When Kathryn Railly is presenting her book she speaks about a man who appeared in the 14th century in the village of Wyle near Stonehenge saying that a pestilence would wipe out the human race in about 600 years. Later in the movie James Cole and Kathryn walk close to a street prophet who says “You! You’re one of us” to James Cole”. I always thought that this man was just a crazy hobo who somehow was connected to James Cole because of their madness. But just the other day as I was reading the chapter about Twelve Monkeys on the book Dark Knights & Holy Fools. The Art and Films of Terry Gilliam (Bob McCabe, 1999) Gilliam himself made me see that the preacher from the 14th century and the street preacher are the same person, just one man travelling through time.
It’s amazing how after almost twenty years and a thousand views of the movie, I’ve discovered a new thing. It may be obvious for everyone, but I had another idea in my head which kept me from seeing it other way.
The text can be found on the interview part on page 170:
Originally, what David and Jan had were more people going through time, and I hope this connection works. Madeleine’s character is talking about this medieval preacher in her lecture and on the street, when they are on the run, there is that guy preaching. Well, it’s the same guy. Half the prophets were obviously people being sent back from the future when their machinery wasn’t working properly and sending them back to old testament times. I thought that was very smart.
As I’ve said before, it may be obvious, but my eyes popped out and I almost died when I read it.