Watch the First Nine Minutes of the 12 Monkeys TV Series

By  · Published on January 7th, 2015


A lot of TV series based on movies are weak versions of their source material, and thankfully many of them disappear quickly and have no damaging effects. Once in a blue moon something like M*A*S*H or the second iteration of Parenthood comes along and is a good enough piece of pop culture in its own right. I’ve been expecting Syfy’s 12 Monkeys show to be the former, but after checking out the first nine minutes ahead of next week’s debut, I’m thinking it could at least be worth watching if not also another classic.

Let it be known that I’m a humongous 12 Monkeys fan. It’s one of only a couple movies I ever went back and re-watched on the big screen immediately (as in very next showing, didn’t even leave my seat) following my first viewing. It works perfectly in the 127-minute time frame. But so does the 28-minute La Jetee, Chris Marker’s film that inspired Terry Gilliam’s feature. Maybe a continual series is merely the next step and can work just as well if done right.

So far I’m chalking up the show’s worth to star Aaron Stanford, who takes over the Bruce Willis role of time traveler James Cole. He’s always been great, and I hope this utilizes his talents better than the X-Men movies franchise has (I haven’t seen him in his previous TV series based on a movie, Nikita). And Amanda Schull, in the part of Dr. Cassandra Reilly (played by Madeleine Stowe on the big screen), seems decent enough, too.

The nine-minute preview mainly features these two (no sign of Emily Hampshire as the gender-changed Jennifer Goines or the great Tom Noonan as the villain just yet). They kick things off with a redo of the kidnapping sequence from the movie that is just different enough not to redundantly give a sense of deja vu. Cole’s Looper-esque means of proving that he’s from the future is a nice touch, for instance.

Check it out below and let me know if you agree and whether or not you’ll be tuning in for more starting on January 16th.

[via i09]

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.