12 MONKEYS, episode 1 on Syfy and the Art of Adaptation

I caught the first episode of the Syfy channel new series debut, 12 MONKEYS. The pilot episode evoked the ghost of the 1995 film, Twelve Monkeys, on which the series is based. I was intrigued, especially being that the film is one of my favorites of the 90s.

Packed with details, little things from the original film, like the scrambled phone message, the archaic yet futuristic time machine not fully explained, and the cabal of future scientists that emerge underground to lead the charge to take the planet back. It was nice to see little details, many of them a clear nod to the film, the series' inspiration, which I thought was handled well. The acting was very good, a nice debut with strong numbers from what I've read.

Also in promotion for this new series I read that Syfy planned to use the film as a jumping off point and plans to digress, which I'm okay with, depending on how it goes. Some adaptations such as Under the Dome and The Walking Dead have diverged from the the source material a great deal and have been incredibly successful. 

Some people don't like remakes or new adaptations and the like. I don't mind the idea if it is done right, or as long as it is done with a flair different enough yet reverent to the original. I like to think of a new generation, younger fans coming to the material, then searching out all that came before. It may bring them to the Terry Gilliam film, and the films that inspired him, as well as the books that have inspired all of this. If it brings more people to read science fiction, then it's a win in my book.

Admittedly, I have still not seen the French film, La Jetee, which is  the inspiration of the original film, but I will enlist Netflix to remedy that. And maybe have another post. Up until this point I haven't written about television and film much, but that might change. Especially if 12 Monkeys continues to impress.

Thought I'd end with one image of Bruce Willis from the film, a favorite shot of that very steampunk-y surface research suit made by the scientists. Stay tuned. 

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