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BACK TO THE FUTURE’s Christopher Lloyd Joins 12 MONKEYS as Important Villain

Two of our favorite time traveling stories will collide next year, as Syfy has just announced that Back to the Future‘s Christopher Lloyd will be joining 12 Monkeys in season three! Lloyd will guest star as Zalmon Shaw, a “charming but deadly cult leader who preys upon others’ tragedies and losses in order to recruit new members in to the apocalyptic cult,” The Army of the 12 Monkeys. Shaw is also the father of one our favorite villains, the Pallid Man, so we’ll get a chance to see what sort of monster created the cold-hearted hunter who is hell-bent on bringing about the end of the world.

If you have not watched Syfy’s TV adaptation of the ’90s sci-fi thriller, you are absolutely missing out. 12 Monkeys is one of those wonderful surprises, a retelling of Terry Gilliam‘s film that actually adds to the mythology and story and creates something new. Much like the original movie starring Bruce Willis, the show centers around James Cole (Aaron Stanford), a hardened drifter from the future, who travels back to modern day to prevent a horrible plague from wiping out 93.6% of humanity. Along with Jose Ramse (Kirk Acevedo), his best friend from 2043, and Dr. Katarina Jones (Barbara Sukowa), the inventor of the time machine, Cole joins forces with present day virologist Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) and the delightfully insane math genius Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire) to stop The Army of the 12 Monkeys. Trouble is, everything they do in the past and present has a cause and effect… and everything is connected.

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Much like Fringe, which dealt with alternate universes, 12 Monkeys explores time travel in a thoughtful, creative way. Showrunners Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett have created a world that makes sense, is constantly challenging itself, and provides room for nuanced yet surprising character development. When we first meet our heroes, Cole and Cassandra, they are both lost in their own way. Cole is on a path of redemption after all of the horrible things he’s had to do to survive in 2043, while Cassandra evolves from an unsure scientist to an unabashed badass as she discovers what the future holds. And like Fringe, 12 Monkeys is not bound by endless questions with no answers. While season one deals with the plague, season two unpacks the motivations of The Army of the 12 Monkeys and the enigmatic figure orchestrating the apocalypse: The Witness.

When we last left James and Cassandra, the pair had created a life for themselves while trapped back in 1959, only to discover that their romance might actually be responsible for the plague. Yes, The Witness is James and Cassandra’s son. In order to prevent the end of the world, they’ll have to kill the witness… but at what cost? With Cassandra trapped with The Army of the 12 Monkeys in 2163, pregnant with the Witness, Cole traveling through time to find her, and Christopher Lloyd joining the cast to flesh out the cult’s evil beginnings, it looks like 12 Monkeys season three will be even more bonkers than the first two seasons. (Watch the NYCC trailer above!)

What do you think will happen in season three? Do you think this will be 12 Monkeys‘ third and final season? Let us know in the comments!

Images: Universal Pictures, Syfy


Rachel Heine is the Editor-in-Chief of Nerdist and already wants to binge-watch 12 Monkeys from the beginning again. Chat with her about it on Twitter @RachelHeine.

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