I’ve always loved time travel stories.
The a-grade, for me, is still the Gordian knot of Robert Heinlein’s “All You Zombies”, which demonstrates just how confusingly complex a closed temporal loop can be. Being able to twist backwards and forwards in time gives the story extra room to manoeuvre, and adds different layers and dimensions.
The original film 12 Monkeys was a closed loop idea too, and remains one of my favourite SF films. The fear that this TV adaptation wouldn’t live up to its source material didn’t really outlive the first two episodes — what SyFy have produced is a dark, witty, exciting and smart SF series. They’ve toned down the Terry Gilliam wackiness, but added a layer of grit and harsh realism which befits the company which gave us RDM’s Battlestar Galactica.
As I’ve said a number of times, being a good, solid adaptation is no guarantee of success. Constantine has arguably done that better, and at time of press it’s still in renewal limbo (No pun intended, I hope -Ed). What 12 Monkeys needs is to prove longevity in its story, and that it has the staying power to last however many seasons.