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12 Monkeys Review: One Wild Ride


SyFy’s taking advantage of the new virus craze this year, first with Helix, and now with it’s newest series, 12 Monkeys. But in this show, time travel is also added to the mix in this reprisal of Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film of the same name.

Photo: SyFy
Photo: SyFy

Aaron Stanford plays James Cole, a man, who, in Terminator style, is sent back from the year 2043 to the present in order to prevent the outbreak of a deadly plague that will occur in 2017. In present day, Cole finds prodigy scientist Cassandra Railly, played by Amanda Schull, and has the difficult task of trying to convince her that first, he’s not crazy, and second, that she must help him prevent this plague from devastating mankind.

Photo: SyFy
Photo: SyFy

Playing the role of shadowy bad guy is Tom Noonan, although we’re not quite sure just yet what kind of threat he poses. The show is also full of mysterious clues suggesting that the problem of the plague may be much more complicated than Cole has been lead to believe, and that it may all lead to an elaborate conspiracy encompassing forces no one could have guessed at. It seems Cole may be in far over his head, and preventing the plague may involve much more than just the medical world. Thanks to writers Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, the tone of the show is very dark and tense, making it a good match for its timeslot companion, Helix.

The show also covers quite a number of genres here. 12 Monkeys includes a dystopian future, a deadly plague, and time travel. Have I covered it all? That makes for a pretty jam-packed show in my opinion. You certainly don’t need to worry about getting bored watching this show. If anything, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s going on at times, what with the frequent jumping between time periods. It can get a bit disorienting keeping track of where exactly a scene is taking place. Hell, you might want to keep notes while watching it, just to keep things straight.

While the show is certainly gripping, my question is how long the producers will be able to keep up this kind of intensity? I also wonder if audiences will have the patience to stick with a show that can be rather exhausting and at times confusing to watch. Either way, I’d say it was certainly an entertaining start, and something I’d suggest checking out just for the shear amount of content you’ll see in one sitting. We’ll just have to keep watching to see if it has staying power and can keep up with it’s initial energy.

Overall Rating

Three Star Rating border

“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce

me. Aren’t you?”

What did you think of 12 Monkeys? Do you think it has staying power? Sound off below…



Make sure to catch all of our TV reviews here.

Interested in SyFy’s other series featuring a deadly virus, Helix? Check out our review here.

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By on January 19th, 2015

About Rebecca Lane

Rebecca Lane grew up in the hot desert landscape of Tucson, Arizona where she decided early on she wanted to write, if only to mentally escape her blistering surroundings. She has always been enamored of the arts and literature. As a child she often wrote short stories, and rewrote the endings of novels that she simply could not abide. She received her Undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she was lucky enough to also spend a year studying at Oxford University. While she began her journey dreaming of the day she would sing opera in a large Manhattan theater, she found in the end she could not stand waitressing and simply could not give up books and her hopes of someday writing them. She is currently working as a freelance writer/editor and earning her Masters in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

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4 thoughts on “12 Monkeys Review: One Wild Ride”

  1. I’d be interested to see whether they keep the idea that time travel cannot change anything because theses events caused time travel to exist. With such a rigid structure in the original film, it seems to me like they might hit a dead end. But Terry Gilliam’s original film was very good, and hopefully the series is just as exhilerating.

  2. I have much the same feelin after watching the pilot. I liked it and I’m along for the ride but I’m not sure how long it can last. But I like the cast and the premise so I’m in for now and we’ll see what happens


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