Have you seen the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys starring Bruce Willis as “James Cole” and Brad Pitt as “Jeffrey Goines”? There is a TV series adaptation of the same name that ended its first season run with thirteen (13) episodes. No, it’s not a sequel or a prequel, nor it is an “expanded” story telling of the film, it’s a whole new story.
12 Monkeys aired its 13th episode a few days ago, which beautifully wrapped up the whole season. I would say that the first season was a tribute to the 1995 film as the story revolves around the same premise, that no one can change the past. That when time travel is involved, we are only doing what we already did before we even do it.
But that’s just the tip of it. The real story of the series will be told beginning on the first episode of season 2, which in a way was hinted at in the season finale.
Enough of that. What makes this series interesting was the producers and writers take on time-travel. In science-fiction, time-travel is one of the hardest to pull off. It must be grounded as close to reality and what could be possible. Because when done wrong, readers and viewers will end up either  confused; or  cheated, especially the latter when changing the past is the main story.
This is where they excelled. The execution of each episode, the mini-arcs, the season arc, and the grand arc fit well viewers doesn’t need to think about time-travel at all. Just sit, watch, and relax.
I love time-travel stories. It challenges my mind and forces me to push my thinking prowess to its limits. 12 Monkeys has it too but they did not let me pause to think about it. On the contrary, they convinced me that their time-travel logic is plausible.
The drama is there. There are conflicts both in our time and the future. Pitted humanity against each other and pulled out to the surface what makes each of us human. Our love for our families. Our regrets. Our desire for second chances. Betrayal. Friendships. The pain we endure, and the strength we need to survive. What else could you ask for?
The characters were not some special, superhero, only him or her can do it. The characters are you and me. That person sitting next to you or that stranger that caught your attention when you were walking outside. However, these type of characters won’t live if not for the great acting the cast gave for this series.
My top five actors for Season One are:
- Aaron Stanford as “James Cole”
- Amanda Schull as “Dr. Cassandra Railly”
- Kirk Acevedo as “Jośe Ramse”
- Noah Bean as “Aaron Marker”
- Emily Hampshire as “Jennifer Goines”
It’s simple. I cannot wait for Season Two, unfortunately, we won’t see it until 2016, probably the same month, January. Yes, that’s 9 months of long waiting!
Although at first I thought the story was moving too fast, because I was under the impression they’re note diverging much from the 1995 film. At the end, it was clear that the story has just started, hence, I said earlier that Season One was a “tribute” — if that was their intention or not.
They kept me glued, when I thought it’s going to be a longer version of the same story. I got curious too, trying to find which action will finally mark that something did not happen as it should be — or if things are still happening as it happened.
All of these combined makes this TV adaptation worth watching. So, I’m giving them a full 5 out of 5 stars.
12 Monkeys (2015 TV series) by Yuki is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Legal Notice.