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Syfy Reveals Brief Glimpse At 12 Monkeys Series In New Trailer

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We’ve talked a lot about how Syfy seems to making a serious effort to turn itself around and become a serious player in the realm of scripted genre entertainment, as opposed to primarily a peddler of original B-movies and so-called “reality” programming that doesn’t pass the sniff test. As hopeful as we are about upcoming Syfy projects such as Ascension and The Expanse, there’s one that still has us very dubious: their series adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s time-travel classic 12 Monkeys. Now Syfy has revealed a very brief look at their version of 12 Monkeys, courtesy of the preview video above.

Syfy typically puts together this sort of “coming soon” montage for their upcoming lineups, and with Defiance and Dominion both having just kicked off their new seasons, the network dropped the above trailer to help hype both of those shows, as well as the upcoming returns of Helix and Haven, and their fall “event series” Ascension. You can see a few 12 Monkeys moments we’ve heard described before beginning around the 30-second mark.

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Syfy’s About-Face: Nine Shows That Might Help The Network Redeem Itself

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AscensionAscension
Earlier this year, Bill McGoldrick, Syfy’s executive vice president of original programming, made the bold claim that the network was headed in a new direction, and that they wanted top notch scripted programming that could compete with well-respected cable entities such as AMC and HBO. Ascension was one of the first projects announced that suggested Syfy might really be trying to reform after years of cheesy TV movies, paranormal “reality” shows, and inexplicable wrestling.

A six-hour space opera “event series,” Ascension imagines an alternate history where, in the heat of the 1960s space race, the U.S. launched the titular starship on a top secret mission of colonization. Fifty years later, the vessel is still en route to its distant destination, loaded with hundreds of men, women, and children hoping to make a new home on another world. But when a young woman is murdered, the inhabitants begin to wonder about the true nature of their mission.

The first trailer, which you can see below, is a moody and effective teaser, imagining how a small, contained society might have developed over five decades, with traces of 1960s culture mixed with more futuristic trappings (check out that flag!). Mysteries often make a good mix with science fiction (see: Leviathan Wakes), helping ground the fantastic elements with the uglier elements of human nature. Whether Ascension will blend those disparate parts into a satisfying treat remains to be seen, but hiring Battlestar Galactica‘s Tricia Helfer is a nice start. Ascension was created and written by Philip Levens, who previously wrote for Smallville and the 2008 Knight Rider reboot. Those credits suggest this could go either way, but we’re cautiously optimistic. – David

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Time Travel Charts Test Your Knowledge Of Fiction’s Fourth Dimension

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We’ve seen some really cool things done with the concept of the so-called “minimalist poster.” The challenge of reducing something down to its essence, represented in as simple a visual as possible, can be both challenging and fun. That’s the same basic idea behind these clever little time travel charts put together by the folks at Buzzfeed. They distill a bunch of classic (and a few more obscure) time travel flicks down to a basic representation of the time travel itself: are people going back or forward, or both? Sometimes it’s pretty straightforward, like this one for the Jennifer Garner comedy 13 Going on 30.

13Going

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12 Monkeys: Four Ways Syfy’s TV Series Will Diverge From The Movie

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MonkeysWhen I first heard the news that Syfy was developing a TV series based on Terry Gilliam’s cult classic 12 Monkeys, my first question was, “Why?” Once the initial befuddlement had worn off, the more intriguing question became, “How?” 12 Monkeys is one of my favorite science fiction films, so while I didn’t have much confidence that Syfy would be able to adapt it well for the small screen, I was curious as to how they would expand the story of a convict from a bleak future who is sent back to learn more about the mysterious “Army of the 12 Monkeys,” and the deadly disease they unleashed that would ravage humanity.

Well, the folks at Film Divider got a look at the 12 Monkeys pilot and have revealed that, while it shares the same basic concept as the Gilliam movie, it also diverges is several major ways.

Warning: If you want to go into the 12 Monkeys series unspoiled, now’s the time to click away!

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Syfy Picks Up 12 Monkeys Straight To Series

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12 MonkeysOver the past few years, Syfy has become known more for churning out ridiculous low-budget creature features like Sharknado and Giant Whatever Versus Mega Something Or Other, or middle of the road reality shows. While these can be a fun distraction from time to time, the network has gotten away from creating original genre content, though that trend appears to be changing direction again. One project that has been in the works is an adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, and now we have word that Syfy placed a straight to series order.

Written and executive produced by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, Syfy ordered a dozen episodes of 12 Monkeys, with an eye on a January 2015 premiere. The series joins the gradually increasing list of new shows that includes the event series Ascension, and Dominion, a series based on the feature angels versus demons movie Legion. With Helix getting renewed for another year, and the second season of Defiance on the way, we can expect more and more new content on the network in the future.

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Beyond Caesar: Our Eight Favorite Sci-Fi Primates

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Now that Matt Reeves’ upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has given us an ominous look into the future of Caesar and his army of apes with the film’s first trailer, we’ve got apes on the brain. But I swear we don’t have the Simian Flu! While we’ve still got some time to go before we take a trip to that planet, let’s take a vine-swing down memory lane for a visit with eight of the most memorable primates science fiction has given us. If you’ve got some other examples that we didn’t get to, they’re more than invited to swing with us. It was just starting to smell really bad is all. (And yes, we intentionally avoided all references to the Planet films.) Somebody toss out a banana, for away we go.

2001 tribe leaderTribe Leader (2001: A Space Odyssey)
It’s impossible to hear the song “Also sprach Zarathustra” without thinking of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey. And it is in turn impossible not to think of that film without remembering the epic prehistoric opening sequence that either blew your mind or made you want to blow your brains out. Say what you will, of the millions of violent acts that have been portrayed on film, few have managed to pack as much subtext and importance as those that occur once the Monolith enters the picture. And it’s when our friend seen above throws his prize bone into the air that the movie begins its trippy trek into the world of HAL and Dave. Put your dukes up for the all-out battle seen below.

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