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.