Film & TV

Blu-ray/DVD Review: 12 Monkeys (TV Series)

Based on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film, a man travels back from 2043 to try to stop the onset of a pandemic that will kill 99% of the world’s population.


If a man claiming to be from an apocalyptic future kidnapped you and told you that within you was the key to stopping a worldwide plague of catastrophic proportions, what would you do?

This is the conundrum set in place for Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull; Centre Stage, Suits) when the time traveling Cole (Aaron Stanford; X-Men 2, Nikita) arrives from the year 2043 with a mission to stop a pandemic, an event so intense that only one percent of the population will survive.

Created by Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas, the TV series is based on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 hit film of the same name, which stared Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. The series 12 Monkeys manages to blend action, suspense and humour to a perfect degree.

Usually time travel is a convoluted mess, especially when factoring in temporal mechanics, quantum physics, paradoxes and temporal anomalies, however at no point do the writers of the pilot episode (Oliver Grigsby and Chris Marker) simply rely on “techno-babble”. Instead, their focus seems to be on character development and excellent plot advancement.

The last twenty minutes of the pilot episode had me on the edge of my seat as every scene ends on a cliff-hanger, the main quality of which ensures viewers tune back in for the next instalment.

The choice of actors, from the minor characters to the main duo are outstanding. Stanford in particular is captivating and genuinely seems to be a man out of time, especially when we see that his mission includes killing anyone he needs – from his perspective these people have been dead for thirty years anyway.

The grit of the disease-torn future is almost palpable through the screen, especially when compared to slick almost neon bathed present day.

I personally will be tuning in for not only episode two, but the entire run of this season. This stunning pilot enthralled me from the first few minutes and never let go.

Reviewed by Adam Gerard
Twitter: @awordwithadam

Rating out of 10:  9

Season 1 of 12 Monkeys is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.

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