[5] Patrick’s portrayal of the T-1000 earned him nominations for Best Villain and Best Supporting Actor at the 1992 MTV and Saturn Awards[6] and was ranked #39 in the Online Film Critics Society‘s “Top 100 Villains of All Time” in 2002,[7] and #29 on Wizard magazine’s “Top 100 Greatest Villains Ever” list.[citation needed]

Korean actor Lee Byung-hun will play the character in the upcoming film Terminator Genisys.[8]


Teaser trailers for Terminator 2 deliberately withheld the notion that the T-1000 character was the villain. A tagline for the film was “This time there are two. Terminator 2.”

Writer/director James Cameron stated that his original intention for the sequel was that both Terminators sent to the past would be T-800s like the one played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, with one being stripped down to a metal endoskeleton like the one from the original film. Once Cameron actually started working on the script, in 1990, he figured a better way was to turn the evil Terminator into a more advanced model.[9]

Cameron’s original pick to play the T-1000 was rock musician Billy Idol, and storyboards had the robot resembling him, but a serious motorcycle accident prevented Idol from accepting the role.[10] Then, he thought of casting actor Michael Biehn, who played Kyle Reese in The Terminator, in the role with the explanation that Skynet managed to clone Reese’s body and use it for a new Terminator. Cameron ultimately dropped this idea after deciding the audience would find it too confusing.

Eventually casting came down to Robert Patrick, as a deliberate contrast to the original Terminator: “I wanted to find someone who would be a good contrast to Arnold. If the 800 series is a kind of human Panzer tank, then the 1000 series had to be a Porsche.”[11] For a more machine-like performance, Patrick had to learn how to both fire a pistol without flinching (or blinking) and run effortlessly without heavy breathing or signs of exhaustion.[9]

The development of computer-generated imagery (CGI) by Industrial Light & Magic to manipulate, re-create, and “morph” the image of an actor was used in the creation of the T-1000 character in the film. The computer graphics composed 6 of the 15 minutes that the T-1000 displays its morphing and healing abilities. The other 9 were achieved in camera with the use of advanced puppets and prosthetic effects created by Stan Winston and his team, who were also responsible for the metal skeleton effects of the T-800.[12] The visual effects used in Terminator 2 to create the T-1000 won the Academy Award for Visual Effects.[13]

Entity FX, Inc. is responsible for the visual effects of the T-1001 on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, along with the digital animation of endoskeletons, Hunter-Killers, and the future war sequences on the second season of the show. The company also contributed the digital imagery of feature films James Cameron’s True Lies and Titanic.[14][15]


The T-1000 in its default liquid metal form

In the Terminator 2 storyline, the T-1000 is made of “liquid metal”. The T-800 explains that the T-1000 is a more advanced Terminator, composed entirely of a mimetic metal alloy referred to as “mimetic polyalloy”, rendering it capable of rapid shapeshifting, near-perfect mimicry and rapid recovery from damage. Furthermore, it can use its ability to quickly liquify and assume forms in innovative and surprising ways, including fitting through narrow openings, morphing its arms into solid metal tools or bladed weapons, walking through prison bars, and flattening itself and mimicking the pattern and texture of the ground to hide or ambush targets.[2]

The T-1000 also has the ability to extrude small, simple items from itself. For example, it creates a motorcycle helmet and a pair of sunglasses when these items were necessary for its disguise (the motorcycle cop disguise is used for the T-1000 action figure). The T-1000 can also change its surface color and texture to convincingly simulate flesh, clothing, and other nonmetallic materials. It is capable of accurately mimicking voices as well, including the ability to extrapolate a relatively small voice sample to generate a wider array of words or inflections as required. However, its morphing abilities are limited by complexity or mass. For this reason the T-1000 can not transform into complex machines with mechanical moving parts or chemical fuels, like guns or bombs. Likewise, its volume prevents it from taking the form of a small object like a pack of cigarettes, although it is capable of impersonating larger people (possibly by leaving a hollow internal cavity to increase its apparent volume).

Like all Terminators, the T-1000 possesses superhuman strength. While relatively equal in strength to the T-800, thanks to its morphing abilities and immunity to mechanical damage, it is shown to be capable of overpowering the T-800 in hand-to-hand combat, despite its more slender frame and lack of mass compared to its predecessor. It can also run fast enough to catch up to a police car accelerating away from it, although at times it can acquire and drive vehicles if it requires increased speed. Since the slender, smaller frame is his default appearance, the T-1000, when assuming a person that is physically taller and bulkier than him, the T-1000 slightly loses the center of gravity and has to walk/run harder or faster.

The T-1000 is effectively impervious to mechanical damage, such as being dismembered, riddled with bullets, or attacked with explosive devices. Wounds close almost immediately, and any detached parts simply flow back into the T-1000′s body. In T:2, this Terminator is even frozen using liquid nitrogen and shattered, but the pieces simply flow back together after thawing (though deleted scenes restored in the Special Edition show that its mimicry abilities are damaged and began to glitch after this, see below). It is explained in the prologue to the novel adaptation of the film, that the T-1000 is able to completely reform and reshape itself at will, due to its “cells” having been programmed by Skynet with on-board nanotechnology. This technology can be programmed with commands from Skynet, and can help the T-1000 scan the cellular makeup of whatever it is touching (including the DNA of living animals), and can magnetically attract broken off pieces of itself back to the main body.[3]

Temperature-based attacks are effective, but temporary. Low temperatures can cause the liquid metal to freeze, which inhibits its ability to move or shapeshift. Only extremely high temperatures, such as molten steel used in the finale of T:2, are capable of completely disassociating its molecular structure, destroying its nanotechnological “cells” on a microscopic level, and thus permanently destroying it.

The Special Edition DVD release contains additional scenes in the steel foundry showing that the effects of being frozen and shattered caused the T-1000 to glitch, causing it to uncontrollably morph and match its surface with objects it touches against the T-1000′s will (such as its hand sticking to, and taking on the metallic texture and yellow/black caution striping of a guardrail). In the Special Edition, this glitch is what enabled John Connor to see through its ruse when it impersonates his mother, as its feet took on the color and texture of the grated metal floor on which it stood. The DVD also contains a Deleted Scene where the T-1000 uses its hands to “scan” John Connor’s bedroom for genetic and psychological information, including DNA, an ability it may have in common with the T-X. As stated above, the film’s novelization explained this feature by expanding on the origins of the T-1000 in its prologue, where it is explained that the T-1000 is controlled through nanotechnology, that allows it to “scan” the basic molecular structure of objects, both living and inanimate, it is in contact with.

The T-1000 and T-1001 often attempt to accomplish their goals by subterfuge and deception instead of brute force as the original T-800 resorted to. For example, in Terminator 2, it disguises itself as a police officer to gain trust, access information, and provide a benign, friendly appearance. It also imitates family members of its human target to gain that person’s confidence. In fact, the T-1000 is able to pass as human, possessing a larger repertoire of emotional expression and interpersonal skills than earlier Terminator models.[16] In one scene in Terminator 2, disguised as a police officer, it holds a conversation with John Connor’s foster parents in an attempt to learn Connor’s location.[2]

It is also capable of exploiting the emotions of its targets, as in the steel foundry when it tortured Sarah Connor to call out for her son, anticipating that she would respond accordingly.[2] It demonstrates annoyance when dealing with the T-800, which is constantly hindering it from assassinating John Connor. In addition, it is able to express fear or pain, demonstrated when the T-1000 gives a brief look of shock after the T-800 shoots a grenade into its stomach, and when it writhes in agony after falling into a vat of molten metal.

The T-1000 that appears in the film is mentioned by the T-800 to be a prototype model of the Series 1000 Terminators to be tested out on the field. However, unlike the Series 800, they were never mass-produced; Since the certain degree of sentience and the ability to learn at the geometric rate when switched to “read and write” mode can cause it to go rogue after spending too much time on the field.[citation needed] Therefore, Skynet produced the T-1000 specifically for the purpose of the mission and expected it to destroy itself after completing the task, since Skynet itself was aware that mass-producing field Series 1000 that would spend time on the field would effectively turn themselves against Skynet itself, and comparing the power, intelligence and resourcefulness of the Series 1000 models, would defeat Skynet.[citation needed]


Terminator 2: Judgment Day[edit]

In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-1000 is sent by Skynet back in time to kill a young John Connor (Edward Furlong), the future leader of the Human Resistance against the machines. The T-1000 ambushes a Los Angeles Police Department police officer on arrival and takes on his identity, tracking down John Connor through the police cruiser’s on-board computer and eventually confronting him in a shopping mall, where it meets a T-800 Model 101 like the one from the first Terminator film. The audience is misdirected up to this point. In the first film, two men appear from the future, a Terminator sent by Skynet, and a human protector sent by the Resistance. In the second film, two men appear from the future, a Terminator T-800 model like the one from the first film, and a second man. The audience is initially left to assume that the T-1000 is the new human protector sent by the Resistance. But when the Terminator and T-1000 meet in a shootout in a utility corridor, the T-1000′s true identity is discovered as it is shot multiple times by the Terminator with a shotgun, only for its wounds to close up by themselves. Schwarzenegger’s Terminator – the same model as the one which was the assassin in the first film – is the new protector sent by the Resistance, while Patrick’s Terminator is the new Terminator sent by Skynet, a reversal of the roles from the first Terminator film.

The T-1000 confronts the protagonists at the psychiatric institution where Sarah Connor is being held, demonstrating impressive abilities, such as flattening itself into a thin ‘carpet’ of metal or oozing through prison-style bars while maintaining the shape of a walking man. It then predicts that the Connors will try to prevent Skynet from being invented, and confronts them at Cyberdyne Systems Corporation headquarters. It hijacks a helicopter and gives chase. While flying, it sprouts two more hands, two to fly the helicopter and two to reload and fire the MP5K submachine gun. The chase ends when it crashes a liquid nitrogen truck into a steel mill.

When it exits the wrecked truck, the T-1000 is frozen solid by liquid nitrogen spilling from the truck’s ruptured tank. The T-800 shatters the T-1000 with a single pistol round (“Hasta la vista,… baby.”), but the high temperatures inside the mill soon melt the fragments and the T-1000 reforms itself. The T-800 engages it in hand-to-hand combat, to buy time for Sarah and John, but the T-1000 easily defeats it, and shuts it down in the process. He then continues his hunt for John. However the T-1000′s fatal design flaw is revealed, it has no knowledge of the archaic T-800 architecture, and is unaware of the existence of its emergency System Restore mode. The T-800 resurrects itself, and grabs the grenade launcher.

The T-1000 tracks down John, who is confronted by two seemingly identical versions of his mother – one of which is the T-1000 in disguise (an effect that is achieved through the onscreen presence of Linda Hamilton’s identical twin sister Leslie Gearren). Finally, The T-800 surprises the T-1000 and shoots it with a grenade, causing enough damage to disrupt it significantly. Although it attempts to reform itself, it stumbles and falls backwards into a vat of molten steel, and the T-1000, unable to stand the 1800 degrees Celsius of extremely high temperature of the steel corrupting its alloy and design, screams before finally being dissolved away into the molten steel.

Terminator 2 3D: Battle Across Time[edit]

Robert Patrick reprised his role as the T-1000 in a Universal Studios Theme Park movie ride. In this short film, The Terminator takes John Connor (reprised by Edward Furlong) to the year 2032 to aid him in destroying Skynet once and for all. On their way, the T-1000 chases after John and the Terminator while they are on a motorcycle. But it is once again defeated when The Terminator shoots at it with a shotgun before it grabs John.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines[edit]

Main article: T-X

Despite failing to eliminate John Connor, it is later revealed in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines that the T-1000 “inadvertently interfered” with the development of his relationships with Kate Brewster (Claire Danes/Bryce Dallas Howard), whom he attended junior high school with, and her father, Robert (David Andrews), who was the true creator of Skynet by using Cyberdyne Systems’ research.

Terminator Genisys[edit]

Korean actor Lee Byung-hun will play the character in the upcoming film Terminator Genisys.[17]

McG, the director of Terminator Salvation, has previously mentioned that the T-1000 would be reintroduced in what was to be his concept of the fifth film: “I like the idea and the perspective for the next picture that you meet Robert Patrick the way he looks today, and he’s a scientist that’s working on, you know, improving cell replication so we can stay healthier and we can cure diabetes and do all these things that sound like good ideas, and to once again live as idealized expressions as ourselves.”[18][19] He also said the origin story they had in mind for the T-1000 would satirize the world’s “obsession” with youth and aging.[20][21] With the rebooting of the franchise with Terminator Genisys, this concept has since been scrapped.

Non-Terminator films[edit]

  • Robert Patrick parodied his T-1000 character in the 1992 film Wayne’s World. In the scene where Wayne is pulled over for speeding, Patrick – dressed in a police uniform – pulls out a picture of a boy and asks Wayne if he has seen him. This results in Wayne screaming in terror and driving away.
  • The T-1000 also briefly appeared in the 1993 film Last Action Hero as it was seen walking out the same building that Danny and Jack Slater were entering. Danny tries to tell Jack about the T-1000 he just saw, but Jack ignores him completely.


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles[edit]

T-1001/Catherine Weaver
The Sarah Connor Chronicles character
The T-1001 liquid metal terminator from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in the disguise of Catherine Weaver.
First appearance “Samson and Delilah”
(Episode 2.01)
Created by James Cameron & William Wisher Jr.
Portrayed by Shirley Manson, other cast members, ILM special effects team
Manufacturer Skynet
Model T-1001

A T-1001 Terminator, a second liquid metal prototype, is introduced in the 2008 television series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles at the start of the show’s second season (though sometimes misidentified as a T-1000 by reviewers).[22] It masquerades as Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson), the co-founder and current CEO of ZeiraCorp. “Weaver” often has mixed results when socially interacting both with subordinates at ZeiraCorp and Weaver’s daughter Savannah (portrayed by Mackenzie Smith), but was written with an improved ability to adapt to and sustain itself in changing situations more adeptly than prior Terminators. However, it has been unable to make convincing smiles or relate to people, despite being more advanced than the T-1000, which seemed to be better at social interaction. However, she was able to successfully lead a company and use literary allegories.

The T-1001′s mission remains unclear throughout the television series, but diverts from the single-minded attempts to assassinate the Connors, as seen in the prior films. Through most of the TV series, the T-1001, as well as Sarah Connor and her allies, did not appear to be aware of each other’s existence. As the head of ZeiraCorp, the T-1001 diverts that company’s resources into developing an artificial intelligence, titled “Project Babylon”, which appeared sufficient to combat Skynet’s development. Catherine Weaver is first seen in the second season opener when she purchases the late Andy Goode’s Turk computer system for $300,000 from an associate and then introduces this new computer system to her department heads to reveal her plans to create a new artificial intelligence computer system. Towards this end, Catherine Weaver recruits FBI Special Agent James Ellison to find and capture a Terminator in order to reverse engineer it using a variety of deceptions. Until the end of the series, Ellison is never aware of Weaver’s true nature. Ellison delivers a T-888 Terminator‘s body to Weaver after it was critically damaged by Connor’s Terminator bodyguard. The T-1001 advocates learning more about the ‘robots’ ironically in order to prevent Judgment Day. With Ellison’s initial mission complete, it assigns him to act as tutor/mentor to the nascent AI now connected to the T-888′s body, which Weaver nicknames “John Henry”.

John Henry quickly identifies Weaver as a machine, albeit different from itself, but obeys Weaver’s instruction not to share that information with anyone, assuring him that everything done at ZeiraCorp is for John Henry’s benefit. At one point, Weaver reveals a clue to the nature of its mission when it tells Ellison that Savannah’s future safety is dependent upon John Henry, but that the reverse is not the case. This appears to be in contradiction to assumption that Weaver was coordinating the efforts to develop Skynet to eradicate humanity.

In the TV series, the true nature of the T-1001′s entire mission is never revealed, and much of what Weaver does in furtherance of it seems contradictory. In one of the episodes that shifts between the present day and post-Judgment Day, it is learned that leader of the resistance, John Connor, asked a liquid metal Terminator to join him, and the Terminator refused. In the series finale, by way of introduction, the T-1001 asks (using the same phrase) the same of Connor (and his bodyguard Cameron, who was privy to the aforementioned events in the future) through Ellison, sent as intermediary.

Also in the season/series finale, when Sarah Connor and John Connor finally meet Catherine Weaver face-to-face at her office, Ellison, Sarah, and John all discover Weaver’s true nature when she uses her Terminator liquid metal abilities to form a shield to protect them from a flying Kaliba Corp drone which crash-dives into the ZeiraCorp building. When Sarah Connor discovers that ZeiraCorp possesses Andy Goode’s Turk, she assumes that Weaver is constructing Skynet but Weaver corrects her by stating that she is “building something to fight it.” Upon entering the basement, the four discover that John Henry has transported himself to the future with Cameron’s chip, leaving Cameron’s empty body. When Ellison and Sarah Connor decline to jump forward in time with Weaver and John Connor, Weaver instructs Ellison to pick up Savannah from gymnastics.

Weaver then transports itself and John Connor to a post-Judgment Day future in which John Connor is not known to the human resistance. Though Connor and the T-1001 arrived naked, the T-1001 forms “clothing” a moment later. After briefly talking to John, the Terminator slips away when the human resistance encounters John, thus leaving its whereabouts unknown.


Terminator 2: Judgment Day – Nuclear Twilight[edit]

In the Terminator 2: Judgment Day – Nuclear Twilight comic published by Malibu Comics in 1996, an injured Tech-Com soldier named “Griff” is abducted by a troop of T-800 Terminators and brought back to Skynet. He is drugged and, while in a delirious state (believing he has died and gone to Heaven), questioned by Skynet about Tech-Com’s acquisition of a T-800 unit. After he has supplied all the information he is aware of, two T-1000 Terminators enter the room, both assuming his appearance before killing him. One of these T-1000 units is then sent to infiltrate the human resistance, the other sent through time to kill John Connor as outlined in the Terminator 2 movie. In the simultaneously published Terminator 2: Judgment Day – Cybernetic Dawn, set just after the film, a female T-1000 and two T-800s come to the present to make sure the creation of Skynet happens as planned.

Terminator/Robocop: Kill Human[edit]

In the second crossover between Terminator and Robocop, the T-1000 plays a fairly significant role. It’s the same model as from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. His role is not changed, he still intends to kill John Connor, but this time he must confront Robocop as well to get to John Connor. Robocop manages to save John and Sarah because he came from the future to stop the downfall of humanity, which even with the resistance fighting back, the war was lost for humanity. Robocop shows no interest in keeping John and Sarah safe however, all he wants to do is prevent the future from happening. The T-1000 finds his targets on a naval base, set up by Robocop. He gets in, but the vessel they are on begins to sink, but even with some help from the re-activated T-800 unit, John Connor is dead and the vessel sinks to the bottom of the sea, with everyone on board possibly drowning in the fight. Even the two Terminators and Robocop who are destroyed by a chemical compound designed to destroy metals, which has seeped into the waters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fox.com
  2. ^ a b c d Scifiscripts.com
  3. ^ a b Terminator 2: Judgment Day by Randall Frakes, James Cameron and William Wisher (Jun 1, 1991)(ISBN 0-553-29169-6)
  4. ^ Trailer of Terminator 2 has the Schwarzenegger character identified as 800 Series Model 101″
  5. ^ Robert Patrick, All Movie Guide biography at The New York Times
  6. ^ Awards for Robert Patrick at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ “Top 100 Villains of All Time”. Online Film Critics Society. Archived at Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b “Interactive Modes”, Terminator 2: Judgment Day Blu-Ray
  10. ^ Jennifer Vineyard (2008-09-15). “How Billy Idol And Lance Henriksen Were Nearly James Cameron’s Terminators”. MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  11. ^ “The Story About Making T2″ (Press release). Canal+. 1991. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  12. ^ The Winston Effect: The Art & History of Stan Winston Studio
  13. ^ “Academy Awards Database”. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  14. ^ Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles End Credits
  15. ^ Entity Fx
  16. ^ In Terminator 2, examples of the T-1000′s emotional expression include the following; it spares a brief moment of bemusement after seeing a clothing store mannequin that resembles its liquid metal form, it looks shocked when its arm breaks off due to being frozen with liquid nitrogen, displays frustration and anger towards the Model 101 when it thwarts its attempt to force Sarah to call John out of hiding, wags its finger in a “tsk-tsk” gesture at Sarah after she fails to destroy it in the steel mill, exhibits a shocked expression after being significantly disrupted by a grenade, and shows genuine agony when it is freezing and when it is dropped into the molten steel.
  17. ^ Terminator: Genesis’ Call Sheet Reveals Byung-hun Lee’s Role As T-1000″. Screenrelish.com. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  18. ^ Jake Rico (2009-01-12). “Terminator Salvation – First Review”. ShowBizCafe.com. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  19. ^ Randy Jennings (2009-02-28). “Wonder Con T4 Exclusive: CG Arnold Approved! McG Shares Big Exclusives with TheArnoldFans!”. TheArnoldFans.com. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  20. ^ Jonathan Dean (June 2009). “Beyond Salvation”. Total Film. p. 65. 
  21. ^ Jami Philbrick (2009-04-21). “McG talks Terminator Salvation”. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  22. ^ “feedback.”. Fox.com official blog. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-09-10. [dead link]

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