Having missed the first season of 12 Monkeys, for no other reason than having issues with it being put on the small screen, starting season two of the SyFy series left at least one viewer feeling a few bananas short a full load. As the series does not start “properly” until April 25, there is still time to do a spot of binge watching to catch up.
Probably a good idea if, like this viewer, the first run was missed; whatever the reason.
There are a good deal of things different from the 1995 Terry Gilliam film Twelve Monkeys. More players for a start and the lack of Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt or Madeline Stowe. Blue people appear to be in charge and a dead woman can be sent through time, forward, in order to save her life.
Another addition is “the witness.”
Regardless of these oddities or “extensions,” there is the presence of personal favorite; Kirk Acevedo who leapt to this reviewer’s attention in Fringe. He is the “partner” of James Cole (Aaron Stanford stepping in for Bruce Willis) one José Ramse. Thus far Kirk has been in a great many scenes which is a definite plus.
Other changes includes Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt’s character) being replaced by Jennifer Goines (played by Emily Hampshire). Madeline Stowe’s Kathryn Railly has a name change, she is now Cassandra Railly and being played by Amanda Schull.
Gone too are the little group of scientists who monitored Cole’s every move in the film. These blue men has taken their place and they are “monkeys.” Part of the group who attempt to kill Cole an Ramse on a bridge in Budapest, 2016.
It has to be said that while Jeffery was changed to Jennifer in the Goines role, Hampshire comes across as a grade ‘A’ fruit loop (with a little help from ADR looping) but even without it the character comes across as being days behind on her meds.
There are plenty of flashbacks; red infused visions colored by copious amounts of blood apparently, and it seems that the Army of the 12 Monkeys is determined to keep sending more monkeys back in time to make sure that the virus is spread.
The tech in the series is pretty impressive stuff, mush better than the jury-rigged mechanics of Gilliam’s world. Although that does not detract from the storyline too much. It may be that the first season should be viewed before getting too invested in this second season.
To give the show’s creators credit however it is not really necessary. Watching the second season premiere might leave one feeling a tad confused once or twice but the writing is tight enough that the storyline can be followed.
12 Monkeys may deviate from the big screen version but it still entertains, even without Willis and Stowe. It appears that the next installment, on April 25, the two will travel back even further in time to the 1940s.
Interestingly, Cassie Railly is much more of a strong character than Stowe’s big screen heroine was. There are peripheral characters like Deacon (Todd Stashwick) and Katarina Jones (Barbara Sukowa) who appear to be allies and help Cassie to continue her mission.
12 Monkeys appears interesting enough that binge watching the first season is a real necessity. With just over two weeks away from the show’s start date, now might be good time to head over to Hulu and catch up.
12 Monkeys airs 25 April on SyFy..