When most people think about 12 Monkeys, what comes to mind is probably the 1995 film starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. It was a hit at the box office, plus the movie was even nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe and Saturn Award. Yet for the past two years, Syfy’s time-travel drama of the same name has managed to take what worked in the original and reinvent the wheel to critical acclaim.
From creators Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (Nikita), 12 Monkeys follows time traveler James Cole (Aaron Stanford) as he bounces around from the year 2043 to stop a mysterious organization known as The Army of the Twelve Monkeys. Season 1 had Cole meet up with brilliant virologist Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) to stop a virus that in his timeline caused the death of 93.6 percent of the world population. Then, season 2 shifted the focus more to genius Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire), who we soon learned can see through time.
Now season 2 still hasn’t ended – there’s two episodes left – and we’re not even sure whether our heroes will be able to save time itself. But fans will be able to watch their story continue to play out over at least one more season. According to THR, 12 Monkeys has been renewed for a third season of 10 episodes, which is amazing news on the same day the show has a screening with cast and crew at Paley Center in Beverly Hills.
In just its short time on Syfy, 12 Monkeys has become a cult favorite series, interweaving great characters, great storylines and enough twists and turns to keep viewers guessing. The series plays hard and fast with the rules of time travel. What you see isn’t always what you get, and what you think isn’t always true. Chris McCumber, President of Entertainment Networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said it best with his announcement about the renewal:
“Terry and the cast and crew have brought to life a rich world not confined by boundaries of time, with multi-dimensional characters whose motivations for saving the world are deeply personal and intensely relatable. It’s exactly the type of smart, on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment we want to bring to Syfy viewers.”
As for what fans can expect from this year’s finale, Matalas has warned it’ll be traumatic and end on a big cliffhanger, yet it’ll also pave the way for season 3 and beyond. He previously told Blastr a little bit about his master plan:
“I’m really proud of the last three episodes. So much pay-off for the characters, relationships, mythology. I think audiences will be surprised where we take everyone. The ending is huge! And maybe – just maybe – it might be a little controversial for some of our hardcore fans. It’s a cliffhanger for sure, with a time travel twist. But once you sit with it and think about it, for a moment…you go, ‘Oh, yeah. Of course. That makes sense.’ Then that surprised grin will turn to horror and you’ll say, ‘But that means…Oh, no. No, no, no.’ The finale takes us deeper into the lives of our main characters for future seasons and sets up a major, major conflict that just can’t end well.”
It’s not clear exactly what he’s talking about, but it sounds both good (for us) and so bad (for the characters). There have been reports that by the end of this season we’ll find out the identity of the Witness that’s been threatening our heroes. And in a time travel show such as this, it could even be one of our favorites. So one thing’s for sure, it’ll be a bumpy ride from here on out.
12 Monkeys continues with ‘Blood Washed Away’ on July 11th at 9pm on Syfy, and season 2 concludes with ‘Memory of Tomorrow’ on July 18th. Season 3 will air in 2017.