TV Review – 12 Monkeys: Splinter

What if you lost everything and everyone that matters to you? What if you had to do horrible things to try and survive apocalypse? What if you had a reset switch and could have your comfortable life back just by hitting it?

These are just a few questions posed in Splinter, the 12 Monkeys pilot episode that premiered last Friday on SyFy.

These are the questions that fuel the show’s plot and the main character’s motives.  It’s a new discussion we’re invited to take part in in 12 Monkeys,  adapted from Terry Gillian’s 1995 eponymous sci-fi film.

Chrononaut James Cole - 12 Monkeys

The show follows the journey of chrononaut James Cole from the post-apocalyptic future of 2043.  His mission in the present day?  Locate and eradicate the source of a deadly virus that will eventually decimate 93.6% of the human race.

Much like the 1995 movie, 12 Monkeys will explore overall themes of destiny, love, second chances.  I have a feeling that it will also spark discussions on quantum physics and time traveling paradoxes.

In the pilot episode, Cole travels back to 2013 and later on to 2015 to kill Leland Frost (Zeljko Ivanek), the man then believed to be responsible for the release of the virus which will wipe out most the human race in 2017.

Leland Frost

Thumbs up:

– Otis Redding’s ‘These Arms of Mine’ as the opening song for life in 2043. Let’s face it, if mankind still listens to such brilliant singers in 25 years, there might just be a chance of hope.

– “You break the past, the future follows.”  Such a poetic way to put the Grandfather paradox. You remember it from the Back to Future franchise, don’t you? That’s how Marty McFly managed to change his present: By making minor changes in his past.

– The presentation of moral dilemmas: Kill one man, save seven billion people. We can always benefit from shows that provide people with opportunities for high-order thinking!

– Badass time travel machine!


Thumbs down:

– Quitting a successful job because of an obsession with a man you’ve seen only once?   Plus, he was actually your kidnapper at the time?  Not a great plan, Dr. Cassandra Railly! But maybe that’s just me being grumpy because I haven’t found true love yet.

Cole and Cassy

Notes of interest:

– Terry Gillian’s Twelve Monkeys is the second part of a dystopian satire trilogy begun with 1985’s Brazil and concluded with 2013’s The Zero Theorem.

Twelve Monkeys, the 1995 movie, was inspired by Chris Marker‘s 1962 short film La Jetée, which is a sublime sample of B&W French Cinema made almost entirely from still photos. It’s 28 minutes and totally worth watching!

–  A team of scientists resolved the Grandfather paradox by testing and confirming many aspects of a two-decade theory based on quantum mechanics calculations. If they are right, then no matter how much you regret the choices you’ve made, there’s no way to reverse them.


Thanks for stopping by! See you on the weekend!


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About the author

Kenia Santos

Sci-Fi geek. Book nerd. Art enthusiast. Comics dork. Board game buff. Crooked poet. Full time thinker. Weekend photographer. EFL teacher. Free spirit. Friendly soul. Fat kid.

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