Apparently the time-bending antics of Syfy’s excellent 12 Monkeys TV series don’t just occur in front of the camera. Madeleine Stowe, star of Terry Gilliam’s original 1995 movie of the same name, will be joining the TV adaptation for season 2, debuting on April 18.

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Stowe will not be reprising her role as Dr. Kathryn Railly, as the show already has one played by Amanda Schull. (And because the show’s raison d’etre is telling a story absurdly full of time travel which still manages to keep the narrative straight; adding an “Earth-2" version of 12 Monkeys would just be a mess.) Entertainment Weekly reports Stowe will instead play Lillian, a patient in a mental hospital in the late 1950s.

Here’s showrunner Terry Matalas explaining how Lillian intersects with time-traveling protagonist Cole:

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“When Cole meets her, he’s in a very different place in his life than we’ve ever seen him. She’s going to deliver some very bad news, but she’s also going to give him some sage advice that our time traveler will desperately need. She’s like 12 Monkeys’ Obi-Wan Kenobi, but far more insidious.”

It’s a delightful bit of meta casting that fits right in with 12 Monkeys’ stalwart ability to take the pieces and beats of Terry Gilliam’s original film, but then expand them, tweak them and use them to tell a very different, very complex new story. We literally told you two weeks ago that it was one of the best shows on TV that are criminally underwatched. Suffice it to say this clever addition to the cast hasn’t changed our minds a bit.


Contact the author at rob@io9.com. Follow him on Twitter at @robbricken.