At this rate, we’ll probably see at least the first 20 minutes of Syfy’s new 12 Monkeys series before it has it’s proper debut this Friday. Over the last few days the cable network has gradually been revealing the pilot in bits and pieces, starting with that nine-minute chunk. There will be five in total, and now we’ve got number four for your perusal.
As usual, this picks up where the last left off. In this case, James Cole (Aaron Stanford) wakes up three days after Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schall) patches him up, and after he’s had some crazy-ass fever dream, flashback-style hallucinations. Losing lots of blood and getting sewn up without anesthetic will do that to you. I also feel like someone at the fancy hotel they’re at would have called the cops after a crazy, ranting, blood-covered homeless man stumbled into their establishment, but maybe it’s the kind of place where the guests get all the leeway they want or need.
As we move forward, the picture is gradually coming into focus. He heals fast (perhaps Stanford picked up some tricks from Wolverine when he was in the X-Men movies), and tells Railly that the time travel process in called “splintering.” Sounds unpleasant. This is where we start to find out a little bit more about her. It’s only been a few days for him, but it’s been two years for her, thinking she’s crazy, and apparently so does everyone else, because she’s not a doctor anymore. That certainly explains why she showed up; if believing what she saw made everyone think she is nuts, it must be nice to be reminded that she’s not.
Cole lays out the state of the world from his time. In 2017, the world gets sick when a plague, called the Kalavirus, kills seven billion people, driving most of the survivors underground. To make matters worse, the disease is changing, evolving, and they have roughly one generation left before everyone is gone. A few people were immune, and many of them became scavengers.
During his monologue, you see grim images of the future unfold, with pits of bodies, long lines of infected dropping like flies, and what looks like vicious roving post-apocalyptic gangs. Given that Cole was in prison in the previous clip, it’s easy to assume he was one of these people, and that’s what landed him behind bars, and perhaps is what he’s trying to atone for.
At the very end of the clip, a group of scientists “find something,” and If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say they come across some experimental means of time travel they put to good use.
What we’ve seen so far is solid. There’s a lot of information, but it’s also the beginning of a new series and they’re trying to set up an elaborate new world. As I’ve said before, the biggest concern is that this 12 Monkeys won’t do enough to set itself apart from Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys. We’ll have to wait and see—this is only the first episode after all—but that’s generally the worry in remake situations. Thus far, anyway, the debut has gathered good reviews, which is promising.
If you haven’t watched it yet, here is the first clip…
…and the second…
…and the third.
The last installment of these videos should drop sometime tomorrow, and 12 Monkeys, the whole episode, airs Friday, January 16 on Syfy at 9:00pm. Do you like what you see? Will you tune in on Friday or sit this one out?