12 MONKEYS (2015) – S01E01: ‘Splinter’ Review
Remember that awesome sci-fi thriller movie about weird time travel and crazy paradoxes and an even crazier Brad Pitt? No? Well not a lot of people do, but turns out that it’s an amazing premise for a TV series. ’12 Monkeys’ is now a wicked cool SyFy series that made its debut with some interesting elements taken right out of the movie.
The series puts Aaron Stanford in the role originally played by Bruce Willis in the movie. If you haven’t heard of Stanford, he can be remembered as Pyro in ‘X2: X-Men United’. Stanford is James Cole who comes back in time to avert a plague that more or less threatens to make the human race extinct 40 years in the future. To make this possible he tracks down doctor Cassandra Railly, played by Amanda Schull, last seen in ‘Suits’. Armed with a clue from Railly herself from the future, Cole needs to find a man that may be responsible for the plague and kill him, hoping to change the past and save the human race.
While it may not be the perfect pilot, the first episode ‘Splinter’ shows that the show has a lot of potential to be a great series given it’s premise. Stanford shows just enough range to adequately do the disheveled and paranoid possible psycho role. Schull isn’t a great actress, but her uptight nature and inexperience works well as Railly given that this episode she has to mostly react and respond to Cole’s outrageous claims about the future and wanting to kill someone.
The episode does a good job of showcasing the time elements and has a pretty decent hook in the beginning with a great cliffhanger in the end. The majority of the time is spent introducing and letting the characters get to know each other. So the pacing is in keeping to that. Cole’s back story is also introduced immediately rather than waiting as most shows might have done.
As a Pilot, the episode is pretty underwhelming but it does set up some good ideas of where the story may go, especially the last scene that introduces the other appealing part of the original movie, but with a great twist. While not spectacular, ’12 Monkeys’ is decent enough to keep watching.