What a long, strange trip it’s been for 12 Monkeys. It began life in 1963 as a 28-minute short told through voiceover and still photos by Chris Marker called La Jetée. That was adapted in 1995, with many elements changed, into the full-length Terry Gilliam film, 12 Monkeys, starring Bruce Willis. And now it has mutated further into a Syfy original series starring Aaron Stanford as the desperate time traveler and Amanda Schull as the doctor who’s both terrified and intrigued by this man who claims to be from a dystopian future. The first nine minutes of that series are now online, allowing you to get an early sense of the various changes made in this latest incarnation.
For one thing, gone is any possibility that Cole (Stanford) might be hallucinating all of this, seeing as Dr. Cassandra Railly (Schull) is given ample evidence to support his time-traveling prowess. It also appears that the biological threat isn’t still present in the future (as in the previous versions), as Cole and his buddies roam the frozen earth without that weird bubble suit that encased Willis in Gilliam’s film. All other questions—including whether 12 Monkeys can get a proper TV adaptation from producers whose resumes include the V reboot, Heroes, and the Scooby-Doo movies—will be answered when the show premieres on Syfy on January 16.