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

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

NoFateThe future is not set
One rule any good time travel story has to address is whether time travel can actually change anything. In 12 Monkeys, Cole isn’t sent back to prevent the pandemic, only to gather information about it to bring back to the future. For Cole, time is a snake swallowing its own tail, and what happened once is destined to happen again. It seems the 12 Monkeys series will be taking the opposite approach, the Terminator brand of time travel where the future is not set and there’s “no fate but what you make.”

Film Divider says Cole uses a watch to show Cassie Reynolds (Amanda Schull) how the future can still change, even though Cole has already experienced it. See, he brought a watch back from the future — Cassie’s watch, in fact. To prove his point, he breaks her watch in the “present”, and that damage is suddenly applied to the watch from the future. As Cole puts it, “Break the past, the future follows.” It’s an idea memorably — and grotesquely — used to good effect in Looper, where a man on the run is retroactively mutilated by gangsters who have captured his younger self, and are cutting off pieces of him.

So Cole’s journey in the TV version of 12 Monkeys will be a more hopeful one. He can still save the future…if he can only figure out how.

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