Terminator. It is a classic. It is maybe a perfect action science fiction film. Well written, well acted, well produced. Stolen. 

Yes, stolen. You'd have to watch two Outer Limits shows, Demon With a Glass Hand and Solder written by Harlan Ellison, who also wrote Star Trek's City on The Edge of Forever and about 1700 other things, as well as read an Ellison novel I Have No Mouth and Must Scream, to see it, but once you do, you can't not see. 

Demon With a Glass Hand tells the tale of a time traveling cyborg, who looks human, sent back in time to defend the last hope of humanity from invading aliens who have defeated humanity in the future and can seal that victory by winning this last battle in the past. Soldier tells the story of two infantry men from the future who travel back in time to the then present day and end up killing each other. I Have No Mouth And Must Scream tells of a supercomputer that becomes sentient, envelops the other supercomputers and kills nearly all of humanity. 

These things sounds familiar yet. I thought so. Add to this a report of Cameron admitting he drew from Ellison's Outer Limits works and stories and well, you see why Ellison got awarded $65,000 outside of court. 

But here is the real question - does it matter?

Ellison's stories never told the exact tale Terminator does. Each told a separate aspect. Cameron took those disparate aspects and combined then into a mostly, somewhat, unique tale. Is it plagiarism? No. Is it borrowing? Yes. Is Terminator somewhat original? Maybe. 

Is it stolen - you betcha. 

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