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Follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will nearly destroy the human race.
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Series cast summary:
 James Cole (26 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Dr. Cassandra Railly (26 episodes, 2015-2016)
 José Ramse (25 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Katarina Jones (24 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Whitley (22 episodes, 2015-2017)
 Jennifer Goines (19 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Dr. Adler (18 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Deacon (14 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Aaron Marker (12 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Dr. Lasky (12 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Striking Woman (12 episodes, 2015-2016)
 Pallid Man (11 episodes, 2015-2016)


Follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will nearly destroy the human race.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Change the past, save the future. See more »


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 January 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twelve Monkeys  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Dolby 5.1)


Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See  »

Did You Know?


In the opening medical speech the mural is Diego Rivera's mural in the Detroit Institute of Art. See more »


Version of Twelve Monkeys (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better Than I Feared and Worth Watching
20 July 2015 | by (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – See all my reviews

People who have watched the movie by Terry Gilliam already know this story. The premise of a time traveler returning to an earlier period to alter future events is not a new one within the realm of Science Fiction by any stretch of the imagination. What made the movie special was a combination of directorial vision, superb writing, excellent acting, and mood enhancing cinematography - all the requisite elements for delivering an engaging piece of dramatic fiction. It was a story told well with effective pacing which reached a satisfying conclusion within the span of one sitting.

My first thought upon learning this story was being re presented within a re-imagined version spanning an untold number of episodes throughout a television series was that I hoped they would be able to pad it with enough substance for it to maintain interest. We have already been witness to the far too many entertainment failures by many who have attempted to re-purpose completely self-contained short works into unsuitable formats. Video game adaptations are the first culprits which come to mind. The games themselves may have been engaging in an interactive format but fell miserably flat when translated into a passive medium. Doom is probably one of the best (or at least most popularly recognized) examples of this sort of effort. Some short stories by authors have been more successful than others, such as those penned by Stephen King - but I believe his work lends itself well to a visual interpretation.

Although there are examples of movies successfully translated into television series such as the two espionage shows based upon the character named "Nikita" (first embodied by Anne Parillaud); I don't recall any other efforts in porting a story as self-contained and complete as Twelve Monkeys (I am willing to stand corrected on this score). I wondered how they would manage maintaining suspense when we were already familiar with the broad strokes of the mystery. It struck me a like having read the end of a novel before starting at the beginning. I assumed the creative vision required to keep viewers in suspense necessitated altering that mystery in a significant way without diluting its punch.

In watching the first season, it became abundantly clear that it is an homage to the vision first circumscribed by Terry Gilliam. The creators and writers have clearly studied the source to such a degree they likely can recite every line spoken and describe with abundant detail every scene in the movie. Their efforts shine through and have paid off in a way to deliver an engaging story to audiences of this genre. People who struggle with continuity in a story that jumps about through various time periods where the past is often a future event, it can be a confusing effort in keeping track of a linear accounting of events and character progressions. Nonetheless, the writers and production staff succeed in their efforts to ensure clarity is provided through visual cues and references to leading events.

The production values remain true to the original vision in an albeit less foreboding tone but that sort of atmosphere can become too oppressive to want to experience it over the long haul of multiple seasons. The "whodunit aspect" of the mystery is delivered with a sufficient number and degree of twists to keep audiences guessing. It also a show which, due to its expansion over the original, allows for character exploration and development and this lends dimension beyond what we experienced within the movie version.

We are witness to evolving dynamics which change characters on a fundamental level and which lead to implications affecting outcomes. The entire structure of the story is altered by character developments and this approach successfully maintains its integrity as a mystery to be solved. Unlike the movie where the mystery is unraveled with a neat ending twist in one time period, the series ties together multiple time-lines to weave a web of interconnected intrigue from past, to present, to future. Each time it appears we have gotten closer to knowing who has been responsible for destroying human civilization and why, we are introduced to a new turn of events which shatter our illusions of certainty.

This short story however, having been subjected to an expansion well beyond its original intent does introduce moments when one becomes impatient for progress. I must admit though, that my own patience had been blurred by personal events which made it difficult for me to maintain my degree of engagement on a weekly basis. As I have become jaded by the experience of weekly doses of entertainment in favour of binge watching, I would recommend one set aside the requisite time to experience this series in this manner to achieve maximum enjoyment.

I do recommend watching the movie first - if you have not already, but that perhaps might be because it's my own frame of reference. I do believe though, that there are a sufficient number and degree of differences between the movie and the serial to preclude boredom. I believe the movie offers a conceptual point of entry into the series which adds dimension to questions about where the story will lead. I also think that one can find themselves more easily lost in tracking events within the series well enough to follow along without losing interest in discovering where its destination may lead.

The production values are solid, the writing is creative and clever, and the characters are well cast, acted, and scripted (with some familiar faces from the most recent Nikita series). (Most of the main characters from the movie have been preserved, but the choice of recasting Brad Pitt's exceptional portrayal of a psychotically disturbed individual in a significantly altered form was an excellent decision.) All in all; for fans of this genre, I believe it is a worthwhile piece of entertainment which can pique curiosity, interest, and empathy while satisfying one's appetite for action-oriented imaginative drama.

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