Helix on Syfy is about an Artic science station where an outbreak of an unknown origin takes place. The CDC responds by sending a few folks to investigate. But they find one mystery after another. That and some resistant “cooperation.”
Apparently the pathogen kills most of its victims, but there’s a small percentage that it doesn’t kill, but rather, changes them.
One of those infected is Dr. Peter Farragut, brother to the CDC investigator. He was contained in a holding cell, but then tore his way out of it, through the ceiling.
And Peter is cruising the hallways, “kissing” people, spreading his little germ.
The story develops in a smart fashion that does not bore the viewer. It has a slow, tense story development. It’s an isolated facility and there’s no where to go.
It’s a cross of “The Thing” and “The Walking Dead,” but in a bad way.
Despite what Peter did in the first episode, not a ton has developed, but there’s a ton of room to develop quite a bit from the start point of the story. There are thirteen episodes and each episode represents a day, so the time frame that this story takes place in is a finite number of days.
Of course what’s a good mystery viral outbreak with some mystery going on in the background? That would include the man in charge of the base, working with one of the military security guys trying to hide something from the team. Not to mention hiding the monkeys. (You’ll see.)
And it would not be a Ronald D. Moore creation with some familiar reference… in this case, on the helicopter flight out there, one of the investigators says something to the affect that this is a “fracked up family reunion.” Sound familiar? (I’ll let you discover what that statement is about.)
The cast includes Billy Campbell, Jordan Hayes, Neil Napier, Hiroyuki Sanada and Kyra Zagorsky.
Is Syfy’s Helix worth your time? Though it’s early in the series, it didn’t suck or send off too many warning signs that it could spiral out of control.
Sure, there’s the usual crap where human weakness causes the usual suspect plot points, but everyone deploys these plot tools. And when some contained suspects make a blatant break for it, well, it is what it is. It’s got to spread in some fashion, right?
And I find that “elevator” music here and there is an interesting juxtaposition of scene atmospheres.
The show is filmed in Montreal, so if you question the use of CGI scenes, well, it’s hard to get that much snow and ice in Montreal.
Also, I could have sworn I heard the pitch of a limited commercial premiere… and that was sort of true… the first 30 minutes had no commercials. But after that, the ads almost seemed to make up for it.
But I think that Helix will be a worthy addition to your Friday night viewing schedule.