Study Guide

12 Monkeys Dr. Peters (David Morse)

Dr. Peters (David Morse)

You know how the Empire in Star Wars keeps constructing big, flashy doomsday machines to wipe out planets? Those things probably cost the taxpayers billions, and each time, the engineers keep including fatal weak spots that somehow aren't corrected during the design phase. The Empire seriously needs to start outsourcing to some independent contractors, because its employees just aren't up to the task.

We bring up the various Death Stars because Dr. Peters totally out-evils the Empire at a fraction of the cost. With only a degree in virology and a wee bit of genetic engineering, he and Dr. Goines managed to create a virus so deadly that it wipes out almost all of human life on earth. As a bonus, to release his doomsday weapon, Peters gets to enjoy a globetrotting vacation.

Unfortunately, we don't know much about Peters' character. He operates secretly for most of the film because Jeffery Goines is the prime suspect. What we do know is that he loves nature and fears that humanity has irrevocably damaged the planet. As he tells Dr. Railly during her book signing:

DR. PETERS: Surely there's very real and very convincing data that the planet cannot survive the excesses of the human race.

And Peters has sided with mother nature.

Rather than write a book to try to change people's habits or go into politics to craft environment-protecting legislation, Peters just decides wiping out the human race will be easier. So he steals a virus from Dr. Goines' lab and does just that.

We have to admit: what it lacks in nuance and empathy, it certainly makes up for in pure, devastating impact. The Empire salutes you, Dr. Peters. Tell us, do you have any viruses that'll take care of an Ewok infestation?

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