HOME
        TheInfoList






12 Monkeys
12 Monkeys Intertitle.png
Genre

—Terry Matalas, co-creator, on how the time travel model of the series differs from that of its source material.[23]

On July 22, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter first revealed that Syfy was developing a 12 Monkeys television adaptation, in the form of a 90-minute backdoor pilot that would lead to a straight-to-series order, similarly to what the Battlestar Galactica miniseries did. The pitch for the pilot, which would be written by Matalas and Picket, was submitted to Syfy by Atlas Entertainment's Charles Roven and Richard Suckle; Roven was one of the producers of the original film. Jon Cassar was reported as being on board to direct.[24] The following month, it was reported that Syfy decided to green-light an hour-long pilot, which would be executive produced by Roven and Suckle, with production set to begin in November.[25] Due to the series being labeled as "cast contingent", production could not move forward until the roles of Cole and Goines were cast.[26] On April 4, 2014, Syfy green-lit the first season, consisting of 13 episodes, including the pilot filmed in 2013. The pilot was directed and executive produced by Jeffrey Reiner; Matalas and Ficket, who wrote it, were announced to co-executive produce the season, while Natalie Chaidez would serve as showrunner.[27] Chaidez credited her experience writing for the first season of Heroes and the two seasons of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, two science fiction series with time traveling plots, as valuable to understanding how to make 12 Monkeys work.[20] Matalas presented the series as a "complete reimagining" of the film and not just a remake, citing Looper as an inspiration for the time travel visual effects.[28] In fact, as Matalas explained, the story of the film was adapted into the first act of the pilot, and from there on, the series follows an original storyline, although it continues to homage both the film and La Jetée.[29] Madeleine Stowe, who played the equivalent of Amanda Schull's character in the film, narrated the opening of the season 2 premiere and made an appearance in its finale.[30] Two major differences compared to the movie are that this version of time travel allows for changes in the past to affect the future, and that the "Army of the 12 Monkeys" is a real organization rather than a red herring.[31]

The series creators plotted three seasons in advance, although they noted that the show could go on for longer than that.[32] During the second season they said they need four seasons to tell the complete story.[33] The ending of the series has been known to them since the beginning. Matalas said about it: "We have a definitive target in place. It's very emotional and it's going to make everyone cry."[34] Chaidez said the ending is designed to "circle back".[35]

The series premiered on January 16, 2015,[36] and was renewed for a second season on March 12, 2015,[37] which premiered on April 18, 2016.[38] Matalas and Fickett, who had opted for Chaidez to showrun the first season because of her bigger experience working on TV, replaced her during the second season, after her departure to showrun her own TV series, Hunters.[18] Chaidez instead was credited as a consultant for the season.[20] The third season was announced on June 29, 2016,[39] and premiered on May 19, 2017,[40] with the first episode being the directorial debut for Matalas.[41] Fickett left his position as executive producer and was credited as consultant, leaving Matalas the sole showrunner for the season. Nevertheless, Fickett provided the story and helped write the screenplay for the season's fourth episode, "Brothers".[42] In a change over how the previous seasons were released, Syfy aired the entire third season over three consecutive nights. A fourth and final season was announced on March 16, 2017. It consisted of 11 episodes, which premiered on June 15, 2018, and concluded on July 6, 2018.[40][43][44]

Filming locations

The pilot for 12 Monkeys was filmed in Detroit.[45][46

—Terry Matalas, co-creator, on how the time travel model of the series differs from that of its source material.[23]

On July 22, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter first revealed that Syfy was developing a 12 Monkeys television adaptation, in the form of a 90-minute backdoor pilot that would lead to a straight-to-series order, similarly to what the Battlestar Galactica miniseries did. The pitch for the pilot, which would be written by Matalas and Picket, was submitted to Syfy by Atlas Entertainment's Charles Roven and Richard Suckle; Roven was one of the producers of the original film. Jon Cassar was reported as being on board to direct.[24] The following month, it was reported that Syfy decided to green-light an hour-long pilot, which would be executive produced by Roven and Suckle, with production set to begin in November.[25] Due to the series being labeled as "cast contingent", production could not move forward until the roles of Cole and Goines were cast.[26] On April 4, 2014, Syfy green-lit the first season, consisting of 13 episodes, including the pilot filmed in 2013. The pilot was directed and executive produced by Jeffrey Reiner; Matalas and Ficket, who wrote it, were announced to co-executive produce the season, while Natalie Chaidez would serve as showrunner.[27] Chaidez credited her experience writing for the first season of Heroes and the two seasons of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, two science fiction series with time traveling plots, as valuable to understanding how to make 12 Monkeys work.[20] Matalas presented the series as a "complete reimagining" of the film and not just a remake, citing Looper as an inspiration for the time travel visual effects.On July 22, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter first revealed that Syfy was developing a 12 Monkeys television adaptation, in the form of a 90-minute backdoor pilot that would lead to a straight-to-series order, similarly to what the Battlestar Galactica miniseries did. The pitch for the pilot, which would be written by Matalas and Picket, was submitted to Syfy by Atlas Entertainment's Charles Roven and Richard Suckle; Roven was one of the producers of the original film. Jon Cassar was reported as being on board to direct.[24] The following month, it was reported that Syfy decided to green-light an hour-long pilot, which would be executive produced by Roven and Suckle, with production set to begin in November.[25] Due to the series being labeled as "cast contingent", production could not move forward until the roles of Cole and Goines were cast.[26] On April 4, 2014, Syfy green-lit the first season, consisting of 13 episodes, including the pilot filmed in 2013. The pilot was directed and executive produced by Jeffrey Reiner; Matalas and Ficket, who wrote it, were announced to co-executive produce the season, while Natalie Chaidez would serve as showrunner.[27] Chaidez credited her experience writing for the first season of Heroes and the two seasons of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, two science fiction series with time traveling plots, as valuable to understanding how to make 12 Monkeys work.[20] Matalas presented the series as a "complete reimagining" of the film and not just a remake, citing Looper as an inspiration for the time travel visual effects.[28] In fact, as Matalas explained, the story of the film was adapted into the first act of the pilot, and from there on, the series follows an original storyline, although it continues to homage both the film and La Jetée.[29] Madeleine Stowe, who played the equivalent of Amanda Schull's character in the film, narrated the opening of the season 2 premiere and made an appearance in its finale.[30] Two major differences compared to the movie are that this version of time travel allows for changes in the past to affect the future, and that the "Army of the 12 Monkeys" is a real organization rather than a red herring.[31]

The s

The series creators plotted three seasons in advance, although they noted that the show could go on for longer than that.[32] During the second season they said they need four seasons to tell the complete story.[33] The ending of the series has been known to them since the beginning. Matalas said about it: "We have a definitive target in place. It's very emotional and it's going to make everyone cry."[34] Chaidez said the ending is designed to "circle back".[35]

The series premiered on January 16, 2015,[36] and was renewed for a second season on March 12, 2015,[37] which premiered on April 18, 2016.[38] Matalas and Fickett, who had opted for Chaidez to showrun the first season because of her bigger experience working on TV, replaced her during the second season, after her departure to showrun her own TV series, Hunters.[18] Chaidez instead was credited as a consultant for the season.[20] The third season was announced on June 29, 2016,[39] and premiered on May 19, 2017,[40] with the first episode being the directorial debut for Matalas.[41] Fickett left his position as executive producer and was credited as consultant, leaving Matalas the sole showrunner for the season. Nevertheless, Fickett provided the story and helped write the screenplay for the season's fourth episode, "Brothers".[42] In a change over how the previous seasons were released, Syfy aired the entire third season over three consecutive nights. A fourth and final season was announced on March 16, 2017. It consisted of 11 episodes, which premiered on June 15, 2018, and concluded on July 6, 2018.[40][43][44]

The pilot for 12 Monkeys was filmed in Detroit.[45][46] Starting with the second episode, the bulk of principal photography for the series took place in Toronto, both on location and at the Cinespace Film Studios,[47][48][49] where they constructed sets like the room with the time machine.[50][51]

Additional filming for the first season took place in the Republic of North Macedonia, standing in for Chechnya, and the Domi

Additional filming for the first season took place in the Republic of North Macedonia, standing in for Chechnya, and the Dominican Republic, masquerading as Haiti.[51][2] During the second season, production filmed for roughly 10 days in Budapest.[52][53] Filming in Prague took place for about three weeks for the third season.[54] The reason for moving to Europe was to benefit from the different flair and to use the older architecture for 1950s stand-ins.[53] Production returned to Prague for the fourth season.[55][56] Standing sets used in the series were changed constantly to reflect both older and newer versions of the locales and also alterations to the locations that resulted from the characters' trips through time.[53]

Todd McMullen served as director of photography for the pilot, but once the series was ordered to series, David Greene replaced him. After shooting the first five episodes, Greene asked the producers if it would be possible to bring in an additional cinematographer so that they could alternate. Tico Poulakakis was brought in and filmed three episodes for the first season. In the second season, Greene and Poulakakis were joined by Boris Mojsovski, who became Greene's main alternate until the end of the series. To get more shooting days out of the production's schedule, two camera units shot in parallel resulting in episodes featuring work done by both Greene and Mojsovski.[57] Mojsovski said about his close collaboration with Greene: "David and I were constantly working in unison. I'd prelight his sets and he'd prelight mine; I'd shoot one-third of his episode, and he'd shoot one-third of mine. We got so good at that, today we don't know who shot what!"[58]

Stylistically, for the scenes set in the bleak future timeline, the production team decided to use a palette of constant blue and green tones, as well as smoke and atmosphere, to differentiate it from the ones set in the present timeline. The present timeline often used a wider range of colors. Green decided to ignore the visu

Stylistically, for the scenes set in the bleak future timeline, the production team decided to use a palette of constant blue and green tones, as well as smoke and atmosphere, to differentiate it from the ones set in the present timeline. The present timeline often used a wider range of colors. Green decided to ignore the visual style of the original film, as he felt the series told a different story than it had.[59] Instead, Greene's biggest stylistic influence while establishing the show's look in the first season was the film Children of Men, which he referenced for the look of the future timeline.[58]

Filming for the show was done digitally in 1080p. For the first season, the cinematographers used the Arri Alexa Classic EV camera. Beginning with the second season, they transitioned to using the Alexa Mini. Lenses used for the first two seasons were Cooke 5/i and S4, and Leica Summilux-C later. Green mentioned using Panavision Primo lenses as well. In the third season, the MoVi camera stabilizer was used, and for a scene where Cole encounters his future self, the motion control Technodolly.[58][59][60]

The American Society of Cinematographers has recognized the artistry and craftsmanship behind the show's cinematography by awarding it once and nominating it another two times, in categories relating to "Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography".[58] The Canadian Society of Cinematographers similarly recognized it with one award and one nomination in the category of "TV Series Cinematography".[61][62]

For the first season of 12 Monkeys, visual effects for the series were provided by Stargate Studios. Typical effects work included the "splintering" time travel effect, matte paintings of the decayed future timeline, and enhancing the stage sets.[59] Starting with the second season, Folks VFX took over. According to Sebastien Bergeron, founder and VFX supervisor at Folks VFX, an episode of 12 Monkeys has 60–75 effects shots on average, but any given episode could have as low as 30 or as high as 100–125 shots. Bergeron said the bulk of their work was creating "unseen environments", but other instances of their output included "environment work, big futuristic cities, a time-traveling city, twinning of characters when they meet themselves in the past, destruction, explosions, all sorts of FX and particles – pretty much everything. There are also situations when we freeze the time, and then one character walks in the shot."[63]

Music

Trevor Rabin and his longtime assistant Paul Linford composed the series' music for its first two seasons.[64] Varèse Sarabande released the composers' score for the first season, consisting of 23 tracks, digitally and on CD, on July 31, 2015.[65] Rabin called it "a hybrid score of ethnic sounds, orchestra, and electronic, with a strong theme base".[66] The original film's theme music – an arrangement of Astor Piazzolla's Suite Punta del Este made by Paul Buckmaster – can be heard during the ninth episode of the second season, "Hyena".[67]

Rabin and Linford did not return for the remaining seasons of the show. Instead, the music for the first few episodes of the third season was composed by Bryce Jacobs.[68]<

Rabin and Linford did not return for the remaining seasons of the show. Instead, the music for the first few episodes of the third season was composed by Bryce Jacobs.[68] Stephen Barton composed additional music for those episodes and took over as composer for the remaining episodes of the season, and the next.[69] Barton's score for season 3 was released by Varèse Sarabande on December 15, 2017, on CD – and later digitally – and consists of 27 tracks.[70][71]

The fourth season's score was released digitally on June 15, 2018, by Lakeshore Records.[72] It consists of 31 tracks by Barton.[73]

Syfy UK acquired regional broadcasting rights and 12 Monkeys premiered in the UK on February 27, 2015.[74] The second season premiered April 27, 2016,[2] and the third season May 26, 2017.[75] Syfy UK chose not to acquire the fourth and final season of the show.[76]

Home media

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of the series on DVD and Blu-ray on January

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of the series on DVD and Blu-ray on January 19, 2016,[77] and the second season on January 17, 2017.[78] Extras on the discs of the first two of seasons include webisodes, deleted scenes, and gag reels. Universal released the third and fourth seasons of the show on Blu-ray on August 14, 2018.[79] In contrast to the earlier seasons, the discs are manufactured on demand, lack subtitles, and the only extras included are season trailers and deleted scenes. In Australia, Via Vision Entertainment released on DVD and Blu-ray the third season on May 23, 2018[80] and the fourth on January 2, 2019.[81][82] Both Australian sets lack subtitles, while the third season's set also lacks any extras.

A set that collects all four seasons of the show was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Mill Creek Entertainment on July 14, 2020.[83] In Australia, Via Vision r

A set that collects all four seasons of the show was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Mill Creek Entertainment on July 14, 2020.[83] In Australia, Via Vision released a limited edition on Blu-ray on August 19, 2020, that collects the four seasons, the original film, a bonus disc, and a foldout map of "The Word of the Witness", an item that features prominently in the story.[84]

All four seasons are available for digital purchase on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.[85][86]

Syfy and Hulu announced that Hulu would exclusively make the first season available for streaming on February 24, 2016.[87] Hulu added the second season on April 18, 2017,[88] the third on May 16, 2017,[89] and the fourth season on June 15, 2019.[90] Hulu's exclusivity agreement only covers the US; outside its borders, Netflix has made the first three seasons of the show available in multiple regions.[91]

Critical reaction to the first season of 12 Monkeys was mixed. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator website, reported a 60% critical approval rating with an average rating of 5.98/10 based on 42 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "The nonsensical time travel in 12 Monkeys makes it less watchable than its original source material, but the high quality execution and cool characters are top-notch."[92] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the season was assigned a score of 57 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[93] Christine Seghers rated the first season 8.8/10 and wrote in her review for IGN: "What started as a simple 'let's go back and fix this' story soon blossomed into a deep philosophical mediation on the concept of predestination versus free will. If you wanted it. The show is also an awful lot of fun."[94] The critical reception of the later episodes of the first season was more positive than the initial reception. The final episode of the season, "Arms of Mine", received rave reviews, including a 9.4/10 rating from IGN and a 4.5/5 rating from Den of Geek.[95][96] The twelfth episode of the season, "Paradox", also received rave reviews, including a 9.3/10 rating from IGN and a A- rating from The A.V. Club.[97][98]

The second season was received positively. Rotten Tomatoes indexed 12 reviews and reported an 92% critical approval rating with an average rating of 8.07/10. The assigned critical consensus reads: "Full of addictive twists, the second season of 12 Monkeys overcomes time traveling logic issues with help of added thriller elements."[99] Seghers, rating the season 9.0/10, wrote for IGN: "In its outstanding sophomore season, 12 Monkeys became bigger, bolder and more beautifully baffling, reaffirming its status as one of the best sci-fi shows on tele

The second season was received positively. Rotten Tomatoes indexed 12 reviews and reported an 92% critical approval rating with an average rating of 8.07/10. The assigned critical consensus reads: "Full of addictive twists, the second season of 12 Monkeys overcomes time traveling logic issues with help of added thriller elements."[99] Seghers, rating the season 9.0/10, wrote for IGN: "In its outstanding sophomore season, 12 Monkeys became bigger, bolder and more beautifully baffling, reaffirming its status as one of the best sci-fi shows on television today."[100] The episodes "Lullaby" and "Memory of Tomorrow" are generally considered to be the best episodes of the second season. "Lullaby" has a 9.4/10 rating from IGN and a perfect 5/5 rating from Den of Geek.[101][102] "Memory of Tomorrow" has a 9.6/10 rating from IGN and a 4.5/5 rating from Den of Geek.[103][104]

For the third season of 12 Monkeys, Rotten Tomatoes indexed 10 positive reviews, leading to a 100% critical approval rating with an average rating of 9.1/10. The following critical consensus is assigned to the season: "12 Monkeys' third season satiates fans' hunger for fresh thrills, startling twists, and titillating time travel."[105]

Rotten Tomatoes indexed 11 positive reviews for the fourth season, producing a 100% critical approval rating with an average rating of 9.33/10. The critical consensus of the website reads: "12 Monkeys continues to raise the bar with each marvelously complex episode in a knock-out fourth season that proves as unpredictable as it is gratifying."[106]

Before the 12 Monkeys series premiere, Terry Gilliam, director of the original film, expressed his reservations about the concept: "It doesn't have anything to do with me and no-one has contacted me. It's a very dumb idea. ... If it was going to be any good it would have to be written by David and Janet Peoples, who wrote the film, otherwise it would just be another version of Time Bandits."[107] In another interview, Gilliam sounded apprehensive regarding whether Chris Marker – the author of La Jetée, the featurette that inspired Gilliam's film – would approve of the series: "I think that they've got just another time travel series. Of course, Chris Marker is dead, so he doesn't have to see it, what La Jetée spawned."[108] However, according to Matalas, both the Peoples and Marker read the pilot and gave the series creators their blessing and support to move forward with it.[109] The Peoples and Marker are credited in the opening and closing credits of each episode for their respective original works.[110] Madeleine Stowe, lead actress of the original film, became supportive of the filmmakers after watching the pilot, appreciating the differences between her character and Amanda Schull's interpretation.[111] She was later cast in a pivotal role in the second season.[112]

Accolades