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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

12 MONKEYS

Review by David Blackwell

 

Episode 101- Pilot (Jan 16 at 9/8 pm CT)

Episode 102- Mentally Divergent (Jan 23 at 9/8 pm CT)

STUDIO: Universal Cable Productions/ SyFy

12 MONKEYS is one of my favorite sci-fi movies and the short film LA JEET (which inspired it) is also a great work of sci-fi.   SyFy has managed to craft a re-imagining of the movie which keeps the core ideas of the movie’s story while being able to expand it into a TV series.   The series looks to be a show of paradoxes and time travel thrown into the mix.   James Cole (Aaron Stanford) time travels into the past where he first arrives in 2013 (from 2043) to get the assistance of Dr Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) in the past to find Leland Frost (who the survivors in the future think is responsible for unleashing a virus which kills 7 billion people).    Soon Cole finds out he will be thrown further into the past at one point and some people he hasn’t met may know him.   In the second episode, time travel sometimes isn’t an exact science and he ends up in North Korea 2006.   He finds out changing the future isn’t easy and he is on the quest to find the army of the 12 Monkeys as this TV series blends, time travel and conspiracy in equal doses.

 

The first episode goes through lots of exposition and set up while not allowing itself time to breathe.  The first episode would have worked better as two episodes as the creators of the show could have taken their time to flesh out the central plot and characters more. I also wish they took time to show what was going on in Cassandra’s life from 2013 to 2015 instead of just flashing forward two years later after she first briefly meets Cole.


The character of Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) in episode 2 (even though you see her briefly in the pilot) gives the series a much needed does of energy as you see the female version of the Brad Pitt character in the movie as you start to see clues behind the mysterious army of 12 Monkeys.   I hope they use Jennifer Goines more as it would give the show a much needed shot in the arm as I wish they could have also written the dynamic between Cole and Cassandra better.   CONTINUUM (which will have its fourth and final season) develops the dynamics between the characters much better than the first two episodes have.  They drop in a few supporting characters (Coles’s partner in the future and the head scientist woman who sends Cole back in time) and yet I wish I could care for them.    I thought the pacing and the ideas in this new version of 12 MONKEYS are great, but I hope they take time to inject more dynamics between the characters.   Thankfully, the second episode improves on the first episode and I will stick around to see how the show develops. 

 

This review is 1-13-2015 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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