Fancy a bit of time travel in your life? A crazy scientist, some throat slitting to rival Game of Thrones, science fiction mystery drama at its best and a virus that will cause devastation and destroy most of mankind? Thought so. If you’re still unsure here’s the lowdown on why you should binge-watch 12 Monkeys or have you already watched it and you’re reading this out of sequence?
If you liked the Man in the High Castle then you’ll connect with the theme. The ‘what if this happened instead?’ stokes the grey matter.
As we are constantly reminded in 12 Monkeys, the inevitable is all thanks to causality and effect. Come again? Causality connects to effect because it is responsible for it and effect is dependent on causality. But if you remove causality do you then end up with something similar to the butterfly effect. That is, if you change something no matter how miniscule in the past, such as preventing someone from crossing the road, then are there repercussions? What if the person about to cross the road is a scientist and that scientist crosses a split second later, is knocked down by a car and doesn’t discover an anti-venom or cure?
So tread very carefully when you disrupt time. The main characters learn this again and again and again.
The original 12 Monkeys idea was written by David and Janet Peoples and adapted into a film in 1995 directed by Terry Gilliam which in itself was inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée. The 1995 film starred veteran action actor of the day Bruce Willis who played the anti-hero sent back in time to observe rather than undo.
Brad Pitt played wacko exceptionally, as only Brad Pitt knows how. He’s great at stoner too. Just don’t ever let him recite Shakespeare because we can’t stretch the lines of believability too far or goodness knows what might happen!
Now, 12 Monkeys is a US tv series on Syfy created by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett due to release its fourth series this year.(you can catch it on Amazon Prime and Netflix)
In the series, first screened in 2015, Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull star as James Cole and Dr. Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Railly, who use time travel in an effort to stop the destructive plans of the “Army of the 12 Monkeys”.
Cole and Railly are intertwined in this believable plot-twisting, sci-fi thriller. It’s not too far a stretch to believe in the 21st Century that time travel has been developed. With driverless cars due to roll off the production line in a couple of years, a trip to the Moon for ordinary folk planned for this year and smart technology taking over every gadget we own, why shouldn’t this generation experience the ultimate trip? Travelling through time should be a cinch!
The Army of the Twelve Monkeys may be the threat to mankind but the ‘Primaries’ are the ones who can metaphysically hover and witness time flow in all directions and all eventualities. The Primaries are the key and the Brad Pitt-type character similar to the film is played by Emily Hampshire. Her performance as eccentric Jennifer Goines, a scientist’s daughter who has been locked up in a psychiatric hospital because of her visions, is extraordinary. An Oscar should definitely flow in the direction of her time line.
One of the best things about the characters’ time travelling is we get to see different eras from World War I and World War II to the Eighties where fashion defied logic.
We also learn the main character’s back stories which arms the watcher with information on whether nature or nurture explains their actions and reactions.
And as time develops, friends become enemies and those wishing to change time become hell bent on stopping it to save a loved one.
I guess the big question is, if you could travel back in time how would you change your life? What would you do differently and what’s stopping you now?
I’m not going to watch the trailer for series 4, out this year, because I’m a ‘no spoiler’ sort of girl but if you want a sneak peak here it is:
review by Susie Daniels