12 Monkeys – my new favourite TV series

Fair use image, used for identification of the 12 Monkeys series, for identification and critical commentary of the TV series.

Fair use image, used for identification of the 12 Monkeys series, for identification and critical commentary of the TV series.

What could motivate someone to try to kill 7 billion people? The new hit TV series 12 Monkeys has a possible answer to this question.

Mild spoiler alert

The original 1995 Bruce Willis film “12 Monkeys” was watchable, but in my opinion it was nothing special. Bruce Willis is the only memorable character. A film with a slightly deranged plot and a predictable ending – perhaps it tried to pack too much story into too short a time.

So I almost didn’t watch the first episode of the 12 Monkeys TV series.

What a mistake that would have been.

From the first episode I’ve been absolutely riveted. Set against a backdrop of a dying, broken world ravaged by a horrific virus, which is still mutating into dangerous new forms, the plot centres on a desperate attempt by the fanatical director of Project Splinter, to change history – to disrupt the chain of historical events which led to the deliberate release of the virus, which killed her only daughter.

Nobody is safe – even main characters sometimes die. In 2043, the starting point of the story, the Project Splinter base is regularly attacked by marauding gangs. The gangs don’t know about the time machine – they are simply intent on looting a small remaining outpost of civilisation. But after a time travel accident, in which a warlord almost seizes the complex, and sees the time machine in action, and realises what it is…

Then of course there are the frequent ultra dangerous trips into the past, to attack criminals who are intent on destroying the world, basing the attacks on incomplete scraps of information sifted from the ruins of the old world – attacking a group of well financed, competent criminals who are already paranoid about security, and who are fanatically determined to complete their mission – a mission which in the current version of history was a success.

The antagonists of course are greens – at least some of them are. But this isn’t my reason for watching the series.

I do find it interesting that Hollywood is prepared, however tentatively, to cast a group of greens in the role of the bad guys. Perhaps the green movement is finally reaping what they sowed. After all the outrageous green public relations disasters over the years, such as the 10:10 video, and their far too frequent public displays of over the top anti-humanist and anti-freedom authoritarianism, just maybe some people in Hollywood are waking up to the fact that greens might not always be the good guys.

The protagonists are also complex characters – people who grew up in the broken, collapsing world of the viral apocalypse, or people who survived, who witnessed the death of loved ones, who have seen with their own eyes the consequences of failure.

In summary, in my opinion Twelve Monkeys is a very watchable series, if you like gritty action adventure stories. Well worth watching a few episodes, on a quiet TV night.

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136 thoughts on “12 Monkeys – my new favourite TV series

  1. I too enjoyed the first season of 12 Monkeys. I’m looking forward to season 2. The downside is you have to pay attention. 🙂

  2. I remember seeing a “human extinction” flyer in a health food store in a small California town in the early 2000s.
    Then again, I remember hearing about Mao, Stalin, and Hitler, too. Some people are crazy *and* evil.
    I have no doubt someone will try this move someday, hopefully with zero success. Assuming they haven’t already.

  3. If you’re looking for a green villain, you might also like Kingsman: The Secret Service. Samuel L. Jackson was particularly entertaining.
    rip

    • I don’t want to tell you how to conduct yourself, but your signoff made me think Samuel L. Jackson had died.

    • I went to Kingsman: The Secret Service on the recommendation of someone here. I enjoyed it a lot. The admission I paid was a vote for more movies like that.
      Some folks in Hollywood may have an agenda but it always comes second to the bottom line.

    • Kingsman was pretty good except for the every-other-word-F-bombs coming from Jackson. The steady flow of homages to other movies (e.g., Dr. Strangelove), TV series (e.g., MASH), etc., was cute. There was even a version of the 10-10 kids’ exploding heads in the final scene when the anointeds’ head exploded almost exactly like in the 10-10 video.

  4. “Bruce Willis is the only memorable character.”
    Well, I found Milla Jovovich quite memorable, too.

  5. Yes, I enjoyed it also. Especially how the director was such a multi-faceted person, who could do horrible things because she believed what she was doing was so good for everyone.
    And I was pleasantly surprised with the scene in the final episode, where they tortured the guy for information and the woman was not like “Please this is not right, don’t hurt him!” but instead like “He betrayed us, he got what he deserved!”
    This is why I liked Firefly – good people can do bad things if they think their cause is right. It brings realism to the show.

    • The socially recognized difference between “good” people and “bad” people is that good folks let the bad ones be the rest of society’s problem – the “authorities” will handle it. The great aspect of Firefly was that in general Mal and crew didn’t let someone who promised to make trouble live long enough to do so.

    • Read up on the French Revolution, specifically on the period known as ‘The Terror’, for a stark example of idealism taken to murderous extremes.
      Or the Inquisition, or the Conquistadors, or Pol Pot, or the Stasi, or the Nazis…
      There is nothing new under the sun

    • Actually I forget who said it, but it fits with AGW-“Good people do good things, bad people do bad things, but for good people to do bad things requires religion”

    • Yes, a good read I don’t want to ruin it for other, but the ending did fit the crime.

  6. Kingsman: The Secret Service used an arrogant green obsessed tech billionaire as the main villain. With compliant politicians and a population that just didn’t care as the backdrop.
    I was personally astonished.

    • I don’t think we’re ever told why it’s 12 monkeys, apart from it being the name of an eco-activist/terrorist group led by Brad Pitt’s character that the time travellers believe released the virus.

      • 12 monkeys — we could select 12 of the worst of the worst climate monkey butts and have some fun — voting for Al Gore and Michael Mann as 1 and 2 in whatever order. Maybe Josh could do a poster — or an idea for the next calendar?
        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Not explained? Please watch your movies a little more carefully.
        The Army of the 12 Monkeys was a self-named band of small symbolic-minded, mostly non-violent eco-terrorists led by Brad Pitt’s character, who was a schizoid personality with daddy issues. They named themselves after their planned act of civil disobedience, which was to kidnap Pitt’s father, who headed up a secret bio-weapons lab, and then release all the animals from the zoo at rush hour in Philadelphia and imprison the father in the zoo’s monkey enclosure. The group succeeded, and this led to lots of news coverage in the present time in the city where the killer virus was first detected/released, which faked out the people of the future to wrongly conclude that the poser group was responsible for the virus release. But that evil act was perpetrated by the second in command at the lab, a deranged research scientist misanthrope.

      • I watched the movie 3 times.
        Each time Bruce Willis’s character returns to the past, it is different. Affected by his previous journeys into the past. The future understands that “the twelve monkeys” were somehow responsible for the end of civilization from a virus. Bruce Willis was sent back in time to investigate.
        There is even allusion to the second coming of J.C.. In one part Bruce Willis’s Character has injuries to his hands (stigmata) and a t-shirt that says “Chris”.
        Did anyone else get this second coming allusion?
        Or is it just me?

    • Setting the virus loose was supposedly the work of The Army of the 12 Monkeys. Monkeys in this case being an ironically derisive descriptor of humans and our evolutionary descent from and relationship to the other primates.

  7. “I do find it interesting that Hollywood is prepared, however tentatively, to cast a group of greens in the role of the bad guys. Perhaps the green movement is finally reaping what they sowed.”
    ELF, ALF, Manson, Ayers, Unabomber, Joe Stack. At some point Hollywood scriptwriters just had to snap.

  8. “What could motivate someone to try to kill 7 billion people?”
    I don’t watch any TV other than Footbul once in a while. (and ladies World Cup season is right now) I did enjoy the synopsis of the TV show though, so thanks.
    What could motivate an attempt to murder 7 billion people? Insanity. The question then is what causes the insanity. What causes the deep, powerful, murderous insanity that would attempt to destroy most of humanity?
    I think the first step in understanding that question is to read, “War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning” by long time war correspondent Chris Hedges. The book talks of war causing the people of entire countries to go insane. The madness that Hedges speaks of is very apparent in the anti-human movement to dismantle industrialized society and thereby kill billions of people. The book is not a complete answer, but it is worth your time as a beginning if you choose to ponder that dark and forbidding topic.
    ~ Mark

    • War is the total action of the state. – Klausewitz
      Since the nuclear bomb, war has become impossible for the USA, as war, being the total action, would mean the destruction of the planet (see the effects of the Czar bomb or of that LEO nuke explosion test that created an artificial van Allen belt). So the USA since that time fights pretend wars to satisfy its Military Industrial COmplex, setting itself up for failure every time intentionally to keep the game going.

      • Dirk,
        It is physically impossible for all existing nuclear arsenals to destroy the planet. A concerted genocidal campaign to use all available nuclear weaponry for the express purpose of killing as many people as possible would not appreciably slow down human population growth.
        “Nuclear winter” is just as bogus as CACCA, and perpetrated by many of the same suspects.

      • Nuclear winter, I remember the first article I read about that in the article Sagan wrote for Parade Magazine. I was only a sophomore in high school at the time but it was obvious from the article that instead of investigating the climatic effects of nuclear detonations they began with the dramatic result and sought mechanisms to create it afterward.

      • sturgishooper
        June 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm
        “Dirk,
        It is physically impossible for all existing nuclear arsenals to destroy the planet.”
        Well surely a rock circling the sun would remain. I’m not talking about the bogus nuclear winter either. The czar bomb of 50 MT TNT equivalent punched a hole in the atmosphere. 50MT is not even the technical limit, that’s where they stopped testing for fear of the consequences; the Soviets, no strangers to genocide on a massive scale, yet even they stopped there.
        Therefore, a war in the Clausewitzian sense – a no holds barred usage of all possibilities – is de facto equivalent to total destruction (would just blow the atmosphere into space.)
        As to the LEO explosions, besides the EMP’s, it would kill all satellites in LEO (it did for a third of them in the mid of the 50ies, fast electrons)

        • DirkH

          As to the LEO explosions, besides the EMP’s, it would kill all satellites in LEO (it did for a third of them in the mid of the 50ies, fast electrons)

          EMP damage is very likely, and is NOT anything I denigrate. But it is also NOT predictable based on the mid-50’s nuclear explosions as you just did. NO bomb as large as 50 Meg’s has ever been rebuilt = There is NO POSSIBLE WAY for a 50 Meg to explode in today’s world. The bomb simply does not exist. “Could be built”? Well, yes. But it does not exist. The many, many thousand nukes present decades ago are GONE. A few thousand remain. Thus, only that number of far, far smaller bombs are the only ones that “could” explode.
          Specifically, there were no satellites orbiting earth when those bombs were going off. There were no computers nor digital controls. All analog everywhere.
          Far more likely is the deliberate explosion of 1. (Over a single city (Jerusalem, NY, Washington, Boston, or some other “corrupt” western city. By the “JV team” of terrorists non-states Obola’s policies support. And the socialist/communist states his policies support? 5 or 6 maybe.
          Global destruction? No way. Even Hiroshima and Nagasaki were habitable weeks after the direct explosions over their city centers. No. We ARE in the middle of WWIII right now. And the Chinese are winning. They want our business and our dollars and our technology. They want (need!) us alive and almost working to serve as markets for their factories and their slave labor.

      • Dirk,
        There is no deliverable nuclear device anywhere near the yield of the one-off Tsar Bomba today. The average yield of the ~15,000 presently deployed nukes is around 250 KT, not 50 MT. Even one MT warheads are rare, if any still exist. (It has been a long time since it was my job to know.)
        Most Russian strategic nukes are 550 KT and US 300 KT. There are no three-stage devices like the Tsar Bomba at all, which was the only one ever detonated. Every current thermonuclear device has only two stages.
        If you decided to maximize EMP with ionospheric detonations, you still couldn’t wipe out all life on earth, or even all people. No matter how you used up the entire global arsenal, there is no way to kill more than a billion people (probably a lot fewer) and the effect on most if not all other living things would be even less significant.

      • sturgishooper
        June 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm
        “There is no deliverable nuclear device anywhere near the yield of the one-off Tsar Bomba today. The average yield of the ~15,000 presently deployed nukes is around 250 KT, not 50 MT. Even one MT warheads are rare, if any still exist. (It has been a long time since it was my job to know.)”
        There is indeed no such device, but not for the lack of technical possibity.
        That is entirely my point: If war as the TOTAL action of the state were still possible, the nuclear powers would build bigger and bigger warheads, because they could. But they don’t.
        So we will never see a WW III as a REAL war; but tactical skirmishes and pretend wars fought with sub par weapons. The real weapons can now not even be built anymore.

      • Dirk,
        A three stage thermonuclear device would be enormous, even with 21st century weaponeering capabilities. The Tsar Bomba was scaled down, but still weighed 60,000 pounds. With a modified bomb bay, a B-52 could deliver one. Given modern technology, a three-stage bomb could perhaps be made of a similar size, but would still weigh more, because of the need for more fuel and the massive DU tamper around its third stage.
        No one would have any reason to make such inefficient use of nuclear fuel. Few could be made, so unless your mission was to blow temporary holes in the atmosphere, why would you? The same amount of fuel could be used to kill far more people if deployed in smaller packages.
        Nuclear blast, heat and radiation effects do not scale directly with energy. You can do much greater damage with more numerous, but less energetic weapons. Full-scale, three-stage Tsar Bombas would not be the way to kill the most people or damage other living things to the greatest extent possible.

      • It occurs to me that perhaps I’m not making my point explicitly enough.
        No one builds three-stage thermonuclear weapons for the simple reason that they have no military use. You’re concerned about a large-scale nuclear war, but such a conflict would never, ever, under any circumstances be fought with Tsar Bombas. That device was just another of Khrushchev’s many hare-brained schemes, of the sort that got him kicked out of the Politburo. It was a PR stunt without any military application.
        Devices of its size are undeliverable. They are far too massive for even the largest ICBMs, such as the Russian SS-18 (R-36), with a throw weight of less than 20,000 pounds. As noted, even the heaviest bomber could at most carry one, which would make the likely loss of many such attacking bombers operationally lunatic.
        I don’t know what kind of war you imagine being fought with a few 100-MT nukes, but there is no way it could threaten the continued existence of humanity, let alone life on earth.

      • It’s now BRICS versus IMF/World Bank. I think the BRICS are winning. Secondary battle is Saudi Oil versus American Oil. Why the US is allowing the Saudi’s to win is beyond me, but maybe not beyond Washington Politics and POTUS. Of course, in the long game it is better to use up foreign resources at low prices first, then use your local resources while the outside world suffers from shortages. Maybe.

      • Wayne,
        Do you mean BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) v IMF/World Bank or PIIGS (Portugal, Italy Ireland, Greece and Spain) v. EU/European banks (BRIC can become BRICS if South Africa be added, but it usually isn’t)?
        The Saudis, as you note, do want to maintain their market share by driving higher cost, unconventional US producers out of business. They also might want to get as much money out of the ground as possible and salt it away in Switzerland because they sense their time is limited, so price doesn’t matter.
        The US tolerates Saudi suppression of the price of crude because it keeps American consumers happy, even though it hurts the economy overall. It also punishes evil Big Oil, at least those who pump from their own fields as well as refine. It does however work against the Green goal of killing fossil fuels, while also perhaps hastening “peak oil” (whether only in the perfervid imaginations of ecoloons or in reality).
        The Saudis and other Gulf States are also, for better or worse, allies of a sort, even though the former financed ISIS before it got out of their control, and, like Pakistan, played both sides in the anti-terror game.
        I’m more surprised that Russia and Iran, and their lackeys like Venezuela, who desperately need higher crude prices, have tolerated the Saudi pumpathon. Scuds from Yemen or cruise missiles from Iran could shut down the Eastern Province oil fields for as long as the Saudis’ opponents wanted.

      • The Tsar was origibally designed as a 3 stage device, but only 2 stages were ever deployed and detonated (And detonated in a very remote region). The fear with the 3 stage device was that it would yield to much and cause massive fallout issues even though it was an air burst, not ground burst, device. The esitmated yeild was around 56MT TNT, more than all the bombs used in WW2.
        That was during the arms race between the US and USSR and after the US tested a device on Bikini atol. It used isotopes of Litium, Li6 (30%) and Li7 (70%). What was not understood then was what happens in such a device. Li7 had neutron stripped off it resulting in about 3 times the yield. Expected yield was ~6MT. The result was ~15MT and a massive fallout cloud that spread about 100 miles or more contaminating a US Navy ship and a fishing boat (Preserved in a museum). No-one lives there anymore and the evidence of the explosition is still there, a 200m x 200m hole where part of the atol used to be.
        It was the Tsar that eventually lead to treaties and underground testing and the eventual end to testing altogether by the USA, France, Britain and USSR etc. The big nuclear threat will come from India, Pakistan, China or Iran. Given Iran has outright publically threatened to raze Israel to the ground, I take that as a serious threat. Its just a matter of time.

      • As far as I know there is no limit to the number of stages a nuclear bomb can have, and only the first stage needs to have a fission core. The rest can, at least in principle, be pure fusion cores – lithium and lead.
        The Tsar bomb the third stage didn’t contain fissionable material – the concern was if they added fissionables to the third stage, the explosion would have been so vast and produced so much fallout, it would have posed a radiological hazard to a significant chunk of Northern Russia.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_device
        “…Most hypothetical constructions rely on the fact that hydrogen bombs can be made arbitrarily large assuming there are no concerns about delivering them to a target (see Teller–Ulam design) or that they can be “salted” with materials designed to create long-lasting and hazardous fallout (e.g., a cobalt bomb)….”

      • That is correct. But who would build such a device? No-one! Not anymore anyway. That war is long over! What is the “future of weaponry”? IMO it is viral, bacterail and attacks on DNA. We now have broken the human genome, genetic weapons could be made to target specific, genetic, areas of the human species.
        Just a matter of time!

      • Patrick,
        The Bomba was a three-stage device, but without the DU tamper around the third stage, so that its potential ultimate yield was reduced.
        For those not familiar with H-bomb design, they are fission-fusion-fission devices, getting roughly half their power from fission and fusion equally. Each stage ideally produces about ten times more energy. Hence a boosted fission implosion detonation of 50 KT triggers a second, fusion stage, the neutrons from which cause fission in the DU jacket around the imploding fusion rod, surrounded by boron foam.
        Thus, Russian strategic nuclear warheads yield around 550 KT. An ideal three-stage device would yield 5.55 MT, but the Bomba was not built to be deliverable, so had ten times this energy, with massive amounts of DU around its second stage, which had the added advantage of containing the reaction fractions of a second longer.
        Eric,
        Yes, you could keep adding stages, as long as you had enough Pu and DU to make them. Doing so would be absurdly wasteful, however.
        Maybe if you wanted to tunnel down to the MoHo with successive detonations of nuclear mining explosives, or something, but for military applications, it would be beyond absurd.

      • PS:
        The so-called “neutron bomb” is a tactical anti-tank artillery or rocket warhead, which is essentially a small thermonuclear device without the DU jacket, so that the neutrons from the imploding rod shoot out into the air instead of into a dense mass of depleted uranium. These high speed neutrons are the ultimate hard penetrators (as in conventional anti-tank rounds), designed to kill invading Red Army tank crewmen.
        Soviet tank designers added lead coverings over the tops of their armored vehicles, but to little avail. Hence propaganda calling “enhanced radiation warheads” “the perfect capitalist weapon, which leaves property intact but kills people”. They neglected to say that the property to be left intact were German towns and the people to be killed were invading Red Army armored vehicle crewmen.

      • Well, the scientist who designed it (Forget his name) deliberately excluded the 3rd stage for the very reasons we both state. But still, there are arguments about the yield of the actual device. Estimates range from ~35MT to ~56MT. Either way pretty scary stuff! If the 3rd stage was deployed and detonated, estimates were in the order of ~100MT or more.
        I for one was happy to see the end of open air testing of nuclear bombs like the Tzar. I think the French tested the last one on Mururoa in 1995.

    • Mark: “…war[,] causing the people of entire countries to go insane – and we have so much recent history to teach us that: Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, – and that’s just major league in the last two centuries. Saddam and his ilk, and now IS, are minor league but learning fast.I guess Greens have many to hold as role-models.

      • Calling it insanity is superficial analysis. Look up the cousin of Charles Darwin, Francis Bacon and his invention of Eugenics – cultivation of humans. One way of cultivation is killing the offspring that doesn’t show the desired properties. Marx was a huge fan of Darwin and made sure Engels got a copy of The Origin Of Species of the first print run (and sent Darwin a Das Kapital as a Thank you.)
        Klassenkampf or class struggle has the purpose of creating the New Man, the socialist altruistic man that will live socialistically WITHOUT the need of a socialist state. Class Struggle means nothing less than purging the people from the elements that are counterproductive for this cultivation goal.
        It is, as long as one accepts that a human is like a tomato, perfectly rational, and found tons of proponents from Woodrow Wilson to Maynard Keynes. (Mention of their eugenicist tendencies are all but scrubbed from history)
        It was all a bit amateurish in hindsight as none of the proponents starting with Galton knew of Mendel’s work, let alone of genes or DNA which wasn’t discovered yet.

      • …I guess it is fair to say that up to the start of WW 2, Eugenics was considered serious science and consensus, and accepted, even required to be accepted, in elite circles the world over.

      • Just to point out, he didn’t really invent it… more he codified it. Eugenics is nothing more then a branch of socialism and its been around just as long as socialism has existed(basically since humans existed). The first records of basic eugenics were from plato. We will likely find older stuff as we uncover more of the past however I think the plato find will stay the benchmark of where socialism officially created the branch of study that is eugenics.

      • Churchill was a great supporter of eugenics. He also was a supporter of the “Feeble Minded Persons” act of 1912, which, thankfully never passed in to law.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation. ‘The Lucifer Effect’ is also a worthwhile read. It looks at the power of systems over individual choice, through the examples of The Stanford Prison Experiment and the correlation in the events of Abu Graib in Iraq.

    • the 50MT was basically a publicity stunt. It also proved that it just would punch a hole through the atmosphere and have far less effect than was assumed on the target and far less than the same amount of power separated into multiple blasts. There are cultists who believe that Earth can only support 500 million humans and that the population should be reduced to that. It would seem that there are nutcakes out there who would be perfectly happy to release a virus to accomplish the task. I don’t think there are any of them so far who are smart enough to try to create one though.

  9. Eric… ahhhh Come on.
    I loved the movie 12 Monkeys. Madeline Stowe was perfectly quirky and unstable. Brad Pitt was hilarious (before he was known) Also, Frank Gorshin was a great nut-bar shrink.
    I did not find the plot predictable until the end when Gilliam intended you to see the coming result.
    I don’t watch TV anymore so I am not up on contemporary series. I may check out 12 monkeys.
    Terry Gilliam does make wacky tube and duct ridden scifi. Brazil!!… Lots of tubes and ducts and reticulated video screens in that as well. I think he has a relationship with … psychiatry… to be sure.

    • You don’t have to have one to ridicule shrinks. Reading up on the “successes” of Freud acolytes and the history of lobotomy or “electroconvulsive therapy” (and the application of it in MK-ULTRA) is enough to see them as the nutcases they are.

      • I think you are confusing psychology with psychiatry. Psychiatry is basically the attempt to cure mental ilness with drugs or surgical intervention, A bit like taking a hammer to your computer because software has a bug. In most cases it does nothing but damage, and because the problem is not a hardware one, it cannot any more successful than the hammer on the computer case would be in changing an erroneous line of code.
        Psychologists might also come up with some implausible ideas, but then the science is in its infancy. All sciences have to start somewhere, and the fact that human mind is the least well understood area of science is not a reason to avoid trying to understand it, Freud got a lot of things wrong, but then he was bold enough to get people thinking about a subject which was previously off-limits for social or religious reasons.

  10. What has this (12 Monkeys) to do with the mission of WUWT? Are you trying to destroy the site’s credibility?

    • Huh?
      He post something that caught his interest and he’s destroying the sites credibility? If TV and movies was all he posted then, yes, the site would no longer appeal to many who read it. But one of the things that appeal to many who read is the occasional diversions from what has, over time and maybe even accidentally, become the main topic.
      In other words, he saw a show he didn’t expect to like but he did.
      We’re in his “living room” watching his “TV”. Consider this post a “commercial”. It will pass.

      • OOPS! I didn’t notice that Eric wrote this post and not Anthony. So some of the pronouns refer to Eric instead. The point is the same.

    • What has this (12 Monkeys) to do with the mission of WUWT?

      To check your skeptibility. Let’s count them . . . . . . . . . . . . Yep, thirteen.

    • Well, David, if you go to the About WUWT webpage (http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/about2/), you find this quote:
      “About Watts Up With That? News and commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts”
      I think it’s entirely possible that Eric found the 12 Monkeys television series to be something that deserved commentary under recent news. WUWT does not have a specific mission to only relate to climate discussion.

  11. We’ve been watching The Twelve Monkeys since the series premiered last year and are looking forward to the second season. Several years back, we viewed Terry Gilliam’s movie Twelve Monkeys and frankly, the movie was confusing as all hell. Now, after watching the series, we re-watched the Gilliam movie, and the movie now made much more sense. It’s also interesting to see how the plot line & primary characters have been, er, “adjusted” between the movie and television versions.

    • Yeah, in the original film, if you didn’t ‘get it’, you got left behind as the plot unfolded like bits of a jigsaw puzzle – Terry Gilliam made no concessions to those not used to that form of storytelling. The new series has really slowed things down and explained things as it goes along – very different to the film, but still watchable.

  12. Shows that are of a serial nature and serious usually don’t appeal to me. But that’s just personal preference.
    But, hey, who needs Monkeys when we’ve got Mann? 😎

  13. Goodness – I tend to remember 12 Monkey’s as a Brad Pitt film since he was very good in that. Did 2 movies at that time where he was an actor, not himself – 12 Monkeys and Kalifornia… Well, I guess Sev7en wasn’t bad either. And then… he went back to being himself.
    However, that aside.. sounds like the show might be worth dipping into – I didn’t even know there was a TV series so will look for it now…

  14. Must admit, I quit about half way through the first episode. Time-travel fiction almost always contains logical fallacies (a great example is Marty McFly staring at his image slowly fading from a family photograph in Back to the Future), and this series is no exception. Wish I could just throw logic aside and relax into the story, but, alas, I can’t!

    • I love it for the logical fallacies. Especially when the time machine operators in the future frantically try to find a way to save the protagonists they sent into a dangerous situation in the past because—-
      …TIME is running out…
      Or this…

    • I agree, the series has some inconsistencies and the occasional serious cheesy moment. But I personally find the problems a lot less offensive than the ridiculous mistakes made in some hollywood efforts.

  15. Given my background with the real thing, I have no use for these types of science fiction shows. Ask the West African Ebolians how this works….

  16. I liked the movie. It had one of the few original and interesting takes on time travel. You could go back it time but you couldn’t change things because they had already happened. It was an intelligence gathering operation and nothing you could do would change it.

  17. Thanks, Eric, this series sounds neat! I don’t watch television, haven’t for a couple of decades now, but I’ll watch out for the DVDs. 🙂

  18. And on the news the last couple of days…”U.S. Army sends live Anthrax to 65 various locations for no apparent reason. 5 samples to foreign countries, the rest to various places in the US. WTF? This country and it’s security are going to S**T. I already gave up on believing anything… Anything at all obama says, but this started in 2005.
    Our government employees must be hired from the retarded list of people who couldn’t get a job anywhere else. TSA included. 95% fail rate in not finding bombs and whatnot in peoples baggage, etc…WTF?
    China and every other country hacks all of our government info…DOD, IRS …WTF?
    Anyone from Australia or NZ or anywhere western want to sponsor me for a work permit so I can move there? I’ll wash and clean for free and pay rent too. This place is going down the Sh*t hole fast. Please help.

    • You can apply for a 457 visa (Australia) via an employer. Or apply for a visa under the general skills category visa (Australia). I forget the equivalent New Zealand visas.
      Unless you are have very specific skills, which can be found online at http://www.immi.gov.au/Pages/Welcome.aspx, you are out of luck. You could find an employer to sponsor you (856 – Australia), or marry an Australian (In Aus) or New Zealander (In NZ. NZer’s are temporary residents in Aus on a special category 444 visa and thus would not be able to sponsor you to Aus).
      I never want to go through that process again.

    • Most developed and developing countries are just as bad, except maybe for the NSA.
      I’m more inclined toward Latin American countries with ostensibly socialist regimes, but which in fact are so ineffective that in practice you can be left alone. Venezuela’s socialist regime has been effective enough to generate galloping inflation and to beat up or disappear dissenters, but not so Bolivia and Argentina.
      Freedom still exists in the Amazonian part of Bolivia and Argentine Patagonia. There they don’t rely on fr@udulent ballots but faithful bullets to effect social change, like the American Founding Fathers.

      • @sturgishooper
        Sounds like a barrel o’ laughs those places too. Ex wife from Nicaragua and spent some time there in ’91. SOS.
        Thanks for the FYI. Just sayin’

    • China and every other country hacks all of our government info…DOD, IRS …WTF?
      Why would a government allow internet connectivity to its office computers, exposing them to hacking?
      If they [really] did contain confidential information, the designers of the system need to be fired.

  19. So we are doing movie/series reviews now ?
    This couldn’t have been handled with a comment on a dying thread ?, it needs a post of its own ?
    I’m totally lost about monkeys, no matter how many there are.

  20. Here, you can login with your cable or sat account and watch it.
    Same goes for History Channel and H2 and a others. Have it on your cable system? Log in with your cable or Sat account info and watch on the net though the channel website or app. No kidding.
    Gotta know that login info though, but you probably already have it 🙂
    http://www.syfy.com/12monkeys/videos/101-splinter

  21. 12 Monkeys is a variation on the theme of the earlier novel “Millennium” by John Varley.
    Louise Baltimore travels back in time to stop the events that led to future impending total destruction of the population due to “paraleprosy”, a result of many wars, nuclear and presumably biological.
    From there, the plots differ a lot. But it’s still a variation on a theme. And if you like 12 Monkeys, I suggest you read Varley’s novel. I think you’d enjoy it.

  22. Yes people are losing interest in climate. The pointers are everywhere a very good thing indeed

  23. “just maybe some people in Hollywood are waking up to the fact that greens might not always be the good guys”. A bit late, that.
    When in the early 70-ties the German Greens party started to make inroads into politics there was a scandal that almost brought it down. It became known that some of the big player had been high-ranking members of Hitler’s Waffen SS. They got away with it because too many naive admirers thought that this was very good, that these people had seen the error of their earlier ways and had turned around and now did something noble for the good of humanity.
    A much simpler explanation, of course, was that they in fact had recognized the green program for what it is: one that ultimately required a vile totalitarian state, a concept in which they had believed all their life.

    • AT LEAST 1,000 ex-Nazis were hired by the U.S. as spies during the Cold War… and the CIA even helped them move to America
      Newly disclosed government records indicate the CIA and FBI ignored potential war crimes when they hired these ex-Nazis in the 1950s and 1960s
      Turned Nazis performed a variety of spy tasks from training for a possible invasion of USSR to laying communication cables in East Germany
      By Ashley Collman for MailOnline
      Published: 20:46 EST, 27 October 2014 | Updated: 08:27 EST, 28 October 2014
      “While death camp wardens and Gestapo officers were being tried at Nuremberg in the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. was putting other former Nazis on the payroll.
      It has been revealed through recently disclosed government documents and interviews that at least 1,000 ex-Nazis were recruited by the American military, FBI and CIA to become Cold War spies and informants, the New York Times reports.
      Not only did they hire former Third Reich members suspected of carrying out war crimes, they went so far as to help their spies immigrate to the U.S. and cover up their involvement in the war in an attempt to protect them from the U.S. Justice Department’s own Nazi hunters.
      And that estimate is considered conservative by the historians who were tasked by the government to declassify the war-crime records.”
      Comment: A lot of them escaped to Argentina.

  24. Slightly off topic, but related to eco-bunnies, excuse the coming pun & apologies if I have said this before, senior moment @ 57, but many years ago, the eco-animal-rights brigade started a hate campaign against laboratory buildings holding lab-rabbits, i.e. those specially bread for testing. There was a spate of breakins & “releases” of these rabbits into the wild, about which the eco-animal-rights brigade were delighted about sticking ti to the man/woman, but mostly the man. They failed to realise that these “white” rabbits, had no way of reverting to the wild, & would have been killed by a buck rabbit within 24/48 hours, as interlopers & intruders, into the warren’s territory! Their ignorance knew no limits!

  25. I find it sad to see reasonable, putting aside the time travel bit, movies like this turned in to a multi-season TV show. It’s like “The Simpsons” been on air for over 25 years. Getting tired now. John Cleese and Connie Booth only wrote 12 episodes of “Fawlty Towers” because they realised that making season after season would ruin it. It remains the classic that it was still to this day.

  26. The TV series has by far and away broken away from the movie. The season finale leaves us with our protagonist left in the past and his female cohort thrust into the future.
    As most post-apocalyptic movies go. i.e: Omega Man, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the original 12 Monkeys, the heroine is left to deal with the future alone, while our male protagonist dies trying to save them.
    The TV series should be a fun romp through a barrage of time-travel theories.
    Can’t wait !

  27. 007 also had to stop powerful Eco-Villains from attacking humanity. Quantum of Solace had Maurice Green, later name changed into Dominuiqe Green, an eco-villain loosely based on Maurice Strong/IMF. Maybe Karl Stromberg was influenced by Prince Behrnard etc. WWF have a history of advocating population control and reduction, eg advocating sterilising humans via infertillity vaccinations bourne by mosquitos etc. Eco loonies are real and serve as inspiration for fiction writers in many genres.

  28. “…just maybe some people in Hollywood are waking up to the fact that greens might not always be the good guys.”
    I’d say there’s an even simpler explanation. Hollywood has discovered that a huge population of environmental skeptics exists, who like to watch TV.

  29. Viewing humans as the parasite to be exterminated is a mainstream view in the misanthropic environmentalist community:
    •”My three main goals would be to reduce human population to
 about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure
 and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species,
returning throughout the world.” 
-Dave Foreman,
 co-founder of Earth First!
    •”Mankind is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish 
and unethical animal on the earth.”
- Michael Fox,
 vice-president of The Humane Society 



    •”Humans on the Earth behave in some ways like a
 pathogenic micro-organism, or like the cells of a tumor.”
- Sir James Lovelock,
 “Healing Gaia
    •”The Earth has cancer
 and the cancer is Man.”
- Club of Rome,
 Mankind at the Turning Point
    •”A total population of 250-300 million people, 
a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
- Ted Turner,
 founder of CNN and major UN donor

    •”… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence
 more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
- Club of Rome,
 Goals for Mankind
    •”One America burdens the earth much more than 
twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say. 
In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 
350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say,
 but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
- Jacques Cousteau, 
UNESCO Courier

    •”If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth
 as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the World Wildlife Fund

    •”Childbearing should be a punishable crime against
 society, unless the parents hold a government license.
 All potential parents should be required to use
 contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing
 antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
 – David Brower, 
first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

    •“The only way of saving the world may be for industrial civilization to collapse, deliberately seek poverty, and set levels of mortality.” – Maurice Strong quoted in The National Review Magazine, 9/1/1997
    •”The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another 
United States. We can’t let other countries have the same 
number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. 
We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”
- Michael Oppenheimer,
Environmental Defense Fund

    •”We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place 
for capitalists and their projects. We must reclaim the roads and 
plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, 
free shackled rivers and return to wilderness 
millions of acres of presently settled land.”
- David Foreman, 
co-founder of Earth First!
    •…here’s what Maurice Strong actually said, in his autobiography, in a section described as a report to the shareholders, Earth Inc, dated 2031: “And experts have predicted that the reduction of the human population may well continue to the point that those who survive may not number more than the 1.61 billion people who inhabited the Earth at the beginning of the 20th century. A consequence, yes, of death and destruction — but in the end a glimmer of hope for the future of our species and its potential for regeneration.” – Maurice Strong, guiding force behind the I.P.C.C.’s formation
    •The NYTs Thomas J. Friedman in 2011 while visiting Taiwan said. “I’m gonna tell you a secret. Don’t let anybody else know,” he said. “There are too many Americans in the world today.” 

It is a blessing that so many people in the world can live like Americans, Friedman said, but “the good Lord did not design our planet for this many Americans.”
    •Viewing capitalism as an economic system that is inherently harmful to the natural environment, John Holdren (Pres. Obama’s chosen chief science advisor) and Paul Ehrlich in 1973 called for “a massive campaign … to de-develop the United States” and other Western nations in order to conserve energy and facilitate growth in underdeveloped countries. “De-development,” they said, “means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” “By de-development,” they elaborated, “we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.”
    “Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society. Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.” – John Holdren & Paul Ehrlich in their co-authored 1977 book, entitled Ecoscience
    • “Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”- Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute
    • “The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”- Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation
    • “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”- Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University
    • “We have been so drunk with this desire to produce and consume more and more whatever the cost to the environment that we’re on a totally unsustainable path. I am not going to rest easy until I have articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development.” Rajendra Pachauri, Head of IPCC
    •“My own doubts came when DDT was introduced. In Guyana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” – Alexander King, founder of the Malthusian Club of Rome
    •“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.” — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
    •“Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.” — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
    •“The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing….This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run.” — Economist editorial
    •“We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight.” — David Foreman, Earth First!
    •“Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.” — Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!
    •“If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS.” — Earth First! Newsletter
    •“Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.” — David Graber, biologist, National Park Service
    •“The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans.” — Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project
    •“If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” — Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund
    •Cannibalism is a “radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation.” — Lyall Watson, The Financial Times, 15 July 1995
    •”The extinction of the human species may not
 only be inevitable but a good thing.”
- Christopher Manes, Earth First!

    =====================================
    •”Environmentalists, who have long espoused a version of humankind as an energy-powered cancer on the Earth, see greenhouse-gas controls as a way to starve out the tumor of humanity…. Temperance fiends of all stripes — who’ve hated fossil fuels, cars, large houses, urban sprawl, highways, rich people, fat people, industrial economies, airplanes, meat consumption, non-recycled paper, and just about everything else that might make someone smile — see energy rationing via greenhouse-gas controls as the answer to their prayers.” 
~~ Kenneth Green 

    =======================================
    •“One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputation.” – Eric Hoffer

    • “The common enemy of humanity is man.
      In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
      with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
      water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
      dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
      changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome.
      The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
      – Club of Rome

    • Yay, an Eric Hoffer quote! My copy of The True Believer has a lot of highlighting and that’s one.

  30. 12 Monkeys is on of my favourite shows. The only thing I didn’t like were a couple cases of self circular time loop causalities. IOW, a loop in time that is caused by nothing external. Who is the cause of this event in the past? OHHH, it’s you because you went back to investigate it. Uhhh… no. Cut out the crap. Other than a few instances of that, the show is great.

  31. I have enjoyed reading John Barnes. His recently completed series “Directive 51”, “Daybreak Zero”, and “The Last President”, detailed the end of the world as we know it to fit the meme of the greens.
    “In the near future, a variety of groups with diverse aims, but an overlapping desire to end modern technological society (the “Big System”), create a nanotech plague (“Daybreak”) which both destroys petroleum-based fuels, rubber and plastics and eats away any metal conductors carrying electricity. An open question in the book is whether these groups, and their shared motivations, are coordinated by some conscious actor, or whether they are an emergent property / meme that attained a critical mass.”
    The usual results, 10% of the global population may survive with 18th century technology.

  32. Even the 1962 original 28 minute, black and white short, “La Jetée”, which is constructed from still photographs, is miles above the TV series.

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