RogerBW's Blog

12 Monkeys season 3 04 May 2019

2017 SF, 10 episodes. The civilisation-ending plague was just part of the bigger plot, and nobody's loyalties are clear even before time travel comes into the picture.

If last time there was progress in uncovering the various plots, this time there's a more conventional struggle: Dr Cassandra Railly is in the hands of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, who are waiting for her to give birth to the Witness who's their destined leader, while the rest of the good guys are trying to rescue her. But by the end of the season pretty much everyone will have changed sides at least once, sometimes inventing new sides to be on. It's that sort of story. (And if the Very Clever People are vulnerable to diplomatic and emotional manipulation by an obvious but smart agent of evil, well, that's sadly true to life too.)

There's no single historical period given primacy here, though overall there's more action set in the past than in the post-plague future. Instead the production crew took advantage of a range of locations round Prague, as well I suspect as virtual sets from Stargate Studios or another similarly competent effects house, to produce small sections from a vast array of historical periods.

Dr Jones, inventor of the time machine, is starting to fall apart by now, and Barbara Sukowa portrays her gradual mental collapse perfectly, until it becomes entirely plausible that she'd grasp at one last chance to set it all right again whatever actions that requires. Emily Hampshire continues to have fun chewing the scenery in her mad moments as Jennifer Goines, but also to provide an effective portrayal of a character who's been given a bunch of data that nobody else has but who is desperate to turn those data into actionable information.

No, it's not much to do with the 1995 film any more, and if you're any sort of purist about that you really shouldn't bother with this. In this world, time travel can change things. At least, so it appears; of course, it could all end up being a set of predestined loops…

There's a certain sense of marking time in this season, but there does seem to be genuine progresssion of the plot as well. The show was renewed for an 11-episode final season, broadcast in 2018.

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