Time Travel, Would You…? Results of the Unofficial SyFy 12 Monkey Poll. Probed.

by Science Fiction author, Clara Bush

So intrigued by the opening narrative to SyFy’s television version of 12 Monkeys, I conducted a poll—which by no means is conclusive—but a random sample of like-minded sci-fiers. The results were neither shocking nor predictable, but rather: “Ah, yes. But of course.”

The Opening Narration 

That Puts My Mind To Spinning Every Time I Think Of It or Hear It

Year 2043

Where are you right now? 
Somewhere warm? 
Next to someone you love? 
Now what if all that was gone. 
And the only thing you can do is survive? 
You would, right? 
You’d try. 
You’d do things. 
Horrible things. 
Until you lose that last thing you have left. 
But what if you could take it back? 
All of it. 
A reset switch. 
You’d hit it, right?
— opening narration for
SyFy’s 12 Monkeys 


Question: Would you hit the re-set switch?


  • Yes, definitely!
  • No, you idiot. Don’t mess with time.
  • Yes, but probably shouldn’t.
  • All of the above. 


35% Yes, definitely!
18% No, you idiot. Don’t mess with time.
22% Yes, but probably shouldn’t.
24% All of the above. 


About two hundred sci-fi lovers participated in the poll. An overwhelming majority (35%+22%+24%= 81%) would hit the reset switch. Those answering in this percentage, I believe to be the most honest. I mean who wouldn’t hit the switch if it meant saving seven-billion lives, erasing an apocalyptic ending to Earth, and saving an innocent woman from being certifiable? 

You’d chance it. Right? Even if there was only a rat’s hair’s chance of being successful. 

Why am I so sure? Because doing nothing assures devastation, destruction, and suffering. Not an option in my opinion.

What if you screw up things even more? Really? Could they be any worse?


Best comments with regards to the POLL:

AH—I already hit the switch. 2020 is going to be a really bad year luckily time travel was invented in 2040 by me, so the crazy with the suitcase bomb doesn’t go to…Well it never happened now so no need to worry. Ha! paradoxes ye got to love them.

MN—Ask me again yesterday…

Interesting comments comparing 12 Monkeys the movie to 12 Monkeys the TV series:

PF —I certainly felt a palatable loss of a number of essential elements for the TV show to compare favorably to the movie. About the only similarity I saw was they both employed an audio visual format as their media delivery method. Past that they are completely different animals. The TV show is the far weaker of the two as well. I would go as far as to say this is a case where the association hurts the lesser in ways it does not quite deserve to be. The TV show might be OK in its own right, if not for the inevitable comparison between the two.

PF—In a way I blame the show’s creators. They should have known early on that they were going to deviate significantly from the movie, and based on that, changed the name of their work accordingly. They could have attributed the original movie somehow differently rather than simply co-opting the name for themselves. Because in my opinion that just sets up hard feelings with rightfully offended viewers, who were pretty lead astray, by the bait, and switch.

Your Turn

  • Would you hit the reset switch?
  • Would you time travel to do so?
  • How would you compare the movie version and TV version of 12 Monkeys.
I love hearing from you. Join the discussion. Leave a comment. 

blog post #89 

The Probe—probing the unknown in science fiction, science, paranormal, fiction, ghosts, monsters, aliens, space, UFOs, strange, and weird. 

Clara Bush
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