Terminators and Dogs

I’ve been thinking about how the ability of dogs to detect terminators is both a good thing and a bad thing for story. It’s obviously well-established, but does the idea need a little tweaking?

ttscc0222-06-jccw-260Whenever a terminator with an endoskeleton is opened, it’s clear that they make a fair amount of noise. A terminator without skin is definitely not at  all stealthy—not that terminators are particularly stealthy by nature, but still…. It’s likely that the canine response is largely do to the mechanical grinds and squeaks that these humanoid machines make. (I’m still wondering how Cameron ever walked around a city during the day without sparking an incessant stream of barkings.)

But then we have the T-100x series. Obviously, there is a precedent when “Wolfie” wouldn’t stop barking when the T-1000 was impersonating Janelle and infiltrating the Voight household. Then again, the T-1000 was a prototype. Maybe it hadn’t got its stealth on.

For the purpose of having Catherine Weaver as John Connor’s ally, it’s important that the T-1001 be able to exist near dogs (at least for a brief time) without setting them off. Otherwise the writers will have to constantly be jumping through ever-more-improbably hoops to come up with situations for Connor and Weaver to meet. That quickly starts to spark fan ire.

But, the sharp-eyed will point out, dogs were barking after Weaver and Connor time-jumped. So that bit is already set. Not necessarily. The dogs could be reacting to the time-bubble commotion as well as the scent of an unknown human it camp. There was an awful lot of commotion at the time.

If Weaver is stealthy where the T-1000 was not, how can we explain it? It’s possible that just as she can form a suitable “skin” to allow her to time-travel, she can also create a skin that blocks the sound. Or, perhaps more likely, she’s able to create an inverse audio wave that will, at least for a short time/distance, effectively cancel out the sound her MPA naturally makes.

If John is limited to having to find out of the way places out of doggie earshot, it’s just going to cause major story problems and the easiest way around that is to just make Weaver that advanced.

Now…as to why the T-1000 was on Skynet’s side while other MPAs (or perhaps just Weaver) are on only their own side…that’s a different topic of discussion.

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