Doctor Peter Silberman was a fanatical, mediocre criminal psychologist who worked for the state of California and with the Los Angeles Police Department. Silberman thought nothing of the so-called delusions shared by Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor other than being able to make a career from them being under his care. After a close call with seeing the Terminator in 1984, Silberman witnessed two in action in 1995 during Sarah Connor's escape from the Pescadero State Hospital.
Dr. Silberman was brought in to interrogate Kyle Reese, the soldier sent from the future to protect Sarah Connor from the Terminator that tried to kill her. He downplayed Reese's story as delusional and constructed in such a way that it cannot be refuted, such as how there was no evidence of advanced technology because the time machine can only send things back that generate a bio-energy created by living tissue. He left the police station before the Terminator's attack, briefly passing the latter (who was disguised as a human) in the foyer.
He still believed the story was delusional and constructed even after the attack on the police station.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Dr. Silberman was the chief and criminal psychologist at Pescadero State Hospital where Sarah Connor was imprisoned as a mentally unsound inmate. Silberman made little headway with her, and was constantly a victim of her attacks when the opportunity presented itself, even stabbing him in the knee with his own pen at one point. After Sarah requested to be transferred to the minimum-security wing, he denied her request due to her status as security risk and sentenced her to 6 extra months as a penalty. In retaliation, Sarah took him hostage in her escape attempt later that night, threatening to inject him with acidic drain cleaner to force his staff to release her. He witnessed both the T-800 and T-1000 Terminators when Sarah attempted to escape, stunned as the latter machine stepped through a barred gate. He was ultimately left alone in the corridor terrified with the unconscious staff members as the Connors and the two Terminators traveled down to the car park.
Dr. Silberman, who just became a patient at Pescadero State Hospital himself, has a meeting with Detectives Weatherby and Mossberg. After meeting the T-800, he was obviously starting to believe some of what Sarah always claimed.
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time
Dr. Silberman became the director of Cyberdyne's Employee Health & Wellness Center.
Dr. Silberman has survived the professional disaster that was his last encounter with Sarah Connor, taking an extended break from his position at Pescadero for therapy. Coming to grips with what he saw and allowing his fellow practitioners to convince him it was all a psychotic break helped, but he was unable to resume his duties at Pescadero. Looking into private and clinical work was difficult for Peter as well, as background checks eventually revealed the reason for his departure from Pescadero, and rejections began to pile up. Eventually, he found acceptance at the Encinas Halfway House, handling the transition of patients, including those from Pescadero, back into greater society. Here, Dr. Silberman was again brought face to face with Sarah (a shock to both of them) while she recuperated from injuries received at the hands of Serena Burns. Coming to the realization that what he encountered that night was not Sarah's delusions but her stark and terrifying reality, Dr. Silberman offers whatever help he can to Sarah and her allies. In November of 2002 while conducting a covert meeting of allies under the guise of a therapy session, Dr. Silberman assists with her escape and helps Sarah across the border to Tijuana, Mexico.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
On 25 July 2004, a police force followed another Terminator, John Connor, and Katherine Brewster when the Terminator retrieved weaponry from Sarah Connor's grave. Among the police force was Dr. Silberman, who took Katherine aside and, quite unlike before, expressed some measure of self-doubt, possibly stemming from having seen the two Terminators previously in Pescadero, although he still seemed to partially put it down to stress from the traumatic situation. Upon seeing the T-850, however, Silberman runs from the scene.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
In 2007, he was tracked down by Sarah Connor, using information she obtained from James Ellison's apartment. Dr. Silberman has become a dangerous true believer in the Judgment Day as a parallel to the biblical Apocalypse, resorting to imprisoning and torturing Agent Ellison in the mistaken belief he was a Terminator. Dr. Silberman's recollections of the events surrounding Sarah Connor's escape from the facility imply a number of other survivors who also witnessed the T-1000 and T-800 from that incident. Ironically, Dr. Silberman is confined at what appears to be the Pescadero Institute.
- In the original script of Terminator 2: Judgment Day as the T-1000 returns to Pescadero to acquire a vehicle, there were plans to show Silberman being placed in an Ambulance having a psychotic break. The T-1000 walks right by him. This deleted scene was referenced in the novel T2: Rising Storm.
- In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Silberman seems to have taken a dramatic turn compared to his T3 parallel. Instead of being utterly frightened by Terminators, he sadistically tortures them (or rather, people he thinks are Terminators).
- In the extended cut of the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "The Demon Hand", it was revealed that Silberman had killed a hiker believing him to be a Terminator prior to Ellison's arrival.
- In the video game Terminator: Resistance, Jacob Rivers can pick up a file titled Prognosis while infiltrating a hospital converted by Skynet. It is not clear who Dr. Silberman's patient was, but it is implied to be a prognosis on Sarah Connor, and that the converted hospital was the Pescadero State Hospital.
- In an extended scene of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, he was shown to be killed by a nuclear explosion and only then realizing that Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese were telling the truth all along.
Behind the scenes
- Dr. Silberman was portrayed by Earl Boen in the films. Boen and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the only actors to have appeared in the first three films of the Terminator franchise. He is, however, the only actor to play the same character in all three films, as Schwarzenegger represents three different versions of the same Terminator model.
- Dr. Silberman was portrayed by Bruce Davison in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
- In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, he is referred to as Doctor Silverman in promotional material.
- The Terminator
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- T2 3-D: Battle Across Time queue video
- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
- Terminator: Dark Fate (archive footage)
- Television series
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Video Games
- Terminator: Resistance (Mentioned only)
- Dr. Silberman: Why didn't you bring any weapons, something more advanced? Don't you have, uh, ray guns? Show me a piece of future technology.
- Kyle Reese: You go naked. Something about the field generated by a living organism. Nothing dead will go.
- Dr. Silberman: Why?
- Kyle Reese: I didn't build the fucking thing!
- Dr. Silberman: Okay, okay. But this cyborg, if it's metal...
- Kyle Reese: Surrounded by living tissue.
- The Terminator
- Dr. Silberman: Let's go back to what you were saying about those Terminator machines. Now you think they don't exist?
- Sarah Connor: They don't exist. I know that now.
- Dr. Silberman: But you've told me on many occasions about how you crushed one in a hydraulic press.
- Sarah Connor: If I had, there would have been some evidence. They would have found something at the factory.
- Dr. Silberman: I see. So you don't believe anymore that the company covered it up?
- Sarah Connor: No. Why would they?
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- Dr. Silberman: You're safe now, they can't hurt you. Kate, my name is Doctor Silberman. I'm a post trauma counselor for the Sheriff's Department, how are you feeling?
- Kate Brewster: He's not human... he's really, not human.
- Dr. Silberman: I know what it's like to be in a hostage situation, I've been there myself. The fear, the adrenaline you find yourself, imagining things, impossible things, crazy things, insane things...take years to get over it.
- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
- Dr. Silberman: I'm sorry for ever doubting you.
- Sarah Connor: (cold-cocks Dr. Silberman) Apology accepted.
- (SCC "The Demon Hand"):