Sarah and John assume new identities as they attempt to find out who built Skynet.
The year is 1999. Sarah Connor is living under cover after being wrongly blamed for the death of computer genius Miles Dyson at the end of Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
In the film's epic climax, Dyson had sacrificed himself, as the technology that led to the future creation of the self-aware Skynet computer network was destroyed, sparing John the life of a resistance leader.
The series begins as Sarah's peaceful newlife in Nebraska is shattered. In a nightmare, she watches John get shot dead by a Terminator in a police shoot-out, before the machine turns on her and a nuclear explosion rips the skin from their bones. Shaken by the premonition, she wakes her son and tells him they must leave.
When Sarah's fiance Charley Dixon discovers that she and John are missing, he reports their disappearance to the police. FBI agent James Ellison reveals that Sarah is an escaped mental patient. A betrayed Charley reveals Sarah's new alias to be Sarah Reese, enlightening a new Terminator that had been monitoring the FBI database.
In search of a new life, Sarah and John move to a remote town in New Mexico, where John meets a pretty girl called Cameron Phillips at school. Soon afterwards, a substitute teacher arrives and attempts to shoot John, revealing himself to be a 800 series Terminator named Cromartie.
Shockingly, Cameron uses herself as a human shield to protect John from the bullets, before running over Cromartie in the climax to a tension-fuelled chase. Cameron also reveals herself to be a Terminator, sent from 2027 to protect John.
She tells him that Skynet was activated on April 19th 2011 and the nuclear apocalypse that Sarah saw in her dream happened two days later. Realising that Skynet will be too strong for John to lead a resistance against, the team resolve to try and stop it being created.