When word first came down that Syfy was developing Terry Gilliam’s 90s classic, 12 Monkeys, into a TV series, the response was less than positive. However, over the course of Season 1, the show proved itself capable of standing on its own two feet. Now, heading deep into the throws of Season 2, it’s clear the surface of what this show is capable of has only just been scratched.
While in the process of filming the season’s penultimate episode, co-creator Terry Matals, as well as actors Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa, Kirk Acevedo, Emily Hampshire and Todd Stashwick took a moment to address some of the major twists and turns audiences can expect from the show when its new arc begins later this spring.
- To replace the book store setting that was destroyed thanks to a paradox in Season 1, the 12 Monkeys gang will begin making a hotel suit they buy out in the 1940s their central base of operations. In addition, the hotel itself will be dressed to represent different periods across time throughout the season. Co-showrunner Terry Matalas explain
ed that when the gang first finds the hotel suite, they’ll discover clues – such as passports and dossiers – to adventures they haven’t had yet, but will over the course of the season, and that there will be a very subtle nod to Back to the Future hidden within one of the fixtures of the hotel itself.
- As for the plotting of the season, many of the various missions were conceived before production began so easter eggs could be planted in the hotel ahead of time. According to Matalas, the first episode will have a tease to the finale, the last minute of which was known before any of the first episodes were written. Specifically, the first eight episodes were fully fleshed out before production began on the premiere.
- When discussing some of the different character dynamics being set up for the new season, Matalas stated Cole and Cassie are going to be “worlds apart,” even while on missions together. “They have a long way to go.” In addition, while the plague will still be something that happened in history, the threat of Season 2 will much bigger, adding that much of it ties back into “The Witness,” whose goals will be learned in the new season.
- The twelve blue men from the end of Season 1 have been officially dubbed “The Messengers.”
The issue of time being a conscious, self-aware force is a “big issue” that will shade all of the show’s second season. “We will learn more about how time works,” said Matalas, adding, “how time and human beings may work together plays a big part in the season… time is on our side, but there may be someone against time.”
- On the front of one of the show’s fan favorite characters, Jennifer Goines, actress Emily Hampshire stated, “you will actually see a sane Jennifer, at one point. I can’t tell you exactly how that happens or how long it will last, but that will happen this year.” We also see more of “old Jennifer” in the future.
- In Season 2, many of the characters will be paired with others they didn’t get a chance to work with yet, one of those pairings being a scene that will take place between Goines and Jones (the context of this scene was not revealed, but it was teased that it may not be as simple as old Jennifer meeting Jones in the future).
- The new season will feature a darker Cassie, and when asked how she’s been enjoying playing a darker version of the character, Amanda Schull stated, “oh, it’s fun… I also got to do a lot more physical work, which has been fun [as well].”
- On how Ramsey will interact with the team in Season 2, Kirk Acevedo made clear that things, “would be the same,” concerning their dynamics and his motivations. However, when it comes to Cassie’s motivations, Schull stated Amanda, “has a very specific mission [in 2044]… [and] she has to eliminate all of [those] threats, which make it much more challenging overall.”
According to Aaron Stanford, Cole will become more trusting of Jones in Season 2 compared to his wariness of her throughout the course of Season 1. As for the character’s overall arc in Season 2, the actor stated, “as [Cole] experiences different time periods [in Season 1], it changes him. He begins to value life. By the end of season one, he’s at the point where has a new found compassion he didn’t have before, and that’s where [Season 2] starts off.”
- Barbara Sukowa stated to journalists that audiences would see more of Jones’ back-story in Season 2, though she couldn’t reveal much more than that at the time. “I think what broke her was the death of her daughter. It’s something that fuels her mission. She’s shut down a lot through that. She’s one of these people that’s completely changed from a young person to an older person, and I think we learn a little more to understand why that happened.”
- The cast has had a lot of fun with having more characters that can now travel through time. Said Stanford, “it gives us a lot more opportunity to take a lot of these characters and send them off, in pairs or more, into these exciting and interesting periods in history.”
- According to Standard, Cole will still be winging most of his missions in the past. “It’s engrained in his personality. He likes to wing it. That remains alive and well in Season 2.”
When asked if Cole would adapt more to the time periods he visits in Season 2, Stanford claimed, “yeah, he enjoys it. He comes from a place where he had nothing. Now he gets to go to all these rich periods in history and experience all the elements that made them great, so he proves to be really adaptive and have a really good time. He really like the 1940s [and] had a really good time [there].”
- “I don’t think he knows what to make of Jennifer,” Stanford stated of Cole’s relationship with Goines. “She’s an enigma. Who knows why she behaves the way she does? I think he’s very intrigued by her. I think he’s very drawn to her. I think he’s absolutely perplexed by her as well. So, there’s a good deal of development between the two of them in Season 2, and it goes to interesting places.”
- On the matter of learning who The Witness is, Todd Stashwick made it clear to the press that the reveal would blow audiences’ minds.
12 Monkeys returns spring 2016 on Syfy.