A recent trend we can get behind is new shows putting a substantial chunk of the first episode on YouTube. And it’s especially useful for Syfy’s 12 Monkeys, since it gives us some insight into how it tackles what could be a fairly cheesy concept.
A quick recap of the original movie’s plot: A man named Cole is sent back in time to prevent a plague, which would seem straightforward except that time travel tends to scramble brains. Nor does it help that everyone’s trapped in a Terry Gilliam film. That said, everyone complaining about Syfy adapting a movie might want to remember that 12 Monkeys is, itself, a remake of the classic SF short La Jetee from Chris Marker.
There is a lot to like here. In most shows, Cole, our hero, would be arrested by the police and most of the show would be spent featuring him trying to convince the cast he’s from the future. The show does away with that idea in its first nine minutes, leaving at least one key cast member with little doubt something, at the very least, is up. Furthermore, the trailer makes it clear that any skepticism goes out the window rather quickly, and that Cole is going to have his head messed with quite a bit.
In all, it looks like a strong start to a time-travel thriller, and we’ll be curious to see where it goes. 12 Monkeys premieres January 16th.