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12 Monkeys: Is Time Travel Just Monkey Business?


Interstellar. Men in Black. X-Men: Days of Future Past. Hot Tub Time Machine. In Time. Back to the Future. Terminator. Star Trek. 12 Monkeys. These are just the recent movies based around the concept of Time.

From the very beginning in Hollywood, playing with time has been the favorite pastime of movie makers. Time travel, as a concept, has intrigued even the brightest, most brilliant scientific minds. Wouldn’t the possibility of travelling in time and influencing the course of history, or creating a new future altogether be amazing? Sadly for us, time travel doesn’t seem highly probable in the near future.

Nevertheless, thanks to a growing interest in the matter, and new big-budget movie and TV productions, interested viewers can get a taste of the subject. Recently a classic time travel movie featuring Bruce Willis has been adapted on to the small screen. ‘12 Monkeys’ piloted on Syfy on 16th January, with a few minor changes in the plot line from the original 1995 movie.

12 monkeys movie poster

The time traveler (Cole) now hails from 2043, instead of 2030 as shown in the movie. Also, due to the considerably longer duration of the same plot, various new elements and a few new characters have been added.

As of 6th February 2015, 4 episodes of the fist season had been aired. While the show isn’t set to air in the Indian subcontinent any time soon, it is easily available online on all torrent networks. Or if you’re one of the ‘ethical’ types, you can also avail pay-per-view options.

12monkeys tv show poster

The Plot (no spoilers though):

The year is 2043. Majority of the world’s population has been wiped out through diseases, or what in modern terms might be called ‘superbugs’. An organization of scientists has reasons to believe that they have traced the origin of the virus. They decide to send a young man, Cole, back in time to 2017. His mission priority is to make contact with Dr. Cassandra Railly, a virologist with the US Centre for Disease Control and report back with his findings.

12 MONKEYS tv show time machine

However, things don’t really go as planned for Cole and the situation in the past is more complex than what was initially expected. There are constant appearances of drawings of a monkey and mentions of an organization called the ’12 monkeys’, which supposedly played the largest role in bringing the human race to the brink of extinction. The show primarily revolves around the lives of Cole or Dr. Railly as he travels back and forth in time, while being extremely careful not to create a paradoxical situation.

12 MONKEYS movie time machine

Ratings & Review:

The show has received a mixed response so far. IMDB rates the show at 8.1/10, which is good for any TV series. On the other hand Rotten Tomatoes has awarded it a rating of merely 57%.

The show has a well thought-out plot so far and no room for loopholes, which is often an issue with time-travel productions. The actors put in good performances and seem to fit into their roles perfectly. While it is not clear how the show will progress, it would be safe to presume that the first season will operate along the lines of the film.

From a viewer’s perspective, 12 Monkeys is well-tailored and manages to keep viewers interested. The show puts forward an interesting storyline and is worth the forty minutes spent on each episode. It would be interesting to see how the show fares in comparison to the Bruce Willis starrer. But from what I have seen so far, it will definitely be at par, if not better, than its silver screen counterpart.


Picture Credits- Google images

By Lakshaya Soin


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