“There’s A Lot Going On,” In Season 3 Of 12 Monkeys, Says Aaron Stanford
Syfy’s ‘12 Monkeys‘ is breaking new ground for its third and penultimate season. In the final moments of the Season 2 finale, James Cole splintered into the year 2163 so he can rescue Cassandra Railly, his time-travelling partner, lover and the woman who was pregnant with his child in 1959, from the Witness. In previous efforts to save the world, Cole and Cassie have only travelled back in time. Cassie’s abduction to the future, however, leaves Cole with no choice but to follow her into unknown territory.
“In the beginning of Season 3 he is in a very, very desperate place,” says Aaron Stanford, who plays Cole, on a Syfy press call. “He has lost the woman he loves; he has lost his family; he has lost the only resemblance of a real life he’s ever had and he’s a man on a mission.”
What Cole doesn’t know because it was only revealed to Cassie (played by Amanda Schull) in Season 2’s final twist, is that the baby she conceived in 1959 will become the Witness. Cole’s mission to avert the end of the world will hit much closer to home when finds out, says Stanford.
“He starts off the entire series essentially on a suicide mission, a mission of self-sacrifice. He doesn’t really value his life and he’s all too willing to sacrifice it to save humanity and to give himself a clean slate. Then this season, it does get complicated because suddenly there is this revelation that the architect of the apocalypse is, in fact, his son. Suddenly it becomes very, very personal.”
What happens after that is a closely guarded secret. Still, the few hints that Stanford drops indicate that circumstances will once again put Cole and Cassie at odds. “There has been a lot of turmoil in their relationship, a lot of difficulty with them actually finally finding their way to each other and then circumstances splitting them apart again,” Stanford explains. “In Season 3 you do see more of that happening.”
Stanford also indicates that Cole and Cassie will have different ideas about how to prevent the disaster their child seems destined to cause. As in previous seasons, that disagreement will allow viewers to see more than one side of the moral dilemmas the characters face, Stanford suggests.
“One of the things that you continuously see are all the characters being put in this position where they have to make a choice between the greater good or the good of somebody that they hold dear, someone they love, a family member, a wife or a husband.”
Yet, despite the high stakes, the third season of 12 Monkeys will have lighter episodes, too. When asked about costumes, Stanford reveals that Cole and Cassie won’t be stuck in the future forever, whether that be 2159 or the post-apocalyptic 21st century. As a result, there will be more opportunities for the actors to play dress-up. One script, for example, will be set in Victorian London. Stanford’s outstanding memory of filming Season 3, though, concerns a costume he wore for an episode set in the more recent past.
“My Marty McFly outfit was a pretty big hit on set so the 80’s was pretty fun,” he says.
‘12 Monkeys‘ airs on Syfy. Season 3 will have its UK premiere at 9:00 pm on 26 May 2017.
Mike Simpson is a British expat contributor based near Vancouver, Canada. He has a background as a professional scientist and is now an entertainment and technology journalist gleefully writing about sci-fi and other geek stuff.