Miles Dyson

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Miles Dyson
Terminator character
Joe Morton as Miles Dyson in
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
First appearanceTerminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Last appearanceTerminator Genisys (2015)
Created byJames Cameron
William Wisher Jr.
Portrayed by
In-universe information
SpouseTarissa Dyson
ChildrenDanny Dyson (son)
Blythe Dyson (daughter)[1]

Doctor Miles Bennett Dyson is a character in the sci-fi franchise Terminator. He is the original inventor of the microprocessor which would lead to the development of Skynet, an intelligent computer system intended to control the United States military, but which would later achieve sentience and launch a global war of extermination against humanity.

Dyson is portrayed by Joe Morton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (T2), by Phil Morris in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and by Courtney B. Vance in Terminator Genisys.[2]

Fictional biography[edit]

Terminator 2: Judgment Day[edit]

Miles Dyson is an expert in cybernetics at Cyberdyne Systems Corporation as the Director of Special Projects. He has a wife named Tarissa and a son named Danny. Dyson is creating a microprocessor inspired by two pieces of highly advanced technology recovered from a Terminator in the first film. Dyson is the man most directly responsible for Skynet's creation, which would lead to Judgment Day. One night at his home, Dyson is suddenly attacked by Sarah Connor, who believed that Judgment Day could be averted by killing Dyson, thereby stopping development of the microprocessor. When Sarah comes to her senses and retreats, Dyson is saved by Sarah's son, John, and the Model 101 Terminator. To convince Dyson that it is a Terminator, the machine removes skin to reveal its mechanical arm, identical to another arm held at Cyberdyne's laboratory. The group explain to Dyson the nature of Skynet and what his work would lead to. Dyson initially states that he will quit working at Cyberdyne and destroy all of his research, only for the Model 101 to explain that as long as the technology remains at Cyberdyne, Judgment Day remains inevitable. Dyson agrees to accompany Sarah, John and the Terminator to Cyberdyne to destroy his research. After unwillingly forcing their way into Cyberdyne at gunpoint, Dyson assists John to gather the technology from his laboratory. Dyson also begins preparing to decimate the lab with a bomb. Just as the bomb is ready for detonation, SWAT team officers arrive and open fire, fatally wounding Dyson. Dyson holds onto the trigger and signals for the Connors, the Terminator, and the SWAT team to leave. Dyson dies of his injuries and detonates the bomb, destroying the building with his body inside.

Terminator Genisys[edit]

Dyson returns in Terminator Genisys, which takes place in an alternate timeline where Judgment Day was delayed to the year 2017. In this timeline, Dyson is Cyberdyne's CEO, and though he did not create Skynet directly, he is funding a project called "Genisys", created by his son. Danny and John Connor (now psychopathic due to being turned into a cyborg designated the T-3000 Terminator), both replace him as Skynet's creators.[3]

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles[edit]

Miles's wife, son and home appear in the pilot episode of this series, and although he appears in only the form of a family photograph, his part in Terminator 2 is mentioned. It is revealed that the FBI believes (incorrectly) that Sarah is responsible for his death, which explains his wife Tarissa's hostility towards her after they meet again in 1999, though they manage to convince her that she is innocent of the crime. In episode 3, his grave is visited by his wife and Sarah. Sarah asks her if she knew anything about some men involved in the creation of Skynet. Tarissa mentions one man who created a form of AI called "The Turk," a computer system capable of playing chess. In the photographs, Dyson is portrayed by Phil Morris.

T2 novels[edit]

In the T2 series of novels by S.M. Stirling, set after Judgment Day, Miles's brother, FBI agent Jordan Dyson, takes on the task of investigating Sarah Connor's activities, initially hunting her and John in the belief that they are responsible for his brother's death; even after Miles's wife reveals that the leader of the SWAT team that killed Miles has admitted his role in events—he was dying of cancer and wanted to apologize for his mistake—Jordan continues his vendetta on the grounds that Miles would never have been in Cyberdyne if it were not for Sarah. When he finally learns the truth about the Terminators, he is initially skeptical, but later comes to believe the Connors' tales, helping them battle the latest Terminator incursion into the past.


Critic Sharon Willis has noted the significance of Miles Dyson:[4]

Dyson's sacrifice lines up with the [T]erminator's as the necessary condition of [Sarah] Connor's reunion with her son... T2 literally immolates [Dyson and the Terminator] on the altar of a future conditioned by humanist values.

Willis comments on Connor's speech to Dyson:[5][6]

Men like you... you think you're so creative," Connor continues. "You don't know what it's like to really create something, [...] to feel it growing inside you. All you know how to create is death and destruction.


Dyson has become one of the most iconic and notable creators of artificial technology in popular culture, along with Eldon Tyrell from Blade Runner and Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Morton ended up playing a similar role in the DC Extended Universe as Silas Stone, the father of Victor Stone/Cyborg who uses Mother Box technology in an attempt to save his son's life. Morton's portrayal of the role was revealed to have been a reference to Miles Dyson. Dyson has also been recognised as one of the most important characters in the Terminator franchise, due to his accidental creation of Skynet and his willingness to do whatever it takes to change the future, including sacrificing his own life.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Dyson has also been compared to Victor Frankenstein and The Terminator to Frankenstein's Monster, where Dyson experimented with technologies beyond his understanding and inadvertently created life which turned evil, somewhat similar to how Dr. Frankenstein experimented with life beyond death and created a monster. There are noticeable differences between Dyson and Frankenstein. Dyson was unaware that his work would create Skynet, whereas Frankenstein fully intended on creating new life, but did not intend on creating a monster.[15][16][17]


  1. ^ Only appears in a deleted scene in the special edition release of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  2. ^ "Terminator 2's Joe Morton Shares The Story Behind His Iconic Death Scene". Gamespot. 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  3. ^ "When Terminator Genisys Actually Takes Place". CinemaBlend. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  4. ^ Willis, Sharon (1997). High Contrast: Race and Gender in Contemporary Hollywood Film. Duke University Press. pp. 122, 124. ISBN 082232041X. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  5. ^ Sharon Willis's rendition of Sarah Connor's lines is missing the phrase "to create a life", included in other sources. For example: "Memorable quotes for Terminator 2: Judgment Day". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  6. ^ "The Story About Making T2". 1991. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  7. ^ Burlingame, Russ (2017-09-06). "Batman V Superman Reveals Who Plays Cyborg's Dad". Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  8. ^ Wakeman, Gregory (2017-08-23). "Joe Morton landed his Terminator 2 role thanks to an off-color joke". Metro. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  9. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (2017-08-12). "Terminator 2 Actor Joe Morton on Making the Then-Most Expensive Film Ever Made". IGN. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  10. ^ ""Terminator 2: Judgment Day" Is Still a Deeply Upsetting Blockbuster". Village Voice. 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  11. ^ "Joe Morton's 'T2' Memories, 'Scandal' Farewell, and 'Justice League' Hopes". Moviefone. 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  12. ^ "Justice League: Adjusting the Tone of the Cyborg Character Was Part of the Reshoots". IGN. 2017-08-11. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  13. ^ "'Justice League' Actor Joe Morton On Playing Cyborg's Dad & Reshoots". Heroic Hollywood. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  14. ^ "15 Most Epic Last Stands In Movie History - 9. Dyson Lets Go - Terminator 2: Judgment Day". WhatCulture. 2017-09-19. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  15. ^ Picart, Caroline Joan S. (February 2012). Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film: Between Laughter and Horror. State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791486665.
  16. ^ Decker, Mark T. (March 2016). Industrial Society and the Science Fiction Blockbuster: Social Critique in Films of Lucas, Scott and Cameron. McFarland. ISBN 9781476623870.
  17. ^ Upton, Bryn (26 August 2014). Hollywood and the End of the Cold War: Signs of Cinematic Change. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442237940.