Most film to TV adaptations have been known to let us down in the past. Syfy’s 12 Monkeys adapted from the 1996 film of the same name is not one of those shows. With the fourth and final season airing later this summer, if you haven’t started watching 12 Monkeys, now is the perfect time to strap in and get ready for a wild ride.
Syfy’s 12 Monkeys first season keeps as close to its film roots as it could. James Cole played by Bruce Willis in the original film and Aaron Stanford in the show, is sent back in time from a post-apocalyptic future to stop a deadly plague that will destroy the human race. The insane antagonist played by a young Brad Pitt in the original film is portrayed by Emily Hampshire, who both do a great different version of crazy. Amanda Schull is Cassandra, a doctor that teams up with Cole to try to save humanity. The time travel in both stories is untested and not entirely reliable, but at the same time is a refreshing take on the idea. This is where the similarities end, which is not a bad thing.
The show is a sci-fi adventure, with Cole and crew time-tripping from year to year, they call it “splintering” as it’s a chemical process that gives him accelerated healing powers and enhanced fighting ability. This combined with the way Cole travels out of order, meeting people he has already met for the first time, makes for magnificent tension building. Time travel is an excellent tool if you know how to use it, and 12 Monkeys does. Whether it’s to introduce the death of character early, leaving you wondering when and how it’s going to happen, or the use by villains who for some reason always seem to be a step ahead.
Tom Noonan who portrays the Pallid Man is the perfect villain for the show. He is mysterious, ruthless and cut-throat, all while doing things for with a higher purpose. His depth and complexity grow as well as his purpose. 12 Monkey’s villains help move the story as much if not more than its heroes, the constant game of catch up is a welcomed change from the cat and mouse of other shows.
For those that don’t need to catch up, season 4 plans to take the show to a time it’s never been, the Middle Ages.
“We saved the best splinter for the last,” executive producer Terry Matalas told EW, who revealed that 12 Monkeys season 4 will head to medieval times. “We wanted to send them to a darker, more dangerous time period than ever before — and there’s nothing better for that than the Middle Ages. Imagine Jennifer Goines wandering through Winterfell, and you can guess the places we’ve gone with it.”
The team will be going back to 1400s England, where it all started.
Syfy dropped a new trailer for season four Monday night, check it out below. According to TV Line, the final season of the 12 Monkeys premieres on Friday, June 15 at 8/7c on Syfy. The 11-episode season will unfold over four consecutive weeks, with three episodes airing each Friday from 8 to 11 pm until the two-hour series finale on Friday, July 6 at 9 pm.