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12 MONKEYS
January 16, 2015  | By David Bianculli

Syfy, 9:00 p.m. ET

 

SERIES PREMIERE: This new Syfy series, while revisiting the world of Terry Gilliam’s dizzyingly complex 1995 time-travel drama, is neither a sequel nor a prequel. Twenty years after the original film hit theaters, this TV version is a reboot of sorts, but with the same general premise: a time-traveler is sent back from the future with a mission to contain an apocalyptic virus. This time, the traveler – played by Bruce Willis in Gilliam’s film – is portrayed by Aaron Stanford, while the mentally unstable but vitally important character, played in the film by Brad Pitt, is portrayed in Syfy’s version by Emily Hampshire. That casting-approach sex change has upset some fans in advance – but they should remember that the network did the same thing with its successful reboot of another sci-fi project, Battlestar Galactica, when it turned the original TV series’ hero, Starbuck, into a heroine, but leaving the name and hotshot heroism intact. And that turned out just fine.

 
 
 
 
 
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