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Nine minutes from now, do you think you’ll be happy with yourself for watching this preview featuring the first nine minutes of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys, or do you think you’ll want to go back in time and stop yourself from clicking? There’s only one way to find out…
Well, that was something. While this nine-minute promo didn’t exactly halt all of my wariness about this project’s existence, it did a few things effectively, and yes, the use of "These Arms of Mine" counts. For one, it streamlined a large chunk of Terry Gilliam’s film into a single intro, giving us the first meeting between Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) and the aggro-time traveler Cole (Aaron Stanford). There’s a nice sci-fi moment involving her watch, though I’m not sure that making changes in the past should involve all that shaking and glinting light. It should be more of an instantaneous thing, right?
The intro also clues viewers into another part of this rebooted universe: time travel is still a new technology where not all of the bugs have been worked out yet. (You’d think of all the things anyone would want to make sure were fully functional before use, a time machine would be at the top of the list.) Cole is asking Railly about Leland Frost, the mysterious villain played by Zeljko Ivanek, but she doesn’t know anything about him. It’s a good thing he was already about to get sent back to the present – 2043, for those paying attention – because he was just a little too early on this trip. Now I’m intrigued to see what Railly thinks of things when she meets Cole for the second time.
The series, unlike the film, will actually put the Army of the Twelve Monkeys front and center as antagonists, led by Tom Noonan’s Slender Man. (At least that’s what he’s been referred to as.) The troubles are in both the past, where a plague has wiped out most of humanity, and the future, where there are several factions who want to take advantage of the newly developed time travel. We can also look forward to seeing a mental female named Goines (Emily Hampshire), a spin on Brad Pitt’s character in the film.
For anyone with a Philips TV with its Hue lighting set up, Syfy has partnered up with the manufacturer for a 12 Monkeys-themed custom light show that will be powered by audio cues through the Syfy Sync app on smartphones and tablets. All 13 episodes will feature colorful effects that give viewers an added bit of immersion to make the whole experience that much more enjoyable.
12 Monkeys is set to premiere on Friday, January 16.